Healing Your Skin During Recovery

Often when in recovery from addiction, focus tends to be rightly put upon the physical effects of continued use of drugs and what it can do to the major organs of the body like the heart and liver. But how does recovery from drug abuse affect the largest organ of the body – the skin? It’s perhaps one of the more overlooked aspects of returning to good health again.

Addiction and Your Skin

Initially, drug addiction may not cause many changes to your physical appearance. But over time, it might start to become more apparent that your overall health is suffering. It’s a generally accepted wisdom that how healthy your skin looks is often a reflection of any internal health problems you may have.

Some of the issues you may notice on your skin in recovery from addiction:

  • Dry/flaky/eczema patches – Drug use may potentially excessively dry and irritate your skin. This can cause flaky patches and conditions like eczema to flare up. Dryness can often be caused by dehydration, as the body struggles to remove toxins from the liver and kidneys. Simple changes like drinking more water can help, as can using good quality and highly emollient moisturizers two or three times daily.
  • Wrinkles – Over time, dehydration can start to cause premature ageing and wrinkles on the skin. Tips for dealing with wrinkled skin include eating plenty of Omega 3 rich foods such as oily fish, and using high quality natural skin care products like Virgin Coconut Oil as a mask or deep conditioning massage treatment.
  • Acne – In cases of addiction, the body can react by making the skin break out in raised red spots, which can appear anywhere from the forehead down to the chin. Acne is relatively easy to treat, but it’s important to make sure the skin is kept very clean using mild soap and fragrance free moisturizers, and that acne spots are not touched or rubbed at all. It can be a painful condition and very often sufferers can require specialist treatment from a physician in the form of topical hydrocortisone creams or other medication.
  • Cracked or chapped lips – Drug abuse can lead to delicate areas of the skin like the eyes and lips becoming chapped or excessively dry. Using good quality, petroleum-free lip salves and balms that can be applied regularly through the day are a good way to treat the problem. Very gentle exfoliation using an old, soft toothbrush on moistened lips is an effective way of removing the dead skin before you apply any emollients.

Resources & Further Reading:

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How Drug Abuse Destroys Your Skin and Complexion