Are those black scabs with uneven texture on your face worrying you? Do you know that scabs can leave marks on your skin, if not treated quickly?
Ayurvedic experts advise using natural healing herbs that repair and treat scabs on your skin from within. Read on to know the best natural remedies that quickly treat your scabs and improve your skin’s natural hue.
Our Ayurvedic Doctor Speaks
“Vrana chikitsa - healing of lesions/injuries, is taken very seriously in Ayurveda. Oils, processed with designated wound healing herbs, ointments, unguents, Panchakarma, and internal medicine are immaculately codified in sutras to heal skin wounds.’’
-Dr. Zeel Gandhi (Bachelor of Ayurveda, Medicine & Surgery), Chief Ayurvedic Doctor, Vedix
What Are Scabs And How Do Scabs Form?
Scab formation is part of your body’s natural defense mechanism in case of an injury or tissue damage. A scab is a protective coating of dead cells, formed over a wound to allow healing.
In the event of a tissue injury with blood loss, platelets in your blood close in on the wound site . And, the fibrinogen converts into fibrin (a hard protein), which binds the platelets to form a clot. Both vitamin K  and calcium, regulate the coagulation process and ensure stable hemostasis (a process of arresting blood flow).
Under the clot, the healing process continues, leading to epithelialization (formation of epithelial skin cells) and wound closure. And, the clot formed on the surface dries and is referred to as a scab.
Not just in the presence of blood, but scabs can occur whenever the epithelial layer is scraped off. Infections, rashes, acne, inflammation, burns, bruises, blisters can all leave behind scabs.
Why Do Scabs Itch?
Pulling sensations and itchiness are commonly experienced when your wound is healing. This is caused by the release of cytokines (inflammatory mediators) by the immune cells in the body during the healing process.
According to a study in 2016, itch in scabs from atopic dermatitis or eczema skin lesions were found to be due to sweat duct blockage. It is mainly caused by the biofilms formed by bacteria.
The occlusion of sweat glands can release certain chemicals such as histamine, as a part of your body’s immune response. This can stimulate purinoceptors (neurons that sense itch) into signaling the brain to acknowledge the itchy sensation around a scab. The very same cause can also lead to itchiness in scabs, formed due to an injury.
Dermatillomania or excoriation disorder is a neurological condition, that urges one to constantly pick on scabs and healthy skin. This type of obsessive-compulsive disorder poses a serious risk to the patient’s skin and overall health condition.
What Causes Scabs On The Face?
1. Wounds/ Burns/ Insect Bites
Cuts, burns, blisters, surgical wounds can all lead to scabs as your body repairs the damaged tissue layer. Certain insect bites such as mites (scabies) can cause an itchy, red rash, which leads to scabbing.
2. Atopic Dermatitis
Also known as eczema, atopic dermatitis  is a chronic inflammatory skin disorder. Every flare-up of this condition can leave you dealing with a red rash. The lesions are extremely itchy, and frequent scratching can lead to minor skin injuries and scabbing.
Psoriasis is an inflammatory condition, which causes itchy, red bumps that mature into silver scaly plaques. It can occur on the elbows, knees, face, and other skin areas. A psoriasis flare-up can last around 2 to 3 weeks. Eventually, there can be scab formations as the lesions heal.
4. Chicken Pox Or Shingles
It is an extremely contagious infection caused by the varicella-zoster virus. Chickenpox is characterized by a red, itchy, blister-like rash on the skin, accompanied by fever and fatigue. New blisters keep appearing for a period of 10 to 14 days as the old ones dry up and form scabs.
Shingles are more common in adults, who have been affected by chickenpox in their childhood. Reactivation of the varicella-zoster virus in the body is responsible for the condition.
Shingles display similar symptoms as chickenpox. Scratching the blisters caused by shingles can lead to hyperpigmentation and the formation of black scabs on the face and other body parts.
