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!’