Once a cold sore has hit the crusting period, a scab that might be yellow in appearance will show up. This is often referred to as a cold sore scab. Once the crusting period begins you can rest easy knowing that you are on your way to healing. A scabbed over cold sore is a sure sign. Do not be fooled by the crusting period. A cold sore can still be contagious until the skin is completely healed.
If your cold sore scab keeps coming off, bleeding is bound to occur. You should never pick off your cold sore scab. Picking a scab can not only cause infection, but can also leave behind a scar. To avoid a bleeding or cracking cold sore scab, you should protect the area by applying an over the counter treatment to keep the area moist. Keeping the area moist will keep the skin from cracking open. Using lidocaine or benzyl alcohol can also help keep your cold sore moist and clean. Petroleum jelly can also be a big relief in treating a cold sore scab. Do not touch the scab with your hands. Clean the area often with antibacterial soap. Applying antibiotic ointment is not a bad idea either. Neosporin should do the trick. To get some relief from the itching that always seems to accompany a scab, apply some ice to the area until it is numb.
Other at home remedies that some people swear by may seem a little odd, but have worked for some. For example, some folks cut open a NyQuil liquid tablet and apply the gooey inside liquid on their scab. Other people applying hydrogen peroxide to a cotton swab and swab their cold sore scab with it. While these methods may not work for you, they are definitely something worth looking into if you are someone who often suffers from cold sores and the unsightly scab they can leave behind.