Formication; aka, speed
bumps, meth sores, crank bugs
One of the many side effects of crystal meth addiction is
formication, aka, speed bumps, meth sores, crank bugs.
Heavy stimulant use causes a rise in body temperature and increased
blood flow to the skin to counteract it.
The produced sweat contains an enzyme that increases blood flow to
the skin even more.
When the sweat evaporates, it removes the protective sebaceous oil
which coats the skin.
The combined effects of dehydration, sweating and removal of the
sebaceous oil on the skin create a sensation on the nerve endings on
the skin and cause the addict feelings of something irritating or
"crawling" on or under (Delusional
Parasitosis) the skin. Also to be mentioned
here is that the skin is an escape route for the toxic wastes used to
create the drug.
The psychological aspects of this drug complicate the situation
even more by causing the user to tweak out and obsessively pick,
scrape and dig at their skin.
This action, is generally performed with the fingernails (staph
havens) but can also be performed with any number of chosen "tools"
which could be any object found in an ordinary home that could be used
for picking or scraping.
The results are penetration and removal of the dermis, causing
open, red (often bleeding) sores, most commonly on the face and arms
but can be anywhere on the body. This provides a potential breeding
ground for staph infection.
In the presence of staph infection, the sores become enflamed,
swollen and puss filled, requiring topical/systemic antiB's. If left
untreated, pathogens can enter the blood stream causing dangerous
sepsis or deeper abscess requiring heavy duty, IV anti-B's and/or
Old scars from formication are PERMANENT and look rather like those
produced following a severe case of chicken pox.
The degree to which new sores present themselves is proportionate
to the length of time spent performing the action of formication
following most recent use.
In a non-using state, my daughter's face, arms and upper torso will
be almost totally clear with the exception of heavy, previous
scarring. However, within 24 hours of using, she ALWAYS presents with
severe formication. I have witnessed this pattern over a three year
period of time and, for me, it has become reliable evidence of very
From Dictionary.com - Formication:
An abnormal sensation as of insects running
over or into the skin, associated with cocaine intoxication or
disease of the spinal cord and peripheral nerves.
n : hallucinated sensation that insects or
snakes are crawling over the skin; a common side-effect of
extensive use of cocaine or amphetamines
Meth sores, skin pores, pimples
Does method of using meth increase sores?
Where does the picking the face fit in with Meth use?
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