Question from a reader: Does cocaine cause acne?
Using cocaine use can certainly lead to acne. In fact, given the variety of ways that cocaine can trigger acne, it would be surprising if cocaine use didn’t lead to some breakouts.
Cocaine use goes hand in hand with staying up all night and a disrupted sleep cycle. Sleep deprivation is known to aggravate 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 is unlikely to cause acne on its own, it can aggravate existing acne and lead to permanent scarring.
This page, which features very limited content about using cocaine, is actually the most popular page on this entire site. A lot of people research the connection between acne and cocaine, which is a clear signal that one exists.
Please use the space below to tell us about your experiences with cocaine and acne.