A woman’s recent selfie on Reddit is sending a very real message about the harmful effects of drugs on your skin and the positive transformations that can occur from getting sober.
She posted two photos – shot 826 days apart – of herself while using heroin and then in recovery. The result: a dramatic improvement in her complexion.
The change of her appearance didn’t surprise dermatologist Hooman Khorasani, MD, Chief of the Division of Dermatologic and Cosmetic Surgery at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City. “Drug and alcohol abuse can have skin manifestations with underlying nutritional, infectious, and neurological factors,” he told Yahoo Beauty.
Vitamin and protein deficiency caused by malnutrition are common culprits, noted Dr. Khoransani. “For instance, vitamin A deficiency can cause severe dryness of your skin, and thiamine deficiency can make your skin look waxy and swollen,” he said. “A B-2 deficiency can cause a rash in the face, and a B-3 deficiency can cause cracking of the corners of the mouth and tongue. Zinc deficiency can cause hair loss and skin rashes.”
Here are some other ways that long-term drug abuse can take a toll on your appearance:
- A loss of skin elasticity, resulting in premature sagging and wrinkles
- Tooth decay and gum disease, most often caused by methamphetamines (aka “meth mouth”)
- Bad breath (known medically as halitosis) caused by poor dental hygiene
- Damaged tresses including changes in hair color and texture
- Red, bloodshot, or glazed eyes
Stopping the Side Effects of Addiction
The best way to combat the physical and emotional health consequences of substance abuse disorder is early intervention. Don’t wait. If you or someone you love has a drug problem, Red Oak can help you get the help you need today. Call: 866.457.7590.