Stave off scabbing
Scabs. So annoying. Sitting there announcing to the world that you have a boo-boo and flirting with infection. “It is such a common misperception that ‘scabs’ indicate good wound healing, ” says Adam Friedman, MD, associate professor of dermatology and director of the Supportive Oncodermatology Clinic at George Washington School of Medicine and Health Sciences in Washington, DC. “A scab comprises dried blood, serum, dead skin cells, and dead bacteria that is actually a roadblock to new migrating skin cells which must now take a detour around that annoying scab to close the break in the skin,” he says. Try keeping the wound moist (with a thick moisturizer like petrolatum, for example) to allow new skin cells direct access.
Slap on a bandage
You might want to resist bandaging due to the ouch-factor when it’s time to peel it off. First, there’s a pain-free trick to removing bandages; second, you’ll speed healing with a little cover. “Keeping the area occluded will also prevent the risk for infection, as a scab is like an Old Homestead filet to bacteria,” says Dr. Friedman. Yes, this means that a bandage is your friend and won’t upset the healing process. In the future, smart bandages may be able to detect how well a wound is healing and send a report to the doctor. This research is now being conducted at several institutions, including Swansea University in Swansea Wales, United Kingdom.