What Causes Meth Face?

woman with meth sore

Methamphetamine, aka meth, is a highly addictive drug that’s known by many names. This stimulant has several slang names including crank, chalk, ice, and bump.

There are several other street names for drugs that many users say when they’re referring to meth. But meth addiction is easier to spot by the telltale signs on a person’s face – bad skin, decaying teeth, and an aged appearance. Together, these features make up meth face. But, what causes meth face and what can a person do to fix their appearance after getting meth addiction treatment in Pennsylvania? We outline what causes meth face and what can be done to reverse it.

What Is Meth Face?

Meth face is the telltale appearance many meth addicts have such as decaying teeth, dry skin, and meth sores around their face or body. The before and after photos of meth addicts are shocking, and it’s startling to see how quickly a person can develop qualities of meth face.

What Causes Meth Face?

Meth face and meth sores are caused by mechanisms of how the body metabolizes methamphetamine. Meth face is caused by a combination of the side effects of meth use including:

  • longer healing times for sores such as acne, which results in long-lasting meth sores
  • the destruction of blood tissues and vessels, making it so the body can’t repair itself
  • damage to skin’s natural elasticity, which makes addicts appear older than they are

Many meth addicts also struggle with formication, a sensation that can occur when a person is under the influence of drugs. Addicts may feel like there are bugs crawling on top of or underneath their skin and try to pick at these hallucinated bugs, resulting in skin injuries such as meth sores that do not heal quickly.1

Treating Meth Face with Skincare After Addiction Treatment

Though meth face can be jarring, it can be treated. Many patients experience a better appearance after completing meth addiction treatment in Pennsylvania, as meth’s negative impacts on skin diminish when the meth use stops. After getting sober, patients can take additional steps for improving skincare after addiction treatment. Moisturizers can help replenish dehydrated skin and medicated creams can help treat any remaining meth sores.

For more guidance and tips for meth treatment, contact our team at Banyan Treatment Center Philadelphia by calling 888-280-4763.


  1. PBS – How Meth Destroys the Body

Get the help you need today at Banyan.

Don't surrender your life to addiction, take control and get your life back today. We've helped thousands of people empower themselves to take back control of their lives. It's time for your roots to grow in new soil!

Alyssa is Banyan’s Director of Digital Marketing & Technology. After overcoming her own struggles with addiction, she began working in the treatment field in 2012. She graduated from Palm Beach State College in 2016 with additional education in Salesforce University programs. A part of the Banyan team since 2016, Alyssa brings over 5 years of experience in the addiction treatment field.