Growing up, my mother had a razor-sharp eye for any new pimples forming on my face. She would make a beeline for it if she happened to spot one and then pop it. This usually left black marks and pimple scabs.
A scab is a crust that forms over a wound to protect it. It is made of dried blood, fluids, and immune cells. If you pop a pimple, you create a small wound and a scab comes over to cover it.
What is the purpose of a scab?
Other than protecting your skin, it also does other things:
- Reduces risk of widening the injured area
- Prevents further damage to the healing site
- Shelters the underlying cells for new skin to form
- Lessens risk of infection
- Reduces chances of scarring after healing
How is it formed
This is when you first get a wound, either by picking and scratching at the scab or otherwise. It takes about 1-2 hours for normal acne wounds to begin healing.
The scab forms
For small acne wounds, a scabbing starts to form 1-2 days after the wound, for bigger wounds, it takes 3-7 days. It forms over the wound to protect it from bacteria. The scab will fall off on its own in 3-7 days
Under the scab, skin cells being to grow and regenerate. They begin to form an outer layer under it within 1-3 days. Eventually, it falls off and the new skin is exposed.
What not to do when you get a scab
You already know what to do when you get a scab. Do not touch it. Leave it alone no matter how much it seems to be calling to be pulled off. Every time you go to touch it, you risk infection from the dirt in your hands and fingers.
What happens when you pick the scab?
- The scar becomes thicker
- The area becomes darker or forms a black spot
- A keloid can form
- Your skin gets hollows and depressions.
What to do when you pop a pimple
a). Clean the area
Use a gentle antibacterial soap and water to clean the area. Acne cleanser also works. Using a washcloth, clean the area and then dry using another one.
b). Apply cream
Topical creams help to dry the scab quickly so that they can fall off quicker too.
Preferably use one with benzoyl peroxide of salicylic acid. These help keep the area dry and help to hasten the healing process. Use this cream 10-15 minutes after cleaning the wound.
You can also get an antibiotic topical cream to prevent infection and heal the acne already there. The cream also helps prevent new acne. Neosporin and Polysporin antibiotics are recommended. Put a little on every scan and wait for 30 minutes.
c). Warm compress
A clean washcloth dipped in hot water helps to soften the scabs, making them looser so that the can fall off. It also improves healing by drawing blood to the area.
Apply and hold the compress for about 10 minutes.
More remedies to get rid of scabs quickly
a). Aloe vera
Aloe Vera has endless skin benefits. It helps with healing, hydration, and soothing. It also helps with getting rid of pimple scars and lightening black spots.
- Cut an aloe leave and extract the aloe gel
- Apply a thick layer of the gel on the pimple scabs
- Leave overnight and rinse with lukewarm water in the morning.
If you have no access to aloe leaves, then use an Aloe Vera gel from the store.
b). Tea tree oil
Known for its antiseptic properties, tea tree oil is particularly useful on pimple scans. It helps to prevent infections.
- Put a few drops of tea tree oil on the cotton
- Apply it on the scabs on your face. Remember to do it gently to avoid breaking the it.
- Leave it on for 30 minutes then rinse with warm water
- Do this twice a day
Also, a natural antiseptic, honey has the added advantage of promoting quick healing. It also makes your skin brighter and helps with blackheads.
- Dry your face well to remove any excess moisture or water.
- Apply the honey to the affected area.
- Using a hydro polymer dressing, band-aids or gauze cover the scabs.
- Leave it on for 20-30 minutes then rinse it off with warm water.
Alternatively, you can leave it on overnight.
Using Vaseline on scabs keeps them soft, helps with healing and sealing of the wound. This prevents entry of more bacteria.
- Clean the area thoroughly, make sure there is no blood or pus or any liquid
- Dry the area after cleaning
- Apply a layer of Vaseline on the scab and leave it on.
e). Plantain leaves
Not the banana ones, but a magical healing herb found in most backyards.
Although there are many varieties, they all have vertical veins in the leaves and incredible medicinal properties. If you are unlucky and don’t have any in your backyard, you can buy them in pre-made ointments or order dried leaves from retailers.
- Take a few plantain leaves and boil them in about an inch of water until they are soft.
- Mash them and allow them to cool
- Add a few drops of any oil you like and make a paste
- Apply to the affected areas