Today’s Wonder of the Day was inspired by Braylon. Braylon Wonders, “How do scabs reform on your skin?” Thanks for WONDERing with us, Braylon!

It’s happened to all of us. One minute, you’re having a great time playing with your friends. The next, you’re on the ground, nursing a scraped knee or elbow. These wounds sure can hurt! Worse yet, it may take days or weeks for them to heal.

How exactly do cuts and scrapes heal? In many cases, the process requires a scab. If you’ve ever had a scab, you know they’re not much fun to deal with. Still, they’re an important part of the healing process! Have you ever WONDERed just how scabs form?

Scabs always start with damage to the skin. When your body realizes it’s been injured, it will form a blood clot. This is made from platelets and clotting factors. The clot helps stop the bleeding from your wound. 

That’s when your injury starts to heal. As your skin tissues grow, they push the blood clot outward. That’s how it ends up as a scab over your wound. It helps protect you from infection by keeping germs out of your injury. A scab is a sign that your body is healing itself.

Have you ever had a scab? If so, you know they can be sore or itchy. They can also ooze from time to time. Scabs are often uncomfortable, but it’s important to let them do their job. Picking at a scab can lead to infection and other issues. 

How long does it take for a scab to heal? It depends on the size of your wound. Some scabs may go away after a few days, while others could take several weeks. Scabs will grow smaller as your skin continues to heal. 

There are also a few ways you can help scabs heal. It helps to keep the area clean by washing it with soap and water. You should also keep the area moist—this will limit itchiness. It can also help to protect the scab with bandages and use warm and cold compresses as needed.

When a scab goes away, it can leave a scar. This is formed by new tissue that may be red or shiny. Some scars are permanent, but many go away after a few years.

Not all wounds form scabs. If you’ve ever had a minor paper cut, you know that to be true. Very small injuries rarely scab. Additionally, injuries that don’t cause bleeding won’t result in scabs.

Remember, scabs play an important part in healing. They may seem unsightly or uncomfortable, but they’re a sign your body is protecting itself. The next time you see a scab form over a scrape or cut, do what you can to support your body’s natural healing process.

Standards: NGSS.LS1.A, CCRA.L.3, CCRA.L.6, CCRA.R.1, CCRA.R.2, CCRA.R.4, CCRA.R.10, CCRA.SL.1, CCRA.W.3, CCRA.L.1, CCRA.L.2

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