Scabs On Face: Causes, Home Remedies, And Prevention

Written by Eshna Das

When we get a cut or wound, the body’s natural healing process comes into play immediately. It rushes tissues and blood cells to the site to form a clot over the wound, resulting in a crusted coating known as a scab. A scab stops the bleeding and forms a safe coat over the wound to keep it protected from germs and dust until the wound heals (1).

While the scabs need to run their course for a wound to heal, scabs on face might seem quite unsightly. In the sections that follow, let’s have a look at what might cause scabs on your face and how to help it heal effectively.

What Can Cause Scabs On The Face

  • Acne And Pimples

While acne and pimples on the face are quite common and harmless skin conditions, touching or picking on those might lead to scabs on the face. When poked or irritated, these might burst open resulting in a scab formation thereafter. These scabs often lead to scarring as well.

  • Injury

If you happen to get a cut or bruise on your face by some accident, scabs tend to form to help heal these faster (2). Also, burns and blisters lead to scabs in the natural healing process.

  • Infections

Some bacterial or fungal infections might make your facial skin breakout and scab over in reaction. Viral infections like cold sores and chickenpox also lead to blisters and scabs as they run their course.

  • Bug Bites

Certain bug bites, even if not dangerous, can cause a wound on your face. These then scab over to protect the same.

  • Allergic Reactions

Sometimes with a change of place and weather, your skin might break into an episode of rash or acne reacting to the heat and humidity (3). Often, dry and cold places might aggravate conditions like eczema and skin allergies which might lead to scabs later on.

While you might have the urge to get rid of a scab as soon as you find one, you must be careful about not picking on or touching one repeatedly as that might slow down the healing process and lead to infections and scarring instead. Further in this article, let’s see how you can get rid of scabs on face in a better way.

How To Heal Scabs On Face

Home Remedies For Scabs On Face

  • Let The Scab Remain Untouched

The best way to get rid of a scab is to just let it run its course. While a scab heals, it tends to get itchy and uncomfortable (4). Still, you should try and avoid touching it as it would otherwise hamper the healing process. Repeated picking on the scab might aggravate the wound and lead to unnecessary infections. Just airing the scab and giving it some time to fall off on its own would help get rid of it easier.

  • Moisturize Well

A scab on the face, just like anywhere else, tends to dry up and become itchy. Keeping it well moisturized would reduce any discomfort and help it blend back into the skin faster. While you can use some natural oils with antibacterial properties or any non-comedogenic moisturizer, petroleum jelly is very effective for the same (5).

  • Sunscreen

Sun, heat, and humidity can irritate and worsen your facial scabs and delay the healing process. Applying sunscreen regularly gives an added layer of protection against the same.

  • Avoid Makeup

When your face is breaking out into acne and pimples, with all the scabs and scars, applying makeup can irritate your skin. You should especially avoid any contact at the spot of the scab and the skin around it. You should also be careful not to scrub or scratch the scabs while removing any makeup.

  • Hot And Cold Compress

While a hot compress improves blood circulation and accelerates the healing process, a cold compress helps reduce the pain, swelling, and itching of the wound (6). You can alternate between the two to help ease the discomfort as and when required.

Usually, you would not have to worry about any adverse effects when it comes to facial scabs. But if you find any other symptoms like fever and chills, worsening redness and swelling, or pus formation accompanying the facial scabs, it could be a sign of possible infection. You might then require medical consultation and the following treatments might be prescribed.

Medical Treatment

Your health practitioner, after investigating the scabs can recommend the appropriate line of treatment to help the wound heal better.

Though the above remedies can help you deal with a scab effectively, it is always better to prevent a scab in the first place.

Preventive Measures

  • If your wound is still fresh or the scab is just beginning to form, you need to be careful about your movements.
  • While you need to keep your hands and hair away from your face, you might also want to keep it lightly covered to avoid scraping it off accidentally.
  • If you are involved in any active sports or recreational activities, try to keep the wound away from sweat and dust.
  • Keeping the site of the wound clean and hygienic helps accelerate the healing process.

