Ripping/Peeling Off Dry Skin Or a Scab on Shabbos


Q. Is one allowed to rip or peel off dry skin on Shabbos?

A. No.

שוע”ר שכח, לז. וראה משנ”ב סקצ”ז, ובערוה”ש סמ”א. וראה גם קצה”ש סימן קמג סק”ג.


Q. If not, would it make a difference if it was intentional or not, for example sometimes one can play with dry skin on his face, and it will unintentionally (eventually) fall off, is that problematic?

A. One should be cautious not to scratch or play around with dry skin as it will cause it to fall off.

ראה שו”ת לב חיים ח”ב סי קפ”ה.


Q. Similarly, is there a problem squeezing zits and pimples, etc. on Shabbos? Does one’s intention make a difference? And would it make a difference one is applying pressure to the zits etc. or if he is just touching it with his fingers?

A. Anything that might cause it to pop or bleed poses an issue.

שוע”ר שכח, לב. שמ, ג. וראה שו”ת לב חיים הנ”ל.


P.S. the above-mentioned applies to normal circumstances, if however there is pain involved different rules apply.


Q. Why are there no Geziros against the habit of picking one’s skin or lips, due to the problems it creates for Shabbos?

A. In general, it is hard to question the decision of the Chachomim when they have decided to institute a Gezeira and when not.

However, Poskim and Rabbonim throughout the ages have encouraged to break the habit of picking one’s skin, lips or hair and biting nails, as it can lead to several Issurim, namely transgressing a possible Issur from the Torah if one would continue doing so on Shabbos.


ראה בן איש חי אמור ה, ושם שגם לפעמים נכנס לחשש איסור אכילת בשר אדם. כף החיים קסא, יא, ושם, שמשום חשש איסור שבת יזהר. וראה הנסמן בפסקי תשובות שמ, א, ושם נזכר שבתלישת פיסות עור משפתיו בשיניו יש חשש איסור תורה, עיי”ש.

וראה אזהרת שבת מאלצאן ע׳ 18 שזהו פירוש אם תשיב משבת רגליך, שרגליך היינו הרגילות שרגיל לתלוש צפרניו בשיניו או קליפת עור בשפתיו ואצבעותיו.


Q. Is one allowed to peel off a dry scab on Shabbos?

A. One is permitted to peel a scab with ones hand even when the wound healed and one has no pain from it. However, if it will cause bleeding one may not do so.


שו”ע או״ח שכח, כב. שוע”ר שם, כח. וראה קצות השלחן קלו, יד ובבדה”ש כב.