Naturally, hair transplant surgery is a scary yet exciting experience. There are so many unknowns that patients end up questioning if something is normal or not most of the time. We do provide general recovery milestones and instructions. Still, the scalp is under extreme scrutiny by the patient so the smallest changes can ring alarm bells. One such thing is the hair transplant scabs. Many people start fretting over it. Since they don’t go away in a couple of days, people might start believing that it’s a bad sign. However, in this guide, we’ll explore this facet of hair transplant surgery in detail. The good news is that you shouldn’t worry.
After going through such a significant change in life, many patients feel worried about the results of their surgery. Of course, it is desired that things go smoothly, so there’s nothing to stress about in the post-op recovery period. A reason why people find scabs so scary is that they’re associated with wounds that come from accidents or injuries. But what many people don’t think about is that scabs are, in reality, a sign of healing. Both FUT and FUE hair transplant surgeries involve their formation. They’re a part of the healing timeline. However, let’s understand them in greater detail. It’ll allay your fears.
What Are Scabs?
Scabs are a part of the wound-healing process. Their formation is quite normal. Without them, there wouldn’t be anything to stop the blood loss in case of injuries. This protective issue covers the damaged skin. Through this, it prevents the entry of harmful microorganism into the body. Thus, the wound’s infection risk is lowered.
Wherever our skin breaks open, the platelets together with protein, calcium and vitamin forms a blood clot to stop the blood from flowing. This blood clot is not as hard initially. However, as the days pass, it begins to develop a crusty appearance. It keeps getting drier. Meanwhile, the skin underneath continues to heal. When it finally does, the scab falls off, and the skin continues to grow. Depending on the shape and size of the wound, the amount of time for complete recovery can vary.
In the case of a hair transplant surgery, you will start noticing the formation of scabs after one-or two-days post-surgery. The micro incisions in FUE hair transplant will cause blood to come out. This will lead to the formation of blood clots and, eventually, scabs. The same goes for FUT hair transplant. But in that case, the size of the incision is much larger.
How Long Does It Take for the Scabs to Completely Go Away?
As the size of the wounds in FUE hair transplant is quite small, the scabs will take no more than two weeks, usually, to completely go away. After that, the recovery period will continue just as before. The only way you can ensure the successful removal of scabs is through the adherence to the aftercare instructions we provide. For FUT hair transplant, as the incision size is bigger, it can take longer for the scabs to fall off.
No matter what, you shouldn’t touch the transplanted area in the first week. On the 7th day, you can start to gently massage the transplanted sites. Having scabs means that you’re healing just well. Once the scabs start to fall, you might notice that the transplanted hair is falling along with them. You don’t have to panic about this. The roots of the hair follicle are still underneath the skin. This means that your hair will grow quite normally.
Is Itching Normal in Hair Transplant Scabs?
Growing up, you might’ve heard that if the wound’s itching, that means its healing. That’s scientifically true. The healing of a wound is perceived as an irritation. The nerves signal this stimulus to the central nervous system, which perceives it as an itchy sensation.
You might feel the urge to scratch these small scabs as they can get itchy. You are strongly advised against that. It might provide temporary relief, but you can alter the result of your surgery by dislodging the grafts while risking infection. If you do try scratching the itch, it might reopen the wound for the bleeding to resume. This will, of course, deter the healing process. Moreover, the risk of more prominent scarring increases. It can also cause swelling, pain, bleeding, or redness, which can slow down the healing. Therefore, do not scratch your scalp.
Can You Get Rid of Hair Transplant Scabs?
Hair transplant surgery will have scabs as a consequence. You might not instantly get rid of their existence after the surgery. But they’ll eventually wash off. A shampoo and lotion bottle will be given to you at the hospital for use in the recovery period. During the first two weeks, you have to apply the lotion and wait for 30 to 40 minutes. Your skin will get moisturised and soften up. It’ll also make it easier to remove the scabs without your touching them.
You will notice the crusts separating from the skin after 7 days and then going away after a period of 15 days. A gentle massage on the 7th day is allowed to increase the rate at which the scabs fall off your scalp. Do not be aggressive with them. If you use your fingertips or nails to get the crust off, the bacteria on your hands will increase the chances of infection. You should remember to focus on keeping your scalp clean and dry.
Dos and Don’ts of Hair Transplant Scabs
For starters, try to leave them on their own. Trying to peel off the crust of the wound is somewhat like the urge to pop a pimple. Neither are helpful. They end up doing more harm than good to your skin. Chances are that you’ll end up drawing blood, which is never good news. You should also avoid exposure of the wound to dirt or sweat. If it does happen gently clean the area.
An important thing to consider is taking a good night’s rest. It can strengthen your immune system. According to a study, wound healing can delay because of sleep restriction. Other than that, you need to consume nutritious meals that are rich in proteins, vitamin A, C, etc.
Lastly, avoid smoking. It is another factor that delays the healing of the wound. The constricted blood vessels are unable to carry sufficient oxygen to the body’s cells. This means the wounds will heal slowly. A lower number of white blood cells, which serve the function of fighting against bacteria, viruses and other foreign organisms, make their way to the wounds because of smoking, as the study suggests. An infection would prolong the recovery period.
By taking a few steps, you’ll ensure that the wounds on your head are healing properly. Moreover, you’ll keep the area safe and clean, speeding up its recovery. It can be a discomforting experience initially, but it is only temporary. The temptation to pick at a scab is quite a lot. They are also unsightly. However, remember to keep the end-goal in mind. You might feel better.
Will the Scabs Affect Hair Follicles?
They shouldn’t. Scabbing is a normal process in hair transplant surgery. You might notice some hair fall, as the scabs fall off, but it is nothing to worry about, as we mentioned above. However, the problem arises when the scabs persist existing on your scalp a little too long. If after 15 days, they haven’t gone away, you should consult the doctor. The scabbing should go away after a certain period of time. If you experience, bleeding, oozing, swelling, pain or, in general, a worsening situation, you need to get in touch with the doctor as soon as possible.
Hair transplant scabs are nothing you should bother about. Consultation with a doctor is important if you feel that your wound site is getting worse. They will take their time to go away on their own, but you can help speed up the process by following our washing instructions and massaging. You might feel the need to use your hands to remove them, but you know there are too many downsides to that. Successful recovery can take place if you control your urge to pick at hair transplant scabs.
You have to remember that they’re there for your protection, eventually. Removing them would make your skin vulnerable to infections. It is the way the human body works. As time passes by, you’ll notice the scabs becoming crustier. It’s a good sign and so is itching. If at any time, you have questions regarding this, do not hesitate to get in touch with us. Longevita will ensure to guide you about the post-op recovery period. While you’re healing, the mind can wander to imagine the worst-case scenarios. We offer our patients 12-month aftercare just so that you know that we’ve got you covered. You can book your aftercare support session with us by clicking this link.