The availability and stimulating effects of cocaine have made it a popular drug for recreation. Cocaine causes increased energy levels, feelings of extreme happiness, mental alertness and it wakens senses and sexuality. It is induced into the body by injection, snorting and inhalation. It is used for some accepted medical procedures such as preventing over-bleeding during nasal surgery. However, a lot of people tend to abuse it. Cocaine has many adverse health effects including constriction of blood vessels, strokes, heart diseases, asthma, liver damage, tooth decay, reproductive damage, depression, loss of touch with the reality and numbness of limbs. However, most people do not realize that it also has a lot of negative effects on skin. The following are some of the skin problems that cocaine abusers may face.
It is a disorder is a skin picking disorder common among cocaine abusers. People with the disorder experience symptoms such as scratching, picking into skin and touching the skin frequently and spending a lot of time looking for the tiniest spots on skin to pick. This leads to formation of scars and discoloration of skin. Cocaine and other stimulant abusers use skin picking to deal with their psychological and emotional pain. The physical pain masks deeper problems. Other people use physical pain to punish themselves and therefore deal with feelings of guilt. For others, it is just a way to detach from the real world.
Sometimes, levamisole is used as a cutting agent for cocaine. It reduces the production of white blood cells which is obviously a dangerous thing. Unfortunately, most of the cocaine consumed is laced with this deadly substance. Another terrible effect of this drug is that it leads to the inflammation and eventual rapture of blood vessels. This is what leads to rotting.
- Stevens-Johnson Syndrome
This skin infection is rare but can be fatal if not treated on time. The earliest symptoms of this disease are a painful rash, skin pain and flu-like symptoms. The upper layer of skin detaches from the next one. It also causes eye problems, infection of blood and cellulitis. Even though the condition may be treatable, the damage it does is impossible to reverse. The skin that grows back after treatment may be discolored and abnormally bumpy.
- Buerger’s Disease
This disease affects the limb arteries and veins of smokers. It causes inflammation and clotting of blood vessels. Since all tissues need blood to survive, the disease may cause whitening of fingertips and toes, infections on eyes hands and legs and damage to skin tissues.
- Acute Generalized Exanthematous Pustulosis
The first symptoms of this condition are manifested on the armpits, groin and face of patients. It causes small blisters with liquid, reddening skin, pustules and a rash that lasts a few days. Other symptoms are; fever, presence of eosinophilis in the blood and frequent headaches
It also causes unsightly open sores, formication, blisters, acute multifocal skin necrosis, palpable purpura, cutaneous fibrosis and schonlein henoch vasculiti. Even though many people do not view the skin as an organ, it is actually the body’s biggest organ. Any damage on the skin may end up affecting the whole body.