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Many users struggle with hair, teeth, and skin problems from addiction and the longer a person is using, the worse these problems will be. While the effects of drug and alcohol abuse on the skeletal and nervous system are understood, many people are unaware of what drug abuse does to the skin. We explore the truth about what addiction does to your appearance and share tips on recovering your appearance after getting sober.
Drug abuse skin problems are linked to many substances including heroin and meth. These drugs are associated with open sores on the skin, often caused by picking during intoxication or withdrawal stages. Other drugs are also associated with skin problems, including drugs that are injected.1 Common skin problems from addiction include:
Alcoholism is also associated with skin problems of its own. Alcoholism is associated with dry skin that can cause alcoholics to look more aged and it can also cause increased flushing of the blood vessels in the skin. Alcoholism causes skin problems like rashes, psoriasis, and rosacea.2 Alcoholism is also linked to porphyria cutanea tarda, a skin condition related to liver damage in which irritation, scabs, and sores appear in sun-exposed areas of the skin.
When considering what addiction does to your appearance, the skin isn’t the only area damaged by drug and alcohol use. Many users also experience dental issues stemming from their addiction and alcoholism. Addiction dental problems include meth mouth, dryness, dental decay, and tooth loss.
After getting sober, many people get back on track with their skin and dental care in sobriety. Many of the effects of addiction on appearance can be reversed with better hygiene and regular visits to the dentist or doctor.