What are Scabs?

Kam doesn’t fall over often.  So, it’s rare for him to have scabs.  This week he’s had chicken pox.  Inevitably he does have a few scabs.   So, instead of occasional scab questions I’ve been asked loads of them.

I’ve always told him his scabs are his very own body plasters and they are much better than shop plasters. They are very clever plasters because they cover wounds, heal skin and fight infection and baddie bacteria all at the same time.

We’ve found lots more scab information:

Scab over a wound
Scab covering a healing wound: Wiki

If you fall over or have an illness such as chicken pox you skin breaks. With a fall your skin may scrape off or with chicken pox that itchy blister pops or maybe it’s even scratched. Both leave an open wound on your body.

Straight away your body begins work.  Cells near the cut send help signals to your immune system.  Two things happen:

  1. White blood cells come to fight bacteria.  Macrophages fight bacteria already there around the wound and B blood cells make antibodies to surround bacteria and stop them spreading further into your body.
  2. Platelets, which are cells within your blood, clot.  Clotting is when the blood’s platelet cells glue or stick together.  They bind with fibrin to dry over, crust and harden.  Then, a water tight seal forms over the wound.  This is the scab.

Scabs are usually bumpy and dark red or brown.  Whilst the scab is over the wound new skin cells are being made to help repair the torn skin. Damaged blood vessels are being fixed. Infection is being fought and contained.

After a week or so the scab falls off and you see your new skin.  If you pick or pull at the scab,  the repair work stops and the new skin gets damaged.  It could get infected again.  Leave your scab alone, it is so clever and works hard for you.

(Fibrin, is a stringy protein that binds with platelets to clot).

 

 

I hope I’ve got this process right, if anybody can clarify for me I’d be grateful.  X

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