What is Meth Face and How Can You Prevent It?
Maybe you suspect that a friend or loved one is dabbling in meth, but you aren’t 100 percent sure. Perhaps you have found yourself struggling with addiction to this drug and now see a common side effect: meth face. But what is meth face defined as and is there any real way to prevent this when you have an active meth addiction?
The good news is that meth face doesn’t have to be permanent. There is help and healing out there for you, starting with Icarus Behavioral Health in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Keep reading to find out what you need to know about meth face and how Icarus can help!
What is Meth Face?
Meth face is a common condition that results from methamphetamine abuse (also known as crystal meth or simply meth). One of the most common early signs of methamphetamine addiction is thinning of the face and the body overall.
You might notice that the planes of your cheekbones and jawline stand out more, but this isn’t the most stunning feature of this type of condition.
Meth Acne No Matter Your Age
Meth addicts often find that they develop deep acne which results in scarring over time. The prevalence of acne can be related to a lack of skincare while in active addiction. Someone who uses meth is far less likely to take great care of their skin, leading to clogged pores and blemishes that you may have thought were behind you.
The other downside to acne is that many meth users will pick at the acne. Because they have a higher threshold for pain while using methamphetamines, they do not tend to realize the serious effect that this has on their overall skin sores.
It can lead to ice-pick scars that result from both the acne and the picking. Ice pick scars are wider at the surface of the skin (where you may have picked at it) and deeper into the skin until they reach a point. These tend to create dramatic and deep scarring.
Meth Sores, Infection, and Scarring
However, the most common attribute of meth face is open sores. Meth sores are caused by the common tic that many meth users find themselves indulging – picking at the skin. Some meth sores are caused by burns from the pipe or other meth paraphernalia used to smoke meth, depending on how you choose to take the drug.
Because the wounds are rarely kept clean and sterile, you are likely to find that these sores fester and grow. They can even become infected, leading to even more scarring and some other potential health concerns.
Addiction treatment can also eliminate the presence of what some call “meth mites.” During the active influence of the drug, many meth addicts feel like they are covered in insects. This creepy-crawly feeling prompts them to itch endlessly, but it is not grounded in reality. Instead, it is a powerful physical hallucination.
Even though meth mites aren’t real, they can have a serious impact on the face of a meth user. Because you may scratch so adamantly and passionately at the skin, you can develop some serious sores that will lead to scars like those addressed in the last section.
Of course, we would be remiss if we didn’t touch on another aspect of meth face that many people addicted to the substance experience: meth mouth. Meth mouth has been extensively studied by dental professionals.
They found that almost 96 percent of meth users had untreated cavities and close to one-third had missing teeth. You may be more at risk of gum disease if you struggle with substance abuse.
If you struggle with a meth addiction, one of the first places where it will start to show up is in the mouth. Tooth decay is common in people who struggle with meth addiction.
How to Treat Meth Face
The good news for meth users is that there is a simple solution to meth face: stop your drug addiction in its tracks. If you can halt your meth abuse, then you can arrest these telltale signs and symptoms where they exist right now. Instead of allowing the problem to continue to worsen, you can get the meth toxins out of your body and start to treat your meth face sores.
Icarus Behavioral Health has the addiction treatment programs that you need to cope with your meth abuse. From detox to inpatient to IOP, we have all of the programs needed to set you up for success in your drug addiction.
However, you may have to take a few more steps to eliminate the long-term effects of your meth face.
Treating Meth Sores and Meth Mites with Good Skincare
Once you stop your drug abuse in its tracks, you can start to treat your meth sores. When you first see them, it can be hard to look at the damage you have caused to your skin. If you spent a long time picking at these wounds, then they may have developed thick scabs and even pus. The best thing you can do at this stage is to practice good wound care and limit the likelihood of infection.
Over time, the wounds will become less visible. You might choose to see a dermatologist and discuss how to move forward and get the skin that you want. There are also many scar treatment creams available over the counter that can minimize the appearance of your sores.
Developing a good skin care regimen to restore the health of your skin is equally important. It will give your skin the nutrients it needs to heal and keep the wounds clean until they can heal over, even if they do scar.
Good Dental Care for a Bright Smile
If you suffer from tooth decay as part of your meth face, the good news is that there are tons of options to restore the brilliance of your smile. A qualified dentist can assist you with some restorative measures, even if your teeth fell out due to drug use. If your teeth are merely discolored or have started to erode, veneers might be the least invasive option to get your smile back.
For those who have teeth missing, you might want to consider a bridge, implants, or even a full set of dentures. The extent of your dental work depends on the severity of your meth mouth and how long it has been since you last had dental care.
Of course, developing good oral hygiene moving forward is important to maintain your dental care effectively.
Getting Effective Treatment for Meth Face
If you start to notice the physical symptoms of meth face, it might be time to consider putting down the drugs and instead turn to sober living. With the right treatment, your meth sores, meth mites, and even meth mouth can be restored to some extent. However, it is crucial that you stop using it if you intend to make the improvements permanent.
Icarus Behavioral Health can help you to navigate the first steps on your way to expelling addiction from your life. Give us a call today to learn more about our treatment options, whether you need a medically-supervised detox or inpatient rehab (or both) Icarus has you covered!