5. Acne Vulgaris
Acne is common skin trouble faced by all skin types. Excess sebum secretions on the face can lead to clogged pores. When these pores get infected by bacteria, it leads to inflamed and pus-filled acne lesions (pustules, papules, nodules). This can lead to the formation of acne scabs on the face.
6. Autoimmune Blistering Disorder
Autoimmune blistering disorders  are a rare group of diseases caused by immune dysfunction in the body. In these conditions, the immune system targets healthy body cells, perceiving them as a threat. As a result, blister-like lesions appear on the skin and the mucous membranes. Scabs occur on the face and other affected areas as the condition subsides.
A common skin infection in children, impetigo , can be caused by two types of bacteria- group A streptococcus and the staphylococcus bacteria. It is defined by red, inflamed, itchy lesions usually around the mouth and nose. These may even leak pus for the initial few days. The lesions crust over as they heal, forming golden-yellow scabs on the face.
8. Allergic Contact Dermatitis
Allergic contact dermatitis  causes an itchy skin rash that is triggered by exposure to an allergen. The irritant need not be a toxic compound. Substances like a new herbal or cosmetic product, essential oils, floor cleaners, latex rubber, bindi glue, etc. can stimulate the immunity reaction.
And, severe cases of inflammation may cause blistering, pus, and scab formation on the face and other areas, which were exposed to the allergen.
9. Cold Sores
Cold sore  is a highly contagious viral infection that causes tiny groups of blisters, usually around tdisplay. It is caused by the herpes simplex virus. The affected area may experience a slight burning sensation initially. Soon, pus-filled, painful blisters begin to appear that dry up and form scabs within a week. Cold sore scabs on the face are most likely to clear up within 2 weeks.
10. Cosmetic Procedures
Cosmetic procedures such as micro-needling, beard transplants can lead to scabs on the face. These procedures cause micro-injuries on the facial skin. These scabs occur within 2-3 days of the surgery and fall off as the skin recovers.
Vedix Tip: Boil a handful of guava, neem, and tulsi leaves in water for 5 to 10 minutes. Cool the liquid to room temperature and wash the scabs with it 3 to 4 times a day for quick healing.
How To Heal Scabs On The Face Fast?
A. Natural Remedies
A scab indicates an ongoing healing process. Thus, it must not be picked or scrubbed off until it’s naturally ready to fall off. Below mentioned are simple remedies that aid healing for quick scab removal.
1. Moisturize The Scab
Moisturizing the scabs on your face ensures quick healing. Apply a non-comedogenic moisturizer a few times a day, or whenever the scab and its surrounding skin feel dry and itchy.
A soothing warm compress can help you get rid of your scabs quickly. Dip a cotton pad in warm water. Squeeze out the excess water and apply the moist heat to the scab. Do this 2-3 times a day till the scab falls off.
3. Petroleum Jelly
Petroleum jelly is a well-known treatment for scabs. It forms a protective layer over your scabs, minimizing its exposure to harmful microbes. It is better to first moisturize and then apply petroleum jelly to seal moisture into your skin.
B. Ayurvedic Treatments
Dr. Zeel Gandhi, Chief Ayurvedic Doctor at Vedix, says, “Vrana chikitsa - healing of lesions/injuries, is taken very seriously in Ayurveda. Sushrut Samhita, fundamentally an ayurvedic text on surgery, has devoted many sections to wound healing techniques with minimum scarring. Oils, processed with designated wound healing herbs, ointments, unguents, Panchakarma, and internal medicine are immaculately codified in sutras to heal skin wounds.’’
1. Aloe Vera Gel
Kumari or aloe vera is an Ayurvedic herb, well-known for its skin-soothing, antibacterial, and wound healing properties. As the aloe gel comprises mainly water, it prevents the drying of wounds and strengthens the healing skin. It also promotes collagen production in wounds and thereby accelerates the healing process.
Apply the freshly extracted aloe vera gel on your scabs. You can leave it on like a moisturizer and apply it 2-3 times a day.
2. Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is often prescribed as a natural remedy for eczema scabs. Its anti-inflammatory (Pitta pacifying) and antimicrobial properties, help soothe irritated skin and prevent further chances of infection. Coconut oil’s moisturizing (Vata balancing) abilities nourish the damaged skin, and can quickly treat the scabs on your face and other affected areas.
Take a small amount of cold-pressed coconut oil and rub it in your palms to warm it up mildly. Now, apply it all over your scabs and massage gently for better absorption. Wash it off after 20 to 30 minutes. Repeat twice a day.
3. Turmeric Paste
A tridosha pacifier, turmeric or haridra is highly effective on scabs, formed from inflammatory disorders of the skin. This is due to the presence of the anti-inflammatory compound curcumin. Turmeric also has antibacterial properties and can quickly heal acne scabs on the face.
Take a tablespoon of turmeric powder and add lukewarm water or coconut oil to it. Mix well to make a paste and apply it over the scabs. Wash it off after 15 to 20 minutes. Repeat daily.
4. Yashtimadhu And Haritaki
Yashtimadhu and haritaki are widely used in Ayurvedic medicine for their antimicrobial and wound healing properties. While haritaki balances all three doshas, yashtimadhu nurtures a healthy Kapha that keeps the wound site moisturized. This shortens the period of wound healing and quickly treats your scabs on the face.
Mix haritaki and yashtimadhu powders in equal parts and add water/ coconut oil/ ghee to it. Mix well and apply this paste over your scabs. Wash it off after 30 minutes with lukewarm water. Repeat daily.
5. Ghee And Honey
The use of ghee and honey  to treat infected wounds was first cited in the ancient Ayurvedic text Sushruta Samhita. Honey’s acidic nature prevents bacterial proliferation at the wound site. Also, its antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties ensure quick wound healing.
However, due to its osmotic nature, honey absorbs excess moisture from the wound and loses its viscosity. This makes the dressings, made of only honey, difficult to maintain over wounds for a long time. An effective resolution to this problem is achieved by mixing ghee with honey. The combination creates a viscous dressing liquid with greater healing powers.
Applying a mixture of ghee (especially Jatyadi Ghrita) and honey on scabs, formed from burns, wounds, eczema, and psoriasis lesions expedite re-epithelialization. With the emergence of new healthy cells, the scabs naturally begin to fall off.
Add 1 part of ghee to 2 parts of honey and apply it over the scabs on your face. Leave it on for an hour and wash it off.
6. Neem And Tulsi
Both neem and tulsi exhibit powerful therapeutic properties, and are used extensively to treat various skin lesions. While neem pacifies the Pitta dosha and reduces inflammation, tulsi balances excess Vata and prevents itchy-dryness around the scabs.
Blend 8-10 tulsi and neem leave each. Add a few drops of coconut oil and apply the mixture to the scabs. Leave it on for 30 minutes and wash it off. Repeat as required.
Ayurvedic books suggest Panchavalkala  cream as ‘Vrana Shodhana’ (wound healing) ointment for the treatment of skin infections, non-healing lesions, ulcers, inflammation, redness and sepsis.
The ointment is prepared from the barks of 5 therapeutic plants namely- Vata, Udumbara, Ashwatha, Parish, and Plaksha. Application of this ointment ensures complete recovery of skin lesions and scabs on the face, without scarring.
8. Gandhak Rasayan
It is a traditional Ayurvedic medicine that uses gandhak or purified sulfur as its main component. It also includes 12 other herbs that promote wound healing. Gandhak Rasayan is available in the form of tonics, herbal powders, and tablets. This can be used to treat stubborn scabs on the face caused by severe skin diseases.
However, the medicine is meant for internal consumption. Hence, it is advisable to consult your Ayurvedic doctor for the correct dosage as per your wound severity and body constitution (Prakriti).
C. Home Remedies
Marigold leaves are a common home remedy for minor cuts, rashes, and insect bites. With antiseptic, anti-inflammatory and wound healing properties, applying the leaves over scabs on your face, can promote quick healing.
