How Long Does a Scab Take to Heal

How long does a scab take to heal? The answer to this question depends on the size, depth and condition of the scab. Scabs remain in place to protect the healing skin as cells develop and nerves are reconnected. The purpose of the scab is to act like a shield to prevent infection and further damage to vulnerable tissue, nerves and blood vessels. That scab may be unattractive, but its purpose is valuable and necessary.

A shallow, surface wound with an average scar will take between one and two weeks to heal. However, there are several factors that will determine the length of time it will take for a scab to heal up.

Has the Scab Been Disturbed?
Every time you disturb or remove a scab, you add time to the healing process. It's best to leave scab removal to Mother Nature; the scab will fall off when it is good and ready. If you remove a scab before it is ready, you risk infection and you prolong the healing process.

How Deep or Wide is the Wound?
If the wound is deep or wide, you will notice the scab taking a longer time to heal.

Is the Tissue Beneath the Scab Infected?
Infection can delay the healing and falling off of a scab. Once the infection has cleared up, the final healing of the tissue under the scab can finish. As long as the tissue is infected, the scab will hang on, trying to protect the tissue from further damage.

To quickly heal a scab, apply triple antibiotic ointment with a topical analgesic. The ointment will keep the scab soft and moist, the antibiotic will prevent infection and the analgesic will stop the scab from itching, prompting you to disturb it. Cover the scab with a bandage if possible.

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