A track mark is an area of skin that is discolored along your vein that has been damaged due to injecting drugs like heroin or meth intravenously. Track marks can happen anywhere on the body but seem to be most prevalent on your forearms where there are visible veins present. They can appear on the body either as puncture marks or discolored scars on the veins. Once the larger veins on the arms become too damaged from IV use, people tend to start injecting drugs into places like the hands, feet, groin, and even the neck.
What Causes Track Marks and What Do They Look Like?
Track marks can take form in a few different ways. They can look like small holes in your skin bright red or pink or have scabs or scar tissue. Sometimes your vein can become scarred as well. If this happens, the vein itself will become darker and much more visible. Track marks can also appear as bruises on the skin. Track marks can happen for many different reasons. The most common reason is repeated IV use in the same vein. Having this constant damage happening to the skin and the vein will cause scabs to form and scar tissue will develop. If infection occurs, this can make the track marks that much worse.
Dirty Needles Increases Developing of Track Marks?
Using dirty needles to inject will also increase the likelihood of developing track marks. Dull or used needles are likely not sharp enough to puncture the skin correctly and not cleaning the skin or using a dirty needle will introduce fungi, bacteria, and dirt onto the skin and into the vein. This increases your chances for vein damage because of inflammation and infection. The drug itself can also cause track marks depending on what the drugs you are injecting are cut with.
Quicker Healing of Track Marks
Track marks do not just automatically go away when you stop using drugs intravenously. In some cases, it can take up to 5 years for bad track marks to no longer be visible. It is important to get checked out by a doctor so that they can evaluate your damaged veins to make sure there is no infection or open wounds. Infection can cause the track marks to get worse.
What I Can Do To Speed Up The Process of Healing Track Marks?
In most cases, track marks will fade on their own in time. But there are a couple of things you can do that might help speed up the process. Ointments and creams can be used to help fade your track marks. It has been said that topical treatments like aloe vera and Vitamin E oil can be used to speed up the healing process. Track marks are essentially scars, so using a scar cream or a more natural method can help the appearance. While this may help speed up the recovery time, it still takes time to notice a change. Even after using it multiple times a day for several weeks, you will likely only see minimal improvement. Staying out of direct sun exposure will also help your track marks from darkening. UV rays in the sun darken your skin, so it is only common sense that it will darken your scars as well. Getting a tan will not lessen the appearance of your track marks.
Healing Track Marks With Evoke Wellness at Miramar
The best way to heal your track marks the quickest is to stop using drugs intravenously. By continuing use, you are only compounding the problem. At Evoke Wellness at Miramar, we offer many treatment programs that can put you on the path to sobriety. Don’t hesitate to call us today.