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Hair Transplant Scabs: What Are They & How To Deal With Them

Hair transplant scabs are the little bits of dried-up blood that will form as a normal part of the healing process after the procedure. These little dot-like bits appear on the parts of the scalp that have received hair grafts. Scabs cover the small cuts that were made during the surgery. The doctor makes these small cuts or channels to transplant the hair follicles in them.

Let’s go through some of the key points of this article:

  • LIGHT BLEEDING AFTER HAIR RESTORATION SURGERY IS NORMAL.
  • SCABS ARE HEALING LESIONS AND A NATURAL PART OF RECOVERY.
  • ALL THE SCABS ON THE SCALP WOULD FALL OFF 14 DAYS POST-OP.
  • YOU WILL BE GIVEN INSTRUCTIONS ON HOW TO DEAL WITH SCABS
  • SCABS CAN BLEED IF YOU PICK ON THEM
  • BLOOD THINNING PRODUCTS WOULD CAUSE EXCESSIVE BLEEDING.


Welcome to the hair transplant scabs article where you will get the answers to your questions. Let’s start with the first questions in mind!

What Are Scabs After Hair Transplant?

Scabs after hair transplant are the body’s natural response to the surgical procedure. During the procedure, the doctor would create small channels so they could put the hair grafts in them. These channels will be the small wounds that will eventually turn to the scabs.

Why Do Scabs Form?

The main reason that scabs form after the surgery is the channels that are made on the scalp but the other reasons for the formation of scabs are:

  • PROTECTING THE SKIN
  • STOPPING BLOOD LOSS
  • PREVENTING INFECTIONS

The existence of scabs is an indication of healing. They protect the skin so nothing goes out such as blood and tissue fluid while nothing comes in such as bacteria that can cause infections. 

How Do Scabs Form?

What Do Scabs Look Like After A Hair Transplant?

When the channels are made on the scalp they look like dots. Therefore when scabs are made on them from dried blood they look like little dark red or brown dot-like crusty pieces.

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How To Deal With Scabs? Do's And Don'ts

To properly deal with scabs after your procedure as a hair transplant patient is crucial to your initial healing process and long-term results. So, here is what you have to do and what you should not do with the scabs. Now, let’s see what you should and shouldn’t do while experiencing scabs.

DO:

  • FOLLOW YOUR DOCTOR’S HAIR TRANSPLANT AFTERCARE
  • WASH THE SCABS SOFTLY
  • DRY YOUR SCALP GENTLY
  • USE THE LOTION YOUR DOCTOR GAVE YOU
  • AVOID DIRECT SUNLIGHT
  • KEEP YOUR SCALP CLEAN

DON’T:

  • SCRATCH THE SCABS
  • PICK THE SCAB FORMATION
  • USE PRESSURIZED WATER TO WASH YOUR SCALP
  • DRINK ALCOHOL OR SMOKE
  • WEAR TIGHT HEADWEAR
  • EXERCISE VIGOROUSLY

When Do Scabs Fall Off?

Scabs start to form pretty much right after the procedure and will stay on until the small wounds are completely healed. The scabs should not be removed before that. This means that scabs after hair transplantation are likely to start falling off between 7 to 14 days after the procedure.

What To Do If Hair Transplant Scabs Are Not Falling Off?

If the scabs after hair transplantation do not fall off within 7 to 14 days after the procedure you should contact your hair transplant doctor post-op team. They can further help you with your situation.

Do not be alarmed it is not a big problem, but it is better to be dealt with as soon as possible.

What To Do If I Have Scabs After 3 Weeks?

If after 3 weeks you still have scabs, it is best to contact your doctor to be sure there are no problems.

In the meantime, try to follow the instructions such as moisturizing and proper cleaning of the scalp that your doctor gave you, and be patient with your scalp until it heals completely.

How To Remove Scabs After Hair Transplant?

Getting scabs off after a hair transplant is of utmost importance. That is why you will be given specific instructions to follow to get rid of scabs on your scalp.

Here are the post-op instructions to take care of your healing wounds without any complications.

  • USE THE LOTION THAT YOUR DOCTOR GAVE YOU AND KEEP YOUR SCALP MOISTURIZED.
  • LATHER UP SOME MILD SHAMPOO IN THE PALM OF YOUR HANDS AND GENTLY PAT IT ON YOUR SCALP TO CLEAN IT UP.
  • USE WARM WATER TO WASH OFF THE SHAMPOO.
  • PAT DRY YOUR SCALP WITHOUT RUBBING IT.
  • DO NOT USE YOUR NAILS OR BRUSHES ON YOUR SCALP TO AVOID REMOVING ANY OF THE TRANSPLANTED HAIR.

Can I Use Baby Oil To Remove Hair Transplant Scabs?

No, your doctor will give you a special lotion at the clinic which you should use to help with the healing and scab removal.

Can I Use Coconut Oil To Remove Hair Transplant Scabs?

No, it is a priority to use the lotion your doctor has given you. For any alternatives before using them consult your doctor.

Should I Remove Scabs After Hair Transplant by Myself?

No, you should not attempt to remove your scabs before they have completed their purpose. Using your nails or anything rough to remove the scabs will hurt your scalp and affect your hair transplant result.

Picking the scab before its time can cause:

  • BLEEDING
  • DISLODGING THE IMPLANTED HAIR FOLLICLE
  • SCARRING
  • HIGHER RISK OF INFECTION
  • LONGER HEALING PROCESS
  • DELAY HAIR GROWTH


Scabs after hair transplantation form to protect the skin and keep the implanted hair in place until it is properly established in the scalp. Until the hair follicles are completely anchored in the scalp, there should be no pulling on the transplanted hair. To reduce the infection risk, i
t would be better not to pick the scabs.

HOWEVER

After the healing period if any scabs are left on the scalp can hinder hair growth and cause itching as well. So to avoid that, the scabs should be removed approximately 10 days after the procedure.

Khanna M. Hair transplantation surgery. Indian J Plast Surg. 2008 Oct;41(Suppl):S56-63. PMID: 20174544; PMCID: PMC2825128.

The Molecular Biology of Wound Healing. PLoS Biol. 2004 Aug;2(8):e278. doi: 10.1371/journal.pbio.0020278. Epub 2004 Jul 20. PMCID: PMC479044.

Bernstein RM, Rassman WR. Graft anchoring in hair transplantation. Dermatol Surg. 2006 Feb;32(2):198-204. doi: 10.1111/j.1524-4725.2006.32033.x. PMID: 16442039.