Why Meth Use Leads to Skin Sores
Skin damage is common after using methamphetamines, but the cause of meth sores is not what you may think.
The negative effects of methamphetamine on the human body are countless. From liver, kidney and lung disease to tooth and mental decay, methamphetamine is clearly harmful. The most visible damage that happens to the body is on the skin.
What Are Meth Skin Sores?
Prolonged meth abuse can lead to an exacerbation of acne problems, a suppression of the immune system and a proliferation of skin infections. All of these problems lead to skin lesions known as meth sores—red dots, rashes, and cuts. Think of chicken-pox gone wrong. However, the most prevalent cause of meth sores might come as a surprise.
The most common cause of skin damage after meth use is actually self-inflicted. Since the person is under a heavy drug state, they might not notice the damage caused to their skin, leaving it open to fester. In a worst-case scenario, a person on methamphetamine might be scratching their wound for hours without realizing they are doing so, making the damage even worse. Why, though, would anyone scratch their skin for such sustained periods of time?
The answer: meth bugs.
What are Meth Bugs?
Meth bugs are not real bugs. They are hallucinations caused by meth that leads a person to believe there are bugs crawling on or under their skin. In this state of delusion, the person will obsessively scratch and dig at their faces and arms. In other words, meth bugs don’t exist, but they have real and noxious consequences.
Skin damage is, therefore, a key indicator of meth use and typically meth addiction. Sores and meth use are correlated; the more sores a person has, the longer they have been abusing the drug.
Here are the most common causes of meth skin sores when using methamphetamines:
- Unsterile injections
- Burning the lips or mouth
- Unhealthy diet
- Poor hygiene
- Compulsive scratching
With the proper treatment, people begin to see these symptoms start to vanish.
How To Get Rid of Meth Sores
Meth sores are incredibly harmful. Scratching open sores can often lead to infections, and if these are not treated by medical professionals, they can spread to the rest of the body.
Did you know? Meth is a vasoconstrictor. It makes the vessels in the body that transport blood get tighter, so it ends up restricting blood flow to your extremities. Since the skin needs help from the blood to repair itself, meth’s constricting capabilities limit the ability of the skin to repair itself, leaving sores open for longer periods of time where they are much more likely to get infected.
The best way to get rid of meth sores is to engage in a healthy lifestyle, which means eating well, exercising, and, of course, stop using methamphetamines. Once the skin receives the nutrients it needs to repair itself, the sores will go away within a week or two of withdrawal. Make sure to leave any open wounds alone (no picking or scratching) and to wash them to prevent infections.
Remember that it can be dangerous to detox from serious drugs like methamphetamine alone. Contact a medical professional today who can help address these issues and provide you with a path forward. Your health is paramount to your longevity—take the necessary steps to improve it today.