Methamphetamine use is a growing epidemic in the United States. Studies show that more than 10 million adolescents have tried the drug, and more than 500,000 people are regular users. Meth is highly addictive and devastating to both those who use and their loved ones. Recognizing the signs of meth use is one of the best ways to help someone get into treatment before the drug destroys a person physically, mentally and emotionally. While some signs of meth use may be difficult to see, addicts with sores on face are likely using the drug on a regular basis.
Why Do Meth Sores Develop on the Face?
A person who uses meth may have sores on any area of the body, but the face is the most visible. Additionally, the face has hundreds of nerves that are densely packed into a relatively small area. Meth use stimulates nerves throughout the body, but the tingling and itching may be more drastic in the face and neck.
What are Meth Mites?
People who use meth even one time may experience hallucinations, and one of the most common is the sensation of something crawling under the skin. Meth mites cause an individual to itch and scratch at the skin, often to the point of causing open sores. A person may continuously scratch or pick at the skin in an effort to find and eliminate the source of the sensation.
Secondary Effects of Picking at the Skin
The constant irritation of the skin from scratching and side effects of meth may cause the person to develop open sores that are infected. This is when a hallucination becomes reality. Infection causes the skin to itch and tingle, much like meth mites, so the person continues to pick at the skin. The sores do not heal properly, and infection spreads. Smaller sores may heal into scars or abscesses, which leads to more itching and irritation of the skin.
Meth Dries Out the Skin
Another side effect of methamphetamine use is dry skin. With chronic, long-term use of the drug, the skin loses oils that keep it hydrated. Anyone with dry skin tends to scratch the area, and meth use heightens the sensations of dry skin, making the person scratch intensely. This may cause wounds, raw areas or lacerations to the skin, which also increase the likelihood of infection.
Personal Hygiene and Sores on the Face
As with any addiction, being addicted to meth takes over a persons life. Personal hygiene may be set aside for other effects of the drug, such as spending most of the day looking for a fix or sleeping for several days as part of coming down from meth. Poor hygiene creates an environment in which bacteria thrives in the open wounds, and this leads to addicts with sores on face.