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Treating the Physical Scars of Crystal Meth & Heroin Addiction

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Treatment for Three Decades and Counting

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A scar is a permanent growth of tissue that occurs when an open cut, scrape, burn, or wound heals. You can get scars from just about any injury, and those who live with an active addiction to drugs like crystal meth or heroin are more likely to have scars for a number of different reasons.

Some different causes of drug-use related scars include:

Injuries

It is hard to maintain balance and care while under the influence. Accidents and injuries, and even wounds from fights are all possible when a person is under the influence of a dangerous, illegal drug.
Injection Sites

Using needles regularly, especially in the same spot over and over, can cause infections and scarring.
Abscesses

It’s not uncommon for needles to be used during addiction, and dirty needles or injection sites that aren’t cleaned or cared for properly can easily cause or develop into abscesses. These puss-filled infections can create some pretty nasty scars when they open.
Picking

People who use stimulant drugs are more likely to pick or scratch at their skin. Crystal meth is well-known to cause these picking reactions. People who use either heroin or crystal meth often report that they feel as if bugs are under their skin, which causes them to pick and scratch their arms, legs and face. As a result, serious scars can develop as the scabs heal.

Scars are really the least of your worries if you have been using heroin or crystal meth. Injuries while under the influence can cause life-threatening illness and infection. Both crystal meth and heroin are illegal drugs because they are both so harmful to inner organs, blood flow, and outer body appearance. Overdose deaths are strongly tied to both of these drugs.

Many people who are in recovery from crystal meth and/or heroin carry scars associated with their addiction. Some people feel very self-conscious about the issue. Many feel that it marks them in a negative way and have problems interacting socially as a result – both issues can lead to relapse.

So how do you treat scars incurred during addiction? What’s the best way to get rid of them – and can you?

 

Factors Affecting Scar Treatment

syringeTreatment for your scars will depend upon how they occurred, how old they are, your genetic predisposition to the development of scar tissue, your age, and the location of the scar on your body. In some cases, you may be able to lighten your scars if they are colored or allow them to fade naturally over time.

Surgical measures, laser treatments, and dermabrasion treatments may be the only way to diminish large or bulky skin deposits. In other cases, chemical peels and certain creams can be effective in reducing the appearance of scars or lightening dark spots.

Do Over-the-Counter Scar Treatments Work?

There has been no one single product approved by the FDA or universally supported by medical professionals as a universally effective treatment for scars caused by needle usage, abscesses or “picking” during addiction. However, typical scar treatments may be used once an old wound is fully healed and a doctor approves their use. Results may vary.

It is important to research any scar treatment method before trying it. Your doctor may be the best place to start, and if you are able, a licensed dermatologist will be able to suggest both over-the-counter and prescription remedies.

Home Remedies for Scars

Many homeopathic remedies suggest using Vitamin E oil or other oils to heal skin scars. Aloe vera, coconut oil, and vitamin E oil all add moisture back to scars that have become tough over time. Other remedies include honey (particularly Manuka honey) and even lemon juice.

It is best to discuss any possible remedy with your doctor before giving it a try.

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