What Does Meth Do To Your Skin?
Methamphetamine is a powerful stimulant drug that can cause hyperactivity and hallucinations. Someone on meth may repeatedly pick and scratch their skin, leading to skin damage and other physical effects.
There are several side effects of meth, including hyperactivity, hallucinations, and a wide-awake state of mind.
People high on meth may repeat actions and feel imaginary bugs on their skin, leading to constant skin picking, scratching, and rubbing.
Long-term effects of meth abuse may also damage skin cells and cause “meth face.” Below we’ll explore all the ways meth use can damage the skin.
How Meth Affects Skin And Face
Smoking crystal meth or ingesting other forms of meth induces euphoria and energy. It does this by filling the body and central nervous system with dopamine.
While these short-term feelings are pleasurable, there are many dangerous effects methamphetamine use has on the body.
Some of these effects are:
- weight loss
- constricted blood vessels
- increased blood pressure
- faster heart rate
A common side effect of methamphetamine addiction is fidgeting, twitching, or constantly scratching their skin and body. Meth can also affect the life of skin cells as well.
Effects of meth on the skin and face include:
- sores, scabs, lesions, and wounds
- burn marks
- accelerated aging
- dry and itchy skin
- meth mouth
Let’s explore some of these in depth.
Face And Skin Sores
Someone high on meth may feel “meth mites,” a feeling that imaginary bugs are crawling under or on top of their skin.
To get rid of this feeling, someone will harshly scratch at their skin, creating wounds and lesions. Skin and face sores can also be a result of picking at these sores.
Smoking is the most common way meth is abused. Meth must be heated and inhaled using meth pipes.
Dropping hot pipes, misusing lighters, and sharing unclean meth bubblers can cause burns, lesions, and infections.
Smoking meth also has effects on the mouth. Meth mouth describes a variety of negative oral implications meth has.
Meth mouth can include:
- tooth decay
- dry mouth
- rotting teeth
- ulcers, lesions, and infections on lips and face (referred to as “meth face”)
Many who abuse meth in vast quantities may go on binges lasting anywhere from a few days to several weeks. During this time, eating, drinking, and personal hygiene are often ignored.
Malnourishment can lead to dry skin and a lack of care for physical appearance and cleanliness. Dehydration and lack of proper cleaning worsen meth sores and skin infections.
Along with sparking repeated actions that create skin damage, meth also affects skin cells on a molecular level.
Similar to other common drugs used for substance use, meth can accelerate the aging process of face and skin cells.
People who have participated in substance abuse for a long time may appear older than they really are. Their skin can become withered and wrinkled at a much younger age.
Long-Term Effects Of Meth Sores
Ignored open sores can develop into larger problems that go beyond skin damage. The biggest concern of open wounds and sores that go untreated are infections.
Some infections common with meth abuse include the following:
- Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA): Painful red bumps
- Abscesses: Pus-filled sores
- Cellulitis: A bacterial skin infection that appears red and swollen
Ways To Treat Meth Skin Damage
The most effective way to treat the effects of meth on the skin is through addiction treatment.
Treatment centers can provide professional healthcare for scabs and sores while offering patients substance abuse therapy and other proven techniques to overcome addiction.
There are also ways that you may begin to heal these wounds from home. Though some side effects of meth use are irreversible, you can prevent further damage.
You can treat skin damage from meth abuse by:
- hydrating skin with proper lotions
- getting regular exercise
- maintaining a healthy diet
- taking vitamin E supplements
- engaging in proper hygiene
- getting quality rest
It’s best to consult with a doctor to decide on an appropriate plan to treat both skin damage and meth addiction.
Recover From Meth Abuse In Massachusetts
Meth addiction and other drug use may be treated through a rehab center in New England.
If you or a loved one seek help for drug abuse, we at Spring Hill Recovery Center have many levels of addiction treatment available, such as drug detox and inpatient treatment.
Call our helpline today to learn more about our accredited facility and recovery from methamphetamine addiction.
Written by Spring Hill Editorial Team
©2023 Spring Hill Recovery Center | All Rights Reserved
This page does not provide medical advice.
- Just Think Twice — How Drugs Affect Your Looks and Your Body https://www.justthinktwice.gov/consequences/health-consequences-using-drugs
- Medline Plus — Methamphetamine https://medlineplus.gov/methamphetamine.html
- Nation Library Of Medicine — Methamphetamine Alters The Antimicrobial Efficacy Of Phagocytic Cells During Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus Skin Infection https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4626859/