Children are often told not to pick at their scabs because scabs help heal. This conventional wisdom is technically false. A scab actually prevents new skin cells from forming, which can result in scarring. Preventing a scab is the best way to promote healing. However, removing a scab is also dangerous, as doing so can strip a layer of new skin and start the process over again---leading to longer healing and scar formation. There's a right way and a wrong way to remove scabs from a wound. Doing so properly will result in healthier skin more quickly.
Moisten and Clean
For the vast majority of wounds, scab removal is a matter of keeping the affected area clean and washing it often, which will remove the scab little by little over a period of time. Keeping a scab moist and clean will cause it to heal much more quickly. Take a moist rag with soap and gently clean around your scab. Make sure that the whole scab itself, including around the edges, has been scrubbed very lightly. Be as tender and light with your cleaning as you possibly can---if you are too rough, the scab will begin bleeding, then will scab over again, impeding the healing process. Apply an antibiotic ointment, and you'll be one step closer to healing.
Many individuals who have undergone surgery, especially hair restoration surgery, are encouraged to try and remove the scabs that form, as they can harvest bacteria. Such scab removal should only be attempted using special techniques. For instance, those who have undergone hair restoration are often given special shampoo which is massaged into the scalp with the fingertips, encouraging the removal of scabs. Others recommend a biotin spray. Whatever the case, if your scabs require postoperative treatment, check with your doctor for the correct procedures!
What Not to Do
Of course, some people become impatient and want to remove scabs immediately. Doing so nearly always guarantees a longer healing period and a noticeable scar. Whatever you do, do not remove scabs by peeling or scraping them away. Do not pick at the edges or even poke and prod to see if they're "hard enough" to remove. Your body sheds a scab when it is no longer necessary---your job is to keep it clean and promote healing bit by bit.