Hair transplant is the only permanent solution that addresses your concerns about how to fix receding hairline and combatting progressive hair loss. However, several factors contribute greatly to the success rate of your hair transplantation to restore your hair. Among them, post-operative care has crucial importance to ensure the growth of the grafted follicles to avoid hair transplant infection in the operated area, which could potentially jeopardize the survival of your transplanted hair. Another issue that you will encounter during the post-operative phase will be scabbing and crusting as the incision areas begin to heal. While both hair transplant scabs and crusts are natural outcomes of the procedure, it is important to know how to treat them without irritating your scalp or damaging the grafted hair follicles.
What Causes Scabs on Your Scalp?
- Scabs after hair transplant provide the necessary protection for the injured tissues.
- Scabbing indicates the initialization of the healing period.
A scab is a layer that forms over a cut or other skin injury during the wound healing process. A crust is a hard coating forming as a result of the coagulation of blood, exudates, and dead skin. As a part of the body’s protective response towards an injury, your blood cells called platelets form a cloth to stop the bleeding and keep off the germs which could lead to an infection in the wounded site. Similarly, during the hair transplantation surgery, your surgeon makes small incisions to create micro-channels in the recipient site to graft the harvested hair follicles. At Dr. Serkan Aygin Clinic, we utilize different methods such as Sapphire FUE which is specifically designed for creating precise incisions to minimize the scab formation on your scalp.
In 24 to 72 hours after the hair transplantation, small scabs begin to form your scalp once the bleeding and tissue fluids have ceased to ooze from the incisions, indicating that your wounds have begun to heal. Thus, as an answer to your concerns regarding what causes scabs on scalp, we can say that scabs and crusts forming on your scalp after a hair transplantation operation are caused by your body’s defense mechanism, functioning like a bandage over the incisions to defend them against bacteria.
Remember that you should not consume substances like alcohol, cigarettes, and drugs before your hair transplantation to avoid excessive scabbing. Clinical evidence demonstrates that such substances impair wound healing and even increase the incidence of infection.
How Can You Prevent Infection After Hair Transplant?
While scabbing and crusting are the expected outcomes of a hair transplant surgery, it is important to know that infection in the donor side or in the graft area is not expected, and it could have detrimental effects on the survival of the grafted follicles. Thanks to the technological advancements in surgical techniques, the risk of developing an infection after hair transplant surgery is low, as one study finds excessive bleeding and infection in 1.3% of patients. The main cause of infection after a hair transplant is unsanitary conditions, indicating that the donor site or the graft site is not sanitary and has come into contact with bacteria. As infection can ruin the overall looks of your restored hairline, as you may observe from hair transplant infection pictures and necessitate an additional hair transplantation operation to correct, it is important to distinguish infection if you have any worries like, “how can I prevent infection after hair transplant?”.
- Excessive redness and swelling
- Bleeding as a result of the infection
However, infection after a hair transplant can be prevented with the help of antibiotics and proper post-operative care. It is essential to follow each step in the post-operative hair wash to remove the debris on your scalp and let the wounds heal under hygienic conditions with the help of the shampoos and lotions we provide.
Hair Transplant Crust Scab Removal
Usually, within 3 days after the hair restoration surgery, scabs begin to form and become firmly attached to your scalp. As they may feel itchy, you may feel like picking or scratching the scabs and removing the hair transplant crust. However, this will only delay the healing process and even worse, dislocate or worse, pull out the grafted hair follicles. Therefore, instead of a forceful hair transplant crust scab removal, wait for the scabs to fall off on their own and follow the post-operative guidelines explained to you by your surgeon.
How Many Days After Hair Transplant Scabs Fall Off?
- The first days are critical. Avoid touching your scalp for the first 4 days after the operation to avoid infection and allow the wounds to heal underneath the scabs and crusts.
- Wash your hair in the manner described by your surgeon, and do not rinse your hair with pressurized hot water. Use small cups of water instead.
- Do not use your nails to remove the crusts when gently massaging your scalp and applying your special shampoo and lotion. Similarly, do not exert too much pressure, otherwise, you may dislodge the grafted follicles.
Scabbing and crusting usually start to appear with some redness and mild discomfort on the scalp. While most hair transplant scabs will remain on your scalp roughly until the tenth day after the operation, they will begin to loosen up after this period, and naturally come off approximately 7-14 days after the hair transplantation if you have followed your surgeon’s recommendations. Yet, depending on the number of grafts, their density, and size, this duration may show variations from person to person. However, if your scabs and crusts still persist beyond 14 days, we highly recommend you consult your surgeon. Provided that all scabs are removed 15 days after the hair transplant operation, you may use any other shampoo of your preference to wash your hair.