Does Removing Scabs Increase Rate of Wound Healing?

Whether to keep  ‘scabs on wounds’ has been a topic of discussion amongst nurses over time. A recent article by Steve Harris,  a physician and medical researcher in America  identifies that the edge of an eschar can keep a wound from closing by secondary intention. ‘An eschar is a sign that a wound is too dry to heal as fast as possible. Having noted that, a crust is the best nature can do in many situations. It is protective. In the best of all possible worlds, it is possible to do better. Yes, the first time that you remove an eschar, you do traumatize the wound, so it is not good to keep doing it. But once it’s done, if you never let another eschar form, you can accelerate healing.

The fibrocytes in a wound are trying to lay down collagen and heal the wound by drawing it together and forming the tissue that turns into skin and healed scar. You want to encourage them to divide and grow. They can’t do this if they dry out. It happens well only if they are moist but not too moist!’

There are 2 comments for this article
  1. Faye Mccormack at 10:30 pm

    I’ve noticed that sometimes that underneath the scab is some accumulation of thick ooze, though wound has no s/s of infections.
    I usually informed pt and Dr then suggest to nick or gently lift scab and voila! a collection of pus like exudates starts coming out.
    I then placed a small piece of algisite/ kaltostat to keep the small cavity open and it does help in the healing process. Even pt couldn’t believe it😭
    Hope this helps health care staff to explore this minor trick for the benefit of patients.

    Faye Mccormack
    Practice nurse

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