Does Cocaine Use Cause Acne Breakouts?

Question from a reader: Can 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 usage didn’t lead to acne.

Cocaine usage typically leads to staying up all night and a disrupted sleep cycle. Sleep deprivation is known to aggravate acne. Additionally, cocaine is a stimulant of the central nervous system. As with all stimulants, cocaine usage causes the adrenal glands to produce cortisol, a steroid hormone created in response stress. There are several studies that 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.

Please use the space below to tell us about your experiences with cocaine and acne.

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