We spend a lot of time taking care of our face and our skin in general. But of course, sometimes there are situations we can’t avoid, right? There are way too many factors that influence the overall health of our face, and that can contribute to acne outbreak or the development of other skin conditions.
Having acne can be embarrassing and frustrating, but treating them is a must. And despite all of the things we must do, we also tend to do things we’re not supposed to. We pick on our acne, pop them, touch our face constantly. When we pop acne or they burst by accident, the damage is done. A scab forms, and now we’ve got another problem on our hands. So, here we’ll talk about how to heal acne scabs.
What Are Acne Scabs?
Scabs are the product of our body’s natural healing process. Their purpose is to protect our skin from bacteria and infections, giving time and space for our skin to heal. They usually take a lot of time to heal, and can sometimes leave a scar. This is a good thing because our body reacts to the tissue loss and it moves to prevent blood loss.
When there is a wound, certain cells called platelets help build the scab and stop the bleeding. This scab stays until the tissue has fully regenerated and healed(if you don’t pick it!), after which it falls off.
Now, when it comes to acne scabs, things are a bit different. First of all, acne can be deeper than normal wounds, and the scabs can also be a bit bulged, in the form of a bump. When a pimple bursts or we pop it, all the puss gets out, and when we have emptied the acne, our body reacts to this. A scab is formed right away, and the empty space starts to get filled with new skin cells.
Now, sometimes the depth of the acne can delay the healing and the formation of the scab, leaving the wound open, which can be really bad for our skin. Openings can leave our skin exposed and make it more prone to infection, and with that, leave a scar.
Sometimes the wound can get more inflamed and cause swelling.
How To Prevent And Treat Acne Scabs
Of course, our skin heals by itself, but this can take a long time. As scabs can be just as evident and embarrassing as acne, we can take a few steps to reduce healing time and lower the chance of infection or scarring. Here are some tips on how you can heal your skin and reduce the chance of the scabs turning into scars.
Acne scabs can be just as embarrassing as the acne itself, and since healing takes time, it’s normal to want to cover them. We use a lot of products to cover our acne and blemishes, but keep in mind that scabs (and your skin in general) need air. Makeup can clog our pores and create a thin layer which will not let the skin breathe, which can slow down the healing process.
If you really can’t go without makeup, switch to some lightweight products which are based on water, or simply products which are non-comedogenic.
Don’t Pick, Scratch or Squeeze the Scab
Leaving the scab alone is usually considered to be the best course of action. Yes, they can cause discomfort and be itchy, but putting our hands on them is not good. By picking it we risk reopening the wound. This means that your acne will take more time to heal, have more chance of getting infected, and there is a higher chance it will leave a scar.
If you must touch the scab, make sure to do so with clean hands. Just make sure not to scratch.
Keeping your wound clean is very important. This will prevent dirt, bacteria, and debris from concentrating around it, and potentially irritating it and cause further inflammation. So using antibacterial wipes, washing the face more often will do a lot of good for the healing process.
Scabs are usually dry and this can cause the surrounding skin to become dry too. As dryness can cause discomfort, using a moisturizer can soothe the skin and speed up the healing process. Ask your doctor if petroleum jelly is a good option for you.
Topical treatment can be applied to reduce some of the discomfort, itching, and pain caused by the scab, and also to speed up the healing process. First, you can apply some topicals to reduce the chance of infection.
Some antibiotic creams and lotions can help, but you should consult with a dermatologist before proceeding. Also, products that contain benzoyl peroxide can also help, as they will kill off any bacteria that may be close to the wound.
But, sometimes topical treatments may leave the skin dry and flaky, which will leave it more susceptible to irritation and inflammation. For this, you might want to try out some natural or DIY remedies that can soothe your skin and alleviate some of the side effects. Here’s what we recommend:
- Aloe vera – you can apply the aloe vera after you have treated your face with topicals or every day, to reduce irritation and inflammation. Aloe vera is known for its healing properties, which is why it’s used to soothe the symptoms and treat skin burns, frostbite and some skin conditions.
- Tea tree oil – since acne are usually infested with bacteria, using a natural product with strong anti-bacterial properties can help. Tea tree oil will keep the wound moist and bacteria free. You can use it in combination with petroleum jelly!
- Lavender oil – known for its anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties, lavender oil is a good option for all who want to give natural remedies a try. Lavender oil is good for lowering the discomfort and pain, helping you in keeping your hands off of your face.
If you want to get rid of the scab faster, enhancing the regeneration process is crucial. Applying warm compresses to the acne scab can increase the blood flow and speed up regeneration. It can also help maintain moisture in the affected area.
Sometimes the scabs can get inflamed and swell – and this is where a cold compress would come in handy. The cold will constrict the blood vessels and tighten the skin, which can close off pores and prevent bacteria and other irritants from entering the wound.
Scabs can leave scars, which is why we need to make sure to protect them. Yes, applying all the above-mentioned products can help, but what about the sun? Our sun can damage our skin and also slow down the healing process, so make sure to put sunscreen on your face when you go out.
There are also a few things that you can do in order to reduce the external factors which can irritate the skin and inflame the scab. If you work out, make sure to cover up the scabs or to protect them with a lotion or cream. Sweating might be healthy, but it’s not good for acne scabs. Sweat can bring bacteria and dirt to the wound and irritate it. Also, during the sweating, our body excretes toxins which can further irritate sensitive skin patches.
A natural remedy with amazing antibacterial and antiseptic properties, raw honey can be used to remove bacteria and provide protective cover for your acne scabs. Just apply on your scabs, leave it on for 30 minutes, and then rinse it off. Just make sure to use raw honey, not regular. Regular honey is filtered and pasteurized, meaning many of the beneficial ingredients in it are lost.
The exotic spice isn’t just a great addition to your food, but to your skincare regimen too. Rich with curcumin and other constituents that give turmeric antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, it can be used to treat acne and acne scabs.
A fairly popular remedy for many skin conditions, baking soda is a good option for all who want results faster. It has antiseptic and antifungal properties, but more importantly, it tightens the skin, helps the healing process and causes the scab to fall off. Bonus: it’s great for exfoliation.
Simply mix half a tablespoon of baking soda in 200ml/7oz water, stir it up and it’s ready to be put on your face. Cover all the affected areas, leave it on for 5-10 minutes and rinse it off good.