Meth Sores: Recognizing And Treating Meth Sores
Chronic meth use often leads to skin sores, especially face sores. These sores are caused by several factors. Treatment includes general wound care and therapy for drug use.
Methamphetamine addiction is a complex mental health condition.
Not only do people with a meth addiction have to deal with the disorder itself, but they must also deal with the side effects of meth that cause significant physical and behavioral health complications.
Those complications often include meth sores, which are scabs and wounds that result from meth use.
While meth sores may appear on any part of the body, they very often appear on the face, which is why these sores are sometimes called “meth face.”
What Causes Meth Sores?
Meth is a highly dangerous stimulant drug that impacts the body in several ways.
Many of the effects of meth can result in sores and other skin problems.
Meth mites, which are sometimes called “meth bugs,” are one of the most common causes of meth sores.
Meth mites don’t physically exist, but for somebody who deals with methamphetamine use, they can feel very real.
The phenomenon is called “formication,” and it causes people to feel as if bugs are crawling on their skin. This crawling sensation is a common experience among people who use meth.
Many people scratch their skin to seek relief, which can cause skin sores.
Weakened Immune System
According to a study on meth and infection, meth use weakens the immune system. This hinders a person’s ability to fight infections, including infections that impact the skin.
Open wounds can lead to skin infections, and when the body cannot defend itself against those infections, the resulting sores may take a significant amount of time to heal.
Sweat And Poor Hygiene
Meth is a water-soluble drug, which is why it can be found in a person’s sweat after they use it. As a result, meth can have prolonged contact with the skin.
Meth use, like other forms of substance abuse, can cause struggles with personal hygiene and dental hygiene. Somebody who abuses meth may not take showers or wash their face regularly.
These hygiene difficulties mean that the person’s sweat may not be washed away for a long time, which prolongs the contact even further.
The meth cooking process includes caustic chemicals such as lye, drain cleaner, and battery acid. Prolonged exposure to these chemicals can cause wounds on the skin.
Meth Paraphernalia Wounds
There are several methods of meth abuse, and these methods involve different types of meth paraphernalia. Some paraphernalia items can also leave wounds on the skin.
For example, meth is often mixed with water and injected. Injecting meth or any other drug can cause many skin symptoms, including scabs and sores.
Smoking meth can also cause sores as a result of burn injuries. These injuries are especially common around the mouth.
The subsequent blisters can contribute to the appearance of “meth mouth,” the term for mouth sores, dry mouth, tooth decay, and other dental problems caused by meth use.
How Are Meth Sores Treated?
Meth sores may require attention from a healthcare provider, especially in the case of infection. Medical professionals may provide antibiotics.
Meth sores do not have any particular treatment apart from the same care that should be provided for any wound.
Open sores should be kept clean and bandaged. Ointments may help prevent infection and provide some pain relief.
Meth Addiction Treatment
Because meth abuse can slow the healing process, the best way to treat meth sores is to stop using meth. Addiction treatment centers can provide the best path to abstinence from meth.
Although this step is important, stopping any form of drug abuse is not easy, even when the effects of meth use take a toll on a person’s health.
In fact, continuing to use drugs in spite of negative consequences is one of the key signs of drug addiction.
Fortunately, addiction treatment programs can help people overcome meth abuse.
A person with a meth addiction may seek treatment from a rehab center to ease meth withdrawal symptoms with detox, behavioral therapy, and certain short-term medications.
Recover From Meth Abuse
Substance abuse can have devastating effects on both physical and mental health. Having a treatment plan can be the first step to healing from these effects.
If you or a loved one need help to overcome a substance use disorder, call our helpline today and get started on the road to recovery.
Written by Spring Hill Editorial Team
©2023 Spring Hill Recovery Center | All Rights Reserved
This page does not provide medical advice.
- National Institute On Drug Abuse — Methamphetamine DrugFacts https://nida.nih.gov/publications/drugfacts/methamphetamine
- National Library Of Medicine — Methamphetamine Alters the Antimicrobial Efficacy of Phagocytic Cells during Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus Skin Infection https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26507236/
- Wisconsin Department Of Health Services — Methamphetamine (Meth) https://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/meth/index.htm