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Leave Scabs Be!

By Allen Bryan

You are running outside on a bright summer morning, and all of a sudden, you trip and fall. As you get up, you see blood dripping from your knee. Even as you are looking at it, your body is busy creating a scab. The scab allows for efficient healing underneath. The dark red, hard crust that forms soon after the injury protects the injury from bacteria that could enter the wound and contaminate it.

As soon as you scrape your knee, a special type of blood cell called platelets go to work. They stick together like glue, creating a clot, which closes off the injury and keeps molecules from flowing in and out. The clot is also filled with another type of blood cell called fibrin which keep everything together. Underneath the scab, new skin cells are constantly multiplying, replacing the skin cells that were lost during the injury. White blood cells, which fight off infection, are killing all the bacteria that bypassed the scab and into your injury. White blood cells also gets rid of old blood and skin cells that could infect your leg.

There are many ways to get rid of scabs and to help treat them. Maintaining proper hygiene when having a cut is very important. It could help prevent further irritation and scarring. Keeping your wound moisturized is also important because it can prevent other symptoms such as tingling and itchiness. Picking scabs will do nothing but harm to the injury. Itching the scab can cause inflammation, infection, or scarring. Instead, it is recommended to apply antibiotic cream to the wound, which contributes to a quicker recovery. Ointments containing Benzoyl Peroxide also contain properties that can aid in the healing. Whenever going outside on a sunny day, applying sunscreen over a scab can soften it, letting it heal quicker. Also, studies have shown that that applying sunscreen on scabs can decrease the chances of scarring.

Scabs are extremely important to your body. They are the protective wall that shields your wound from intruders as it heals. Without scabs, injuries could easily become infected and would take much longer to heal. Taking care of the scab or even just leaving it alone after injury are the keys to a swift recovery.

About Kevin Bryan

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