Monday, July 29, 2013

How Does Heroin Affect The Skin?

Heroin is a highly addictive and dangerous substance derived from morphine. It is perhaps the most commonly abused narcotic, and is used by way of inhaling, injecting or smoking. Taking the drug is said to offer an intense sense of euphoria and contentment; however, it will ultimately take its toll on the body, including an array of skin issues.

image via howskincarebeauty

Got the Itch?

One of the more common short-term effects experienced by heroin users is an itchy or “crawling” sensation on the skin. Opiate use results in a histamine release within the body, causing itchiness and inflammation. Scabs and cuts on the skin are typical in heroin users; resulting from picking and scratching at the skin. In addition, heroin use also serves to inhibit appetite, causing malnutrition in many addicts. A lack in adequate nutrition will ultimately lead to dehydration, resulting in itchy, dry skin.


Due to lack of appetite, many heroin users miss out of essential vitamins and nutrients such as vitamins C and A; both of which are required for healthy skin.  This lack of nutrition may also cause added susceptibility to bruising. IV drug users will often exhibit bruising around the areas where the drugs are injected. This is often due to pressing the needed to quickly and too hard into the skin or through the use of dull needles.


Chronic heroin use can often result in skin infections caused by bacteria. The repeated injection of heroin can cause inflammation of the skin and pain to the user. Heroin injections, especially with unclean needles, can result in abscesses and boils. These boils will fill with puss, swell and can prove fatal if not addressed in a timely manner. 


Track marks are the scars left behind by IV use. Heroin addicts use the drug over an elongated period, increasing their tolerance over time. As a result, the addict must inject more frequently in order to achieve the same effect. Over a long enough use period, chronic heroin use will cause toxin buildup underneath the skin. Routine injections will ultimately result in collapsed veins, causing dark, permanent scars.

Need Help?

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  1. This blog providing a useful information about affect on skin by using heroin.Every one should know this information and getting the awareness and recover from using heroin.
    Drug Addiction Interventions

  2. I have met a couple people who had all these issues and I have to say reading about it is no where near as scary as meeting someone with this addiction.

  3. Ok I never knew any of this! WOW!