Why Do Meth Addicts Have Sores On Their Faces

Why Do Meth Addicts Have Sores On Their Faces?

One of the physical indicators of a meth user is the conspicuous amount of sore break out on the face. The use of methamphetamine, whether by injection, snorting, or smoking for pleasure has adverse and addictive repercussion that affects not only brain functions but physical appearances; largely by the development of face sores. The use of methamphetamine, even as a health hazard, is surprisingly common in various parts of the world.

Meth Addict Have Sores on their Face
Image Credits: Dailymail

It is important to be able to identify the physical give-away of highly dangerous substances such as methamphetamines in order to be able to identify those that may be affected by these problems.

What is methamphetamine?

Methamphetamine, or crystal meth, is a highly addictive schedule II substance which is regarded as a controlled drug due to its high potential for abuse. Some street names for crystal meth include L. A glass, crystal, blade, super ice, Cristy, tina, quartz, and others.

Those who abuse the drug end up with severe psychological and physical dependency. The stimulant typically resembles glass fragments of small bluish-white rock fragments. The drug is usually abused because of its intense, long-lasting psychological effect in the form of euphoria. 


Methamphetamine is connected to a lot of health risks such as high blood pressure, damage to blood vessels in the human brain, stroke, and inflammation of the heart, hyperthermia, hallucination, convulsion, overdose, and death.  

How does meth work? Meth increases the action of norepinephrine and dopamine in the brain resulting in intense hyperactivity, euphoria, and inability to sleep. It is a highly potent but fleeting “high” and is responsible for various behavioral problems. One of the visible signs that a person may be using meth is the sudden development of facial sores.

What are meth addiction sores?

The use of meth can cause sores on various parts of the body, however, the most visible is the face because it is easily noticed. Meth sores are wounds and lesions that appear on the skin due to various reasons that are directly connected with the use of meth. Skin problems usually develop when a person uses methamphetamines and these develop into open wounds due to the triggered itching.

The effects of itching, coupled with a lack of hygiene and unhealthy dieting also affect the skin. Another contributing factor is that meth has been found to constrict blood vessels. This constriction limits the free flow of blood, which can lead to the development of acne.

How long does meth sores last? This largely depends on the underlying health problems connected with the use of meth as well as how fast the user seeks medical help.

What do meth sores look like?

Why is this question relevant? This is because the use of methamphetamine is very rampant among young adults and with the hormonal changes also happening at the same time, it may be challenging to differentiate between hormone-based skin issues and meth skin sores.

Meth Addict Have Sores on their Face

Methamphetamine sores may look like a rash, scab, burn, acne, bite, and other skin problems. It could also look like a cold sore or canker, so, learning to identify what meth sores look like may be essential to understanding the health issues of a friend or loved one better.

Why does Meth use cause sores?

As facial sores are closely linked to meth use, there are also variations of facial sores and their causes. It is pertinent to recognize the causes of sores and the enabling activities that cause them to persist:

1. Mouth sores

These types of sores are caused by pipes. Some individuals prefer to smoke their meth using a pipe. When the pipe becomes hot due to heat, it burns parts of the mouth and lips. This burn-in turn develop into sores with time

2. Face Sores

Due to the chemistry of meth, the substance is water-soluble and easily finds itself in human sweat. When the user sweats out the toxic content in meth, it stays on his or her skin and can cause direct skin damage or it develops into red spots, pimples, and other outgrowths that result in open sores when they are picked at.

3. Skin sores

The constriction of blood vessels by the stimulant drug largely reduces the supply of blood to the skin where is needed, this results in extremely dry and scaly skin. The user may experience frequent itching of the skin because of the crawling bugs’ sensation that the drug has in the skin. The itching causes scabs and other forms of skin problems

4. Meth Mites

Those who use methamphetamines are exposed to a condition called “formication” this effect is one of the common side effects of chronic methamphetamine use. It is popularly referred to as meth mites. Dehydration of the skin and the imbalance of chemicals in the body is mostly responsible for this problem.

Meth mites are characterized by an extremely dry and scaly skin that resembles a rash or acne. Meth has a psychological effect that it imposes on chronic users that give them the illusion of bugs crawling on their skin as well as beneath their skin and this effect causes them to constantly scratch obsessively until the skin develops scabs.  This sensation can come at any time during the use of the drug and is mostly centered on the face or the chest. The problem with the excess scratching is that the skin is split open and the injury may not heal due to malnutrition; instead the wound may get infected. This is why the skin usually has a scabby, scally appearance, especially for chronic users.

How do you treat meth sores?

Meth sores look appalling and give the user a distinct unkempt look. The first thing a person who has facial sores may be concerned about is “how do I get rid of face sores?” this is because of the unpleasantness of the condition and the possibility of severe infection as well as permanent scarring on the skin.

Consulting a doctor to treat meth sores

There are a few effective ways to treat meth sores, some of them include:

Diet – a healthy, balanced diet will supply the skin with nourishment and everything it needs to fight infection as well as heal properly.

Personal hygiene – a distinct problem with meth users is that they start to ignore hygiene. Proper hygiene, such as bathing and brushing one’s teeth frequently is necessary to maintain good skin condition.

Acne treatment – in cases where the user has skin sores, he or she can opt for an over the counter acne treatment.

Avoid scratching – The itching sensation is often unbearable and the scratch may be more of a reflex than intended but it is best to put in an effort not to scratch often.

Using natural oils – natural and essential oils are great for the skin and provide the skin with moisture, vitamin E, and other skin protective minerals.

Underlying mental health conditions – the use of meth causes a chemical imbalance in the brain, which affects cognitive functions. Addressing the underlying mental condition of the meth addict is very important while treating sores.

Consulting a doctor – from the onset of the addiction, the best way to ensure that the health of the user does not deteriorate to a critical state is to see a medical doctor. The physician may also prescribe the best antibiotics or herbal therapy for sores and infections.


If you or your loved one is suffering from the effects of methamphetamine use, it is advised that you see a medical doctor or consider enrolling in a rehabilitation facility nearby.