why do scabs disintegrate after prolonged exposure to water?


I just got some gnarly road rash, and it had crusted over pretty nicely. A solid, bumpy scab. Hopped in the shower and within minutes it had completely turned to goop, and my wounds, now raw again, started to hurt like a sonofabitch. What about water renders them completely useless?

In: Biology

Scabs are principally clumps of clotted platelets (one type of cell in blood) the air-exposed part of which dries out and hardens. Rehydration can restore the “wet” version of scab in part and make it less structurally stable. Add movement (such as the flow of water in a shower) and the sloughing away of the clot is relatively easy under wet conditions.