Question from a reader: Does cocaine cause acne?
Yes, cocaine use does cause acne, or will at least make it worse for most people who suffer from it.
Cocaine use goes hand in hand with staying up all night and a disrupted sleep cycle; sleep deprivation aggravates acne. Additionally, cocaine stimulates the central nervous system. This causes the adrenal glands to produce cortisol, a steroid hormone created in response stress. There are several studies that directly link stress, cortisol, and acne.
An often-cited side effect of cocaine is ‘picking’, the act of neurotically digging at one’s own skin. Although this picking unlikely to directly cause acne, it will aggravate existing acne and can lead to permanent scarring.
Please use the space below to tell us about your experiences with cocaine and acne. We’ll keep it completely anonymous.