Why scabs itch and you shouldn't scratch

How Wounds Heal

When you injure yourself and cut, scrape, or burn your skin, blood begins to clot in order to stop the blood from excessively leaving your body. Blood clotting happens thanks to cells called platelets. Forming platelets is the body’s way to patch up a leak.

Eventually, when the wound stops bleeding, a scab forms. The scab helps protect the freshly injured skin from contaminants like bacteria and allows the skin to heal.

Underneath a scab, your body is working hard to repair damage to the skin and blood vessels. The body also enlists white blood cells to help clean up any foreign matter and bacteria in the wound. After some time, a scab will fall off to reveal brand-new skin. It’s a pretty amazing process.

Of course, the body can’t repair all wounds this way. Deep wounds and severe burns require emergency medical treatment. But most small nicks, cuts, scrapes, and surface burns heal well on their own in a healthy person.

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