Drug and Alcohol

Meth Sores: What Are Meth Sores?

Meth Sores: What are Meth Sores?

Meth sores come with meth abuse. They're just one of the many negative effects of meth. Learn about this physical symptom of meth abuse in our blog.

Whatever form it takes, drug addiction is a chronic condition that can lead to disastrous results. There is no denying that every drug with addictive traces that can lead to physical and mental dependency is harmful.

This is why we will discuss one drug that has led to thousands of deaths nationwide. Today we will discuss methamphetamine abuse and its related condition known as meth sores. You may have heard about this term; they are small wounds that appear on the face and hands of the meth user. In today's article, we will discuss what meth sores are, what meth sores look like, if any treatment is available, and more.

By the Numbers:

In the United States of America, it is reported that half of the population has used any form of an illicit drug at least once in their life (NCDAS).

What Is Meth?

Meth or methamphetamine is a highly addictive and potent stimulant that can lead to meth addiction. In the classification of drugs, this stimulant is a controlled substance under Schedule II. Meth is most used as a recreational drug misused to get high. It is also rarely used for medicinal purposes but can be prescribed for treating conditions like ADHD and obesity.

Meth comes in various forms and can be consumed through smoking, snorting, injecting, and swallowing too. It is a hazardous drug and can lead to several severe health-related issues. One such side effect includes meth sores. 

Why Do People Get Addicted to Meth?

Meth is a potent stimulant and creates intense feelings of euphoria and energy when used. However, like other addictive drugs, it's possible to build up a tolerance to meth's effects. This means people have to take more meth to feel the same effects, creating a pattern of behavior that leads to meth addiction.

What Are Meth Sores?

There is a strong possibility that you may have heard about this term or have seen photos in your drug awareness classes. You may have also seen meth sores on your face. As you can guess by its name, it is associated with meth addiction and is quite common among meth users. If we talk about the appearance of mouth sores, they are similar to any open wound that can be developed anywhere but is generally seen around the mouth, hands, and arms.

Meth sores are very unlikely to appear in people who have used the drug once or twice. It is not common among occasional users but with frequent ones. Due to their appearance, some people may get tricked into thinking they have regular acne. However, if inspected closely, one would find they are quite red apart from being open with a flesh wound look. If they get proper time to heal, they will also scab. Initially, they would have a small bite-like appearance, but scratchiness and itching will start once injected. They would also become large if someone scratched and picked them. Let us now talk about them in a little detail. 

Meth Face

You may have heard about the term meth face.' This mostly happens with those meth addicts that are a bit advanced and use a dissolved drug to inject it directly into the body. This method of consumption leads to the user sweating and excreting the drug via sweat. As meth is a water-soluble drug, it would come out as sweat. This leads to sweating and excess oil on the face. Meth is harmful to both the insides and outsides of an individual, and due to this, it will irritate the skin. This would lead to the development of meth sores.

Some users also get mouth sores instead of meth face. This happens when a user smokes meth pipes and burns their mouth. 

Skin Sores

There are various hazardous side effects of using meth. Individually, they may look small and insignificant to the user, but soon they become a reason for a lot of stress and health problems. One such small side effect is dry and patchy skin.

As people become physically dependent on meth, their blood flow gets restricted. Due to a lack of healthy blood flow, oxygen, and proper appetite, the skin dries out. Soon, their skin starts to itch, and their skin develops sores. These sores can appear anywhere and are generally seen on arms, chests, hands, legs, etc. 

Meth Mites

Meth mites are a condition that happens to users who experience hallucinations. Often, people have experienced a creeping feeling that mites or some insects are crawling beneath their skin. Many meth users also claim to see these bugs crawling beneath their faces and necks. In reality, nothing is there, but this sensation leads them to pick and scratch the imaginary bug out. This also leads to open wounds or sores. These bugs are known as ice mites or meth bugs, and this feeling is called formication. 

Meth Mouth 

Some users experience extreme tooth deterioration and can develop gum disease too. A survey noted that many meth addicts suffer cavities, tooth decay, broken or rotten teeth, and more. In addition, oral hygiene and facial symmetry take a big fall. Apart from this, many users shave blackened or stained teeth due to meth's acidic quality. 

Other facial side effects of meth include blemishes, discolored skin, acne and rashes, wrinkles, dark spots, and hardened-looking skin. Let's now talk about the reasons and causes behind meth sores. 

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What Causes Meth Sores?

As you may have gathered by now that meth is a highly addictive water-soluble drug that can have devastating side effects. Among so many of them, meth sores are also there. The primary cause of the development of meth sore would be related to using meth. It is a side effect that generally happens to frequent users rather than occasional ones. Hence, it is pretty unlikely for occasional meth users to get meth sores. So, if you are having meth sore, it is a clear warning that your drug dependency is increasing, and you might be addicted to them. 

