What to know about scabs on the face

Scabs are protective scabs from dried blood clots that form on wounds. Scabs on the face can occur because the face has a cut or scratch. They can also form on the face as a result of acne, an allergic reaction, or another illness.
Scabies is a natural reaction. It allows the body to protect itself from viruses and bacteria that can enter through an open wound. Scabs can take a week or more to heal, and in some cases, they can leave a scar.

Scabs can be itchy and, in some cases, painful. Also, a scab can cause discharge, bleeding, or cause a tingling sensation. It is best to avoid scratching the scabs, as this can lead to more bleeding, increase the chance of infection, and increase the likelihood of a scar remaining after the wound has healed.


Scabs on the face can form for many different reasons. Scabs are usually the result of cuts or scrapes that a person has on their face. However, scabs can form on your face for other possible reasons.

Pimples and other forms of acne are another reason why your face can scab over. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, acne affects 50 million people per year in the United States. Scabs can appear on a person’s face for many possible reasons:

  • Pimples
  • Herpes.
  • Acne.
  • Eczema.
  • Dry skin that causes cracks.
  • Cold sores, particularly around the lips and mouth.
  • Autoimmune disorders
  • Bacterial infections.
  • Allergic reactions.
  • Non-melanoma skin cancer, which can form scab-like patches and lesions.

Treatment and home remedies

Most scabs, especially small ones, heal without intervention. The body heals itself when it comes to nicks and cuts. However, some scabs may take more than a few weeks to go away. A person may wish to speed up the process if this is the case. People can try some of the following treatment methods to help with the healing process:

Avoid scratching or harvesting the scab.

Scratching or picking at a scab can be tempting. Scabs can be itchy or painful, which can make someone want to itch or scratch them.
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However, people should avoid doing this. If a person breaks open a scab, it can lead to a viral or bacterial infection and delay the healing process.

Use oil-free moisturizer

Hydrating the scab can help keep the healing process moving. Also, a moistened scab is less likely to be itchy or painful, which can help a person avoid scratching or biting. Many oil-free moisturizers are available to purchase online.

Keep clean

Another way to help ensure the wound heals is to keep the scab and surrounding skin clean and free of debris. People can do this in the morning and in the evening, or any time of day that a person can wash their face.

Also, a person should avoid touching their scab or letting others touch it. If contact is necessary, a person should wash their hands before and after touching the scab.

Use sunscreen

The sun can be harmful to the skin, so it is best to apply sunscreen before going outside. For people with scabs on their faces, applying sunscreen can also help prevent scars. Another benefit, as with moisturizer, is that sunscreen can help keep the scab moist and help the healing process.

Use a warm compress

Using a warm, wet compress can help stimulate blood flow to the scab and the surrounding area. Increased blood flow around the site can help the body speed up its healing and recovery process. A warm compress can also help keep the scab moist.

Using antibiotic creams

Antibiotic creams are available over the counter. The medicine in these creams can help the scabs heal faster. They can also help relieve pain and itching from the scab. A person can apply a thin layer of antibiotic cream to the scab daily with clean, dry fingers or a cotton swab.


  • Woman on beach in sun hat wearing and putting sunscreen on face
  • Wearing sunscreen can help prevent sun damage to your skin.
  • It is not always possible to prevent scabs from forming on the face.

A person should take adequate precautions when working with materials that may come into contact with their face and that may cause a cut or scratch.
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People with acne or those with a lot of pimples on their face should avoid touching the acne or popping the pimples.

A person with a cold sore should use preventative medications to help prevent outbreaks. Similarly, anyone with an autoimmune or other disease should follow their treatment plan and medications to prevent flare-ups of their symptoms. Also, people should take steps to protect their face from excessive dryness and the sun. People can do this with moisturizers, sunscreen, and hats with visors.

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