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How to Treat a Scab

By Constance Barker ; Updated July 27, 2017

The outer layer of crust over your latest cut, scrape or burn keeps bacteria from entering the healing skin. Underneath the thick scab, cells work to reconstruct new, pink skin, while also fighting intruding germs. If you remove the scab before the skin has a chance to heal properly, you could incur a permanent scar. Treating a scab correctly keeps infection from entering the wound and allows a normal healing time to prevent or reduce the risk of scarring.

Clean the scabbed area daily. Wet a wash cloth with warm water and soap. Blot the wash cloth gently on and around the scab. Do not rub the scab, as you could pull it off. Rinse the cloth with warm water and blot the scab, removing the soap from the area. Press a bath towel gently against the skin to remove the moisture.

Squeeze a small amount of antibacterial ointment onto your fingertip. Cover the entire scab and surrounding area with the ointment.

Cover the entire scab with a bandage and secure it tightly to the surrounding skin. Replace the bandage twice daily at first, then daily as the injury heals. After the scab becomes thick and crusty, go a day without the bandage, if you can keep the area clean. You may not require bandages later in the healing process. Allow the scab to fall from your skin on its own. This normally happens while you are washing the area.

Moisturize the new pink skin with a soothing aloe cream for two to three days after the scab falls off.

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