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Almost everyone has gotten a scrape wound at least once in their life. But while the usual healing process involves the scab turning a deep purple or brown, for some, the colors might not be the same. There are times when instead of the wound being covered by a fresh layer of skin on top, it turns into a pale yellow color. The only question is, what does this mean? Is yellow scabbing on the wound normal, or is it infected? To find out the cause of your discolored scab wound, keep on reading this blog.

What Does it Mean if a Scab is Yellow?

When a wound is healing, it will go through multiple phases before finally coming into its original form. Be it the color or the texture, everything shifts gradually as new skin cells start to form on top of the wound. However, before this, a scab is formed. It’s your skin’s way of protecting your body from bacterial infection, using dried-up blood as a barrier. Although for some people, it can adopt a yellowish tint rather than the scab being dark brown, purple, or red.

A yellow scabbing typically indicates pus building under the skin, leading to an infection. It happens when you don’t care for the wound properly or keep picking at it.

Yellow Scabbing on Wound: Causes

Even though a scab is supposed to be thick and crusty, it can sometimes crack, causing a clear or yellowish liquid to ooze out of the wound. This is normal and not usually a cause for concern. However, the pale color could be a result of the following:

  1. Impetigo
    Impetigo is a contagious skin infection that turns a normal wound yellow. Despite being common and benign, it can develop a cloudy crust over the wound, with a pus-like liquid seeping out. Impetigo tends to clear out on its own, so you don’t have to worry about it too much.
  2. Cold sore
    Another cause of a yellow scab is HSV or herpes simplex virus, which further gives way to cold sores. These are often found near the lips, leading to a tingling, burning sensation. The blisters or sores could also be filled with yellow pus, but they pop themselves, the liquid draining out.

How to Treat Yellow Scabbing on Wound

Depending on the cause of the yellow scabbing, the treatment can differ. However, the very first thing you need to take care of is hygiene. If you scrap your skin or get an open wound anywhere on your body, do not ignore it. Be very gentle with it, and try to avoid skin-to-skin contact as much as possible.

Allow the wound to develop a crust on top so it is not susceptible to infection. Plus, do not scratch the scab, no matter how tempting it may be. If you have to clean it, use a clean washcloth and sanitize it after.

If the wound remains and seems to worsen after a few days, contact a wound care specialist immediately.

Bottom Line

All in all, yellow scabbing on wounds is nothing to be worried about. As long as you handle the wound with proper care and hygiene, it will resolve on its own. But if the wound seems to worsen rather than heal, you may need to get it evaluated by a specialist. For more information, contact Sharaf Diwan, MD, at (832) 604-0005 or visit 18220 TX-249 #230, Houston, TX 77070. You can find us at the Houston Methodist Willowbrook Hospital.

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