Crystal Meth Effects on Your Skin

The effects methamphetamine (also referred to as “meth,” and “crystal meth” in this article and in society) has on your skin is downright disgusting.  Nearly everyone involved with someone who has a serious drug addiction is touched by the erratic behavior, mismanagement of finances, and physical and mental instability.  While the short term terrors are fresh in everyone’s memory, the long term effects are downright frightening and not realized in most cases since drugs like methamphetamine normally take the lives of people who abuse them and the realization of the side effects never have a chance to fully set in.

Warning:  we placed all the pics below the content.  Some are very gruesome.

For the lucky few who survive this morbid addiction, they have to live with the side effects of crystal meth, which we’ll detail today.

Crystal Meth Side Effect #1:  Oily Skin

Since this is a stimulant, using crystal meth raises your heart rate and body temperature.  When this happens, the body is prone to sweating more.  This throws off the normal perspiration patterns that can create oily skin and ends up resulting in acne on the skin.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse cites that personal hygiene and it’s importance is basically thrown out the window as the drug becomes more important to the user than caring for their appearance.  People addicted to methamphetamine really could care less about cleaning their face or bathing, and this often times leads to oily skin.

Meth Skin Side Effect #2:  Dark, Leathery Skin

The texture and color of your skin will change when you start using meth.  Meth has the tendency to lessen the blood flow to your skin since it constricts your blood vessels.  When this happens, blood vessels are completely destroyed, resulting in the blood not being able to flow to your skin, which makes it grey in appearance and taking on a leathery look and feel.  When the oily skin starts to surface and lead to acne, the lack of blood flow doesn’t allow the skin to heal properly.

Methamphetamine Skin Side Effect #3:  Open Sores

We just mentioned how the skin isn’t able to heal properly, and that creates a huge problem for anyone addicted tot this drug.  The term “meth mites” has become a popular way to describe the condition of skin being so open to infection.  This term was coined because the user feels that bugs are crawling inside their skin.  When hallucination sets in, the addicts often pick at their skin with anything sharp they can get their hands on.  From nails, to sharp objects, they will pick at their skin, often times causing bleeding.  With the aforementioned restricted blood flow, the sores take much longer to heal.  Even worse, infections can happen and lead to further problems.

Below find pics of what happens to the skin when you use meth. 

skin effects of crystal meth pic
This photo shows the skin of a meth user before and after using the drug. Photo Credit: ABC New York.


Please view this amazing infographic put together by the team at  It’s the best way to communicate to everyone just how horrific using methamphetamines is for your skin and body.

Before and After Drugs (Meth) would like to thank the many sources who helped create this informational piece, including:


Related Pages:



Crystal Meth Effects on Your Skin
4.3 (86.67%) 6 votes