Meth Face: Causes And Treatment

Long-time use of methamphetamine can have vast effects on a person’s health. In addition to the damage to a person’s mental health, meth addiction can cause severe physical damage to a person’s face, including sores and dental problems.

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Dr. Manish Mishra, MBBS

Medically Reviewed By: Manish Mishra, MBBS


The damage of methamphetamine drug use can be seen in the faces of those with an addiction to the drug.

Many pictures show the dramatic physical damage that methamphetamine addiction can cause, a condition commonly referred to as ‘meth face’.

Faces of meth show:

  • extreme tooth decay
  • skin sores
  • weight loss
  • rapid eye movement
  • skin that looks old
  • Learn more about the physical effects of meth addiction.

What Causes Meth Face?

Meth addiction causes physical damage to the body of the person involved in this kind of drug abuse.

Some of the damage is a result of the toxic chemicals used to make methamphetamine and some is a result of obsessive behaviors that methamphetamine addiction causes.

Changes In Metabolism

Meth addiction causes changes to the metabolism of the individual using the drug.

Studies in rats have shown depletion of branch-chain amino acids and other compounds which point to increased metabolism.

These metabolic changes cause severe weight loss and nervous behavior that can result in some of the physical damage that we will discuss later.

Prolonged Meth Use

The longer someone uses crystal meth, the worse the side effects of the drug can be. An increased metabolism from long-term meth use continues to damage the body.

Also, the person using the drug puts less effort into personal healthcare. The longer this goes on, the more effects a person will see.

Frequency Of Meth Use

The frequency of meth use is another contributing factor. The more a person uses meth, the more the effects of the drug are compounded in a short period of time.

Symptoms Of Meth Face

There are a few telltale symptoms of meth face that are both a result of the drug’s physical side effects and the damage it does to your behavioral health.

The deteriorated mental health of a person addicted to meth (which leads to paranoia, agitation, and psychosis) can lead to self-damaging acts.

Meth Sores

Sores often mar the physical appearance of people who use meth. A person on meth may have the belief that bugs are under their skin, so they scratch their skin in order to get the bugs out.

As people begin working with a treatment provider for meth addiction, they will often have scabs on their faces as a result of meth sores.

Meth Mouth

Meth mouth is a common term for extreme tooth decay, tooth loss, and other dental effects, often resulting from nervous teeth grinding, consuming a lot of sugary drinks when high, and dental care neglect.

Meth Eyes

Meth causes rapid eye movement and dilated pupils, a condition more commonly called meth eyes.

Aging Of The Skin

Studies have discovered that methamphetamine actually increases cellular deterioration, which triggers many traditional effects of aging.

This is why effects of meth on skin with long-term use can include premature aging.

Treatment Options For Meth Effects On The Face

While premature aging cannot be reversed, some of the effects of meth use can be treated.

Some sores may scar, but they will heal, even if they’re infected and require medical attention and antibiotics. Tooth decay and tooth loss will require dental intervention and likely dentures as well.

But the best treatment for the side effects of meth can be found at a treatment center for meth substance abuse.
A professional treatment provider can offer a variety of meth addiction treatment options.

Some of these may include:

  • detox
  • inpatient treatment
  • intensive outpatient treatment
  • evidence-based therapy

Find Meth Addiction Treatment At Bedrock Recovery Center

At Bedrock Recovery Center on the east coast, we know that everyone has a different background and a different story of drug addiction.

That is why we tailor our treatment to meet your needs. With the right treatment program, you can stop meth abuse for good and begin to heal both on the inside and the outside.

Call our helpline and get care for you or your loved one today.

  1. American Society on Microbiology
  2. Molecular bioSystems
  3. National Institute on Drug Abuse
  4. Nevada Attorney General
  5. Plos One

Written by Bedrock Recovery Center Editorial Team

© 2024 Bedrock Recovery Center | All Rights Reserved

* This page does not provide medical advice.

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