Talking about the reasons behind them, some causes of meth sores are listed below. 

Picking Skin

One of the leading and most common causes of meth sores is picking off the skin. It is among the various side effects of using meth. Meth addiction is dangerous because it weakens the immune system of the user. So, once someone starts to pick their skin, the healing process may take longer. This habit can start from simple reasons such as dry and itchy skin or hallucinations. 


The second most common cause of meth sores is sweat. Meth as a drug is a water-soluble substance, and when a user starts to sweat, they may sweat out the toxic drug from their skin. This is one of the ways meth users excrete the drug. Apart from this reason of sweating, many meth users have poor health hygiene. So sweating can also be due to a lack of that. 

Meth Pipes

This is restricted to those meth users who smoke the drug with the help of meth pipes. The fumes that come when someone smokes meth are toxic, and that can lead to meth sores around and inside the mouth. In addition, the burns and blisters caused by meth pipes can take longer than usual to heal. 

How to Treat Meth Sores

Although there is no specific treatment for meth sores, they're treatable. You have to take care of them just like how you take care of any other wound. Apart from that, you must check how severe your condition is and how much medical attention these sores require. If it is the type of eth sores that one can get after getting addicted to meth and not caring for personal hygiene, then caring for these wounds is the best way.

If you have an open sore, keep it clean and dry. Do not let anything get accumulate on the wound. It should be debris-free. This is important because if you do not care for an open sore, it will lead to infection. You can also try and bandage them to keep them clean. These bandages should be changed frequently. Now those who have scabbed sores do not pick at them. Avoid scratching, touching, or peeling it. This would lead to the opening of the sore, and you will be inviting germs which will lead to infection. Some topical creams and ointments would help reduce the pain and prevent them from getting infected. In some severe cases, a few sores must be drained.

The best way to treat them in such a scenario would be to get medical attention. Visit the doctor and follow their directions to care for the meth sores. However, all these above solutions and treatments are temporary. The best way to address them is to get addiction treatment from a drug rehab facility. 

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Treatment for Meth Addiction

The first step towards getting better regarding drug abuse and addiction is to accept that they have this issue. Unlike other health problems, addiction impacts the user's life and their family, members, friends, colleagues, neighbors, and more.

Another vital point that both users and their family members must understand is that recovery is not easy or instant. It can take years, and sometimes, it has taken a lifetime. Long-term recovery is only possible when the patient wants to get better themself. Its treatment cannot be forced, as recovering from addiction requires immense strength, determination, and hard work.

When we talk about treatment for drug addiction, the type of drug and severity of addiction plays a crucial role. If a person is addicted to a drug as addictive and dangerous as meth, the treatment has to be comprehensive. Meth addiction treatment is available and can vary from one rehab to another, but it has three stages. These three stages are mentioned below. 

Three stages of treatment in meth addiction treatment:


Drug detox is a medical procedure in which the foreign substance that is physically present in your body is removed. In this case, meth is the toxic substance that will be removed. 


Counseling is the next vital step in the recovery process. Here, the rehab would try to address and remedy the damage that has occurred to you mentally during the addiction. They would also educate the patient about addiction in more detail. 


Behavioral therapies are also given to patients whose addiction is severe. In chronic cases, patients have to attend therapy sessions ranging from individual, family, group, etc. 

Meth is considered one of the most complex substances to quit due to its potency and addictive nature. If you know someone who is struggling with this problem, the best way to address it is by seeking help from a drug rehab as soon as possible. 

The Edge Treatment Center Offers Effective, Evidence-Based Treatment for Meth Addiction

Drug rehabs are essential when it comes to drug addiction treatment. Self-medication and managing substance abuse and addiction fallout are not recommended and can even turn fatal. If you or someone near you has been struggling or exhibiting signs of alcohol or drug addiction, the best way to approach it is by seeking help from a drug rehabilitation facility.

These facilities are specially designed for people facing meth withdrawal symptoms and after effects of using drugs. They give comprehensive and effective treatment for patients to recover for a lifetime. The Edge Treatment Center provides high-quality addiction treatment with a variety of effective programs. We know the importance of personalized care and have a patient-centric approach.

Don't let meth addiction take over your life. Contact The Edge Treatment Center today to learn more. 

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If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, there is hope. Our team can guide you on your journey to recovery. Call us today.

Written by

brian-mooreBrian Moore

Content Writer

Reviewed by

jeremy-arztJeremy Arzt

Chief Clinical Officer

Drug and Alcohol

April 3, 2023