Meth Sores & Effects of Meth Use on Skin

Meth abuse causes physiological damage that includes the destruction of your brain’s pleasure centers, but the physical side effects associated with this drug are, quite frankly, horrific. While hair loss and rotting teeth are common physical traits among meth addicts, one of the most prevalent and shocking physical side effects of this drug come in the form of meth sores.

What Do Meth Sores Look Like?

Meth sores can occur on any part of the body, but are most commonly seen on the face, forehead and mouth. Although these sores look like acne or a light rash at first, they become easily infected and spread, eventually affecting large areas of skin. The resulting scars are considered an unavoidable symptom of regular meth use.

Why Do Meth Users Get Sores?

There are several factors which can contribute to the drug-related skin issue. Some of those factors include:

  • Sores and scars around the mouth are commonly caused by smoking a pipe that’s too hot.
  • Many meth addicts also suffer from formication – a constant urge to scratch and pick at skin.
  • Because meth use can constrict blood vessels, it reduces the supply of blood to the skin and ultimately slows the healing process associated with picking and scratching.
  • Meth users also frequently sweat toxins out of their pores, which can further redden and damage the skin without proper hygienic care.

Meth Sores Treatment

People who use meth regularly may develop skin problems. The most common problem is skin sores caused by scratching related to intense itching caused by dehydration and chemical imbalance.1 The sores may occur due to users picking at “crank bugs,” a hallucination that they may experience involving insets crawling under the skin.2,3 Treatment often involves waiting for the sores to heal, which will occur overtime if they have not become infected. Like other wounds, proper hygiene and care will help meth sores heal.

Some of the effects from meth sores aren’t permanent, as long as you get clean and stay clean. Scars can be reduced and show improved healing overtime without further use of the drug. There are several different ways to help the healing of meth sore scars as well as to soothe healing sores.

Meth dehydrates the skin and can cause oil imbalance in the skin which can be mitigated with natural oils to help heal the skin. There are a variety of different oils and topicals that are created to help lessen the appearance of scars. Important ingredients in these topical treatments include aloe vera and vitamin E.4

Old and raised scarring may require the attention of a dermatologist in order to reduce visibility and promote blending of scar tissue.

Either way, if you continue to use meth, the scars will remain and likely worsen. In many cases,  the sores and scars tend to reappear after a relapse.

Long Term Effects of Meth Use

Hallucinogenic mushrooms contain ibotenic acid, muscimol, and psilocybin depending on the type of mushroom.1 The long-term effects of abuse depend on the person, but the risks results from the way hallucinogenic mushrooms affect the brain. Since the active components in mushrooms alter neuron interactions, prolonged use can lead to permanently affected brain chemistry.2

One of the major risks of continuing to use hallucinogenic mushrooms is that users run the risk of experiencing a “bad trip” which can lead to violent outbursts during which they do major harm to themselves.2 “Bad trips” can also lead to horrifying and frightening experiences that trigger paranoia, anxiety, or even schizophrenia in those who are predisposed to developing the disorder. This may lead to symptoms such as:2

  • Violent outbursts during usage
  • Persistent psychosis
  • Paranoia
  • Visual disturbances
  • Disorganized thinking
  • Mood changes
  • Worsening anxiety or bipolar disorder
  • Worsening or triggered schizophrenia

Quitting meth is a difficult process and going through withdrawal can increase the risk of relapse. While relapse happens in both users who attend and do not go to treatment, the support and care that patients receive in detox and rehab may help make ridding the body of the drug, going through recovery, and avoiding relapse easier.

If you or someone you love is struggling with an addiction to Meth, reach out to Project Know to speak with someone about how addiction treatment can help recovery. Call us to put together a personalized and individual treatment plan. You can have a healthier future.

Sources: 

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/326088.php

https://www.healthline.com/health/essential-oils-for-scars

Additional Reading: Couple High on Meth “Trapped” in Unlocked Closet for Days

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