Summary

Your body’s natural defense mechanism initiates the formation of a scab at the site of a wound, be it a minor scrape or a major injury. While scabs on face indicate that your wound is healing, you must make sure to keep your hands away from it.

Facial scabs can look disturbing but it’s best given some time to heal on their own. That way it would fall off without leaving behind any scar. In the meanwhile, if you doubt any sign of infection, you must consider consulting your doctor for suitable treatment thereafter. The home remedies mentioned above can ease the discomfort and help heal the scab better.

Expert’s Answers For Readers’ Questions

Is Vaseline good for scabs?

Vaseline petroleum jelly is good for keeping the scab and the skin around it moist and protected (5). It not only shields the wound from sweat and water but also eases any discomfort thereof. Hence it’s always a good idea to keep a tub of vaseline handy with you.

How do you heal a pimple scab?

When dealing with a pimple scab, first and foremost, try not to touch it. Picking on it or trying to squeeze it would not only delay the healing but also is most likely to result in a nasty scar afterward. A hot compress can help increase blood circulation and a cold compress would help relieve the itch, pain and swelling if any. Keeping the skin around the pimple clean and letting the scab run its course is the best way to heal it.

How long do scabs last?

A scab usually forms within about 2 hours of the injury. While for a minor cut or scrape, a small scab can start to fall off as soon as 2-3 days, it might take a week or longer for a larger wound to heal and let the scab go away. Given that most facial scabs are minor ones, formed usually due to acne and pimples, you should rather wait it out for 2-3 days, than keep on picking on it and prolonging the process.

Do all scabs lead to scars?

A wound with a scab is already on its way to recovery. If it is let to heal on its own without any poking or picking, it would not leave any scar behind (5). But, if you keep touching it and checking it repeatedly, then it would not only leave a mark behind but also might lead to some sort of contamination.

How to heal scabs fast?

Keep The Site Clean
Maintaining good personal hygiene and keeping the site of the scab clean are important to aid the natural healing process. You should take care to keep it away from sweat, dust, pollution, and any other contamination. Keeping your hands and hair away from the facial scabs ensures there’s no further infection.
Healthy Balanced Diet
When recovering from any wound or injury, certain nutrients help the regeneration of cells and tissues faster. Protein, Selenium, Zinc, Vitamin A and C, are a few of the nutrients that accelerate the healing from within as well. That is why eating a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, healthy fats, and lean proteins is vital to a good recovery (11).
Take Ample Rest
Your body recovers while you sleep (12). An ample amount of rest is necessary to help the body processes conserve energy and focus on the healing process instead.

Sources

Articles on StyleCraze are backed by verified information from peer-reviewed and academic research papers, reputed organizations, research institutions, and medical associations to ensure accuracy and relevance. Read our editorial policy to learn more.

  1. Cellular Mechanisms Of Skin Repair In Humans And Other Mammals
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/labs/pmc/articles/PMC4882309/
  2. Checklist For Factors Affecting Wound Healing
    https://journals.lww.com/aswcjournal/fulltext/2011/04000/checklist_for_factors_affecting_wound_healing.10.aspx
  3. Allergic Contact Dermatitis: Overview
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK447113/
  4. Pruritus Of Healing Wounds: Why “Scabs” Itch
    https://www.longdom.org/open-access/pruritus-of-healing-wounds-why-scabs-itch-2155-9554-1000333.pdf
  5. Proper Wound Care: How To Minimise A Scar
    https://www.aad.org/public/everyday-care/injured-skin/burns/wound-care-minimize-scars
  6. How To Relieve Itchy Skin
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  7. Topical Therapy For Acne
    https://www.aafp.org/afp/2000/0115/p357.html
  8. A Practical Approach To Chemical Peels
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  9. Trends In Oral Antibiotic Prescription In Dermatology, 2008 To 2016
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  10. Light-Based Therapies In Acne Treatment
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4439741/
  11. Immunonutrition: Role In Wound Healing And Tissue Regeneration
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/labs/pmc/articles/PMC3900114/
  12. Sleep And Muscle Recovery: Endocrinological And Molecular Basis For A New And Promising Hypothesis
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21550729/
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