Taking Care of Your Skin After Meth Addiction | Banyan Chicago

Taking Care of Your Skin After Meth Addiction

skin meth
 

Methamphetamine, also known as meth or crystal meth, is known for causing skin damage including meth mites.

The psychological effects include the sensation of bugs crawling under your skin, which leads to severe skin picking and scratching, a condition otherwise known as meth mites. A severe change in physical appearance is one of the most obvious signs of meth abuse. It’s not uncommon for meth users to have lesions, sores, abscesses, acne, and other forms of skin disease on their faces and bodies. Even after undergoing meth addiction treatment, these skin problems may persist. Our substance abuse rehab Chicago shares some tips on taking care of your skin after meth addiction that can help.

What Does Meth Do to Your Skin?

Meth side effects on the skin are predominantly the result of the drug’s psychological and physical impact. Methamphetamine causes skin damage because it constricts blood vessels in your body, preventing blood flow in the skin. This lack of blood flow can affect your skin’s elasticity and ability to heal quickly, leaving it more susceptible to wrinkles and other forms of skin damage. This is also why meth users appear to age rapidly.

As a central nervous system stimulant, meth also impacts a person’s mental health. It works by increasing the levels of chemicals like dopamine and serotonin in the brain, each of which plays a role in mood and emotion. Odd side effects may occur as a result, such as the feeling of bugs crawling on or under the skin, a condition known as meth mites, meth bugs, ice mites, or crank bugs. Meth mites result from hallucinations called formication that is perceived through touch or sight. This is a common side effect of meth psychosis, in which a person loses contact with reality, resulting in false perceptions and beliefs. These hallucinations make users feel as if something is crawling on their skin, causing them to constantly scratch and pick, thus resulting in crystal meth skin damage.

As a result, some of the most common side effects of meth use on the skin include:

  • Acne
  • Sores and excoriations
  • Infections
  • Scratches
  • Gray, leathery skin
  • Excoriation Disorder
  • Ulcers
  • Excessive sweating


Additionally, some other skin conditions caused by ice include lichenoid drug eruption (skin rash), acute generalized exanthematous pustulosis (pus-filled patches on the skin), and Stevens-Johnson syndrome/toxic epidermal necrolysis (a severe rash that causes erosions, flu-like symptoms, and breathing problems.)

Despite the many crystal meth effects on the skin, our drug rehab in Chicago knows all too well that its intense impact on the central nervous system makes it difficult for addicts to quit using on their own. Unfortunately, meth users are often identified by their “meth skin” or meth-related skin conditions such as face sores and ulcers. And although receiving PHP treatment and quitting is the first step, it doesn’t cure the skin. Taking care of your skin after meth addiction may take some time, but it is possible.

How to Take Care of Your Skin After Meth Abuse

Someone who has undergone IOP or substance-specific treatment for their methamphetamine addiction may be left with some questions about how to treat meth sores or a crystal meth skin rash. It’s common for meth users to develop skin-related issues during active addiction. After years of use, these conditions may worsen to the point where the skin is greatly damaged. Thus, extensive skin care is often required in order to see real improvement. Crystal meth effects on the skin don’t always go away on their own, even if the person has undergone substance abuse treatment.

Taking care of your skin after meth addiction can boost your confidence and help you avoid any additional health concerns. While certain ice drug effects on the skin aren’t entirely curable, our team at Banyan Chicago has offered some ways you can improve your skin after meth abuse.

  • Visit a dermatologist: Dermatologists specialize in skin health, so visiting one should be your first step. Your dermatologist can recommend any medications or creams that can help your skin recover.
  • Invest in a good face wash: Investing in a face wash that offers a deep clean without drying out the skin is important. Some face washes that are often recommended by dermatologists include CeraVe and Cetaphil.
  • Change your pillowcase regularly: Especially if you use any hair products, it’s important to regularly change and wash your pillowcase. Few people realize this, but sweat, oils, and bacteria often collect on our pillowcases, which can cause acne and other skin infections. Washing your pillowcase every other day can prevent some of these issues.
  • Purchase a good moisturizer: Moisturizers for sensitive and acne-prone skin can offer hydration without breaking you out. Keeping your skin hydrated can also prevent it from scarring.
  • Drink lots of water: You may have heard this before, but water is excellent for the skin. When taking care of your skin after a meth addiction, it’s important to drink plenty of water. This will help your body flush out any toxins that may cause crystal meth acne or other skin problems.


Many people aren’t aware of what drugs do to your face. Meth is just one of the many substances that can drastically change your physical appearance. Without professional treatment and a solid skin care routine, these problems may only worsen.

At Banyan Treatment Centers Chicago, we offer a variety of drug treatment in Chicago that’s designed to help patients recover from their drug or alcohol problems and improve their overall wellbeing. If you or a loved one is struggling with a substance abuse problem, call us today at 888-280-4763 to learn how to get started.

Related Reading:

How Long Is Meth in Your System?
What Causes Meth Face?
 
Alyssa
Alyssa
Alyssa is Banyan’s Director of Digital Marketing & Technology. After overcoming her own struggles with addiction, she began working in the treatment field in 2012. She graduated from Palm Beach State College in 2016 with additional education in Salesforce University programs. A part of the Banyan team since 2016, Alyssa brings over 5 years of experience in the addiction treatment field.


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