Take 15 to 20 marigold leaves and crush them with a mortar and pestle. Apply the paste on your scabs and leave it on for 20 to 30 minutes before washing off.
2. Avocado And Papaya Mask
Avocados are a rich source of vitamin C and E, that act as antioxidants. It assists skin healing and quick removal of scabs. Also, it helps fight free radical damage, lightening your complexion, and preventing chances of hyperpigmentation from the scabs on your face. Papaya nourishes your skin and gives it a smooth, supple texture.
Mash a ripe avocado and a few pieces of ripe papaya together. Apply it as a face mask and leave it on for 20 minutes before washing it off. Repeat daily till the scabs fall off.
3. Manuka Honey And Colloidal Oatmeal
Raw, unpasteurized honey has been clinically used since ancient days to treat wounds, burns, and infections . The anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, and antioxidant properties of unrefined honey reduce inflammation, infection and heal scabs on your face. It also lowers the risks of scarring.
Thus, honey is a great treatment for pimple scabs, and also black scabs formed from viral and bacterial infections. Adding colloidal oatmeal to honey increases the pack’s anti-inflammatory and skin-soothing properties.
Add a tablespoon of honey to 1 or 1 ½ tablespoons of colloidal oatmeal to get the desired consistency. Mix well and apply this directly on the scabs. Leave it on for 30 minutes and wash it off with lukewarm water. Do not exfoliate the scabs. Repeat daily.
How To Prevent Scabs On The Face?
Any kind of injury, inflammation, or acne is bound to give you a scab on the face. To prevent scab formation, you need to maintain healthy skin.
Measures to heal existing scabs and prevent their further appearance on your face include:
1. Identify and address the underlying issue that is causing scabs on your face.
2. Keep your scabs clean with a mild herbal cleanser that does not make your skin dry.
3. Understand your skin type to set a suitable and balancing skincare routine.
4. Moisturize the scabs and the skin around them to aid healing.
5. Do not pick, peel or exfoliate scabs as it can interrupt healing and lead to scarring.
6. If you are dealing with a deep wound, keep it covered by dressing it with honey and ghee.
7. Limit your exposure to direct sun, and always wear sunscreen while stepping out.
How Long Do Scabs On The Face Take To Heal?
Healing time for a scab depends entirely on the severity of the wound. Cleaning and moisturizing the scabs daily, and applying herbal remedies can heal them quickly. However, if a scab is accidentally removed, exposing the wound, then the entire process is likely to start again.
Scabs from superficial injuries can take about a week before they fall off naturally. Those from deeper wounds or infections like chickenpox may take anywhere between 2 to 3 weeks for complete recovery.
The Last Word
Scabs on the face can be aesthetically displeasing. However, as scab formation is a part of your body’s natural healing process, it is advisable not to forcefully remove them. Instead, treating the condition causing the scabs can ensure holistic skin healing, and prevent their frequent occurrence.
If you are unsure of the underlying issue, consult your Ayurvedic doctor to understand your skin type, dosha imbalances, and Prakriti (body constitution). This will help you set an effective treatment plan to quickly get rid of your scabs and reveal your naturally glowing skin.
At Vedix, we analyse your skin type and provide you with a customized Ayurvedic skin care regimen for your unique skin needs.Know Your Dosha Now
1. Wound Healing Phases, 2021 November
2. Role Of Vitamin K In Coagulation
3. Autoimmune Blistering Diseases
4. Impetigo: All You Need To Know, 2021 July
5. Allergic Contact Dermatitis: Overview, 2020 May
6. Cold Sores, 2019 December
7. Ghee And Honey Dressing For Infected Wounds, 2011 April
8. A Clinical Study On The Efficacy Of Panchavalkala Cream In Vrana Shodhana w.s.r To Its Action On Microbial Load And Wound Infection, 2014 April- June
9. Evidence For Clinical Use Of Honey In Wound Healing As An Anti-bacterial, Anti-Inflammatory Anti-oxidant And Anti-viral Agent: A Review, 2013 August
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