How to Get Rid of Bruises from Intravenous Drug Use?
If you or a loved one have bruises on your arms from intravenous drug use, it might mean you need professional addiction treatment.
Drugs such as heroin, methamphetamines, cocaine, prescription opioids, and prescription stimulants are all drugs that can be injected into the vein to enter the bloodstream. Many users prefer this method because it causes the drug to hit them much quicker and much stronger.
Most injection sites include the forearms and wrists, but when scarring, inflammation at these places, damaged or collapsed veins, or intense bruising it can be extremely painful and nearly impossible to inject the drugs in these places. People will often move on to other injection sites like the groin, neck, hands, feet, and even the face.
What Causes IV Drug Bruising?
When you inject a drug into your vein, it is common for bruises to appear under the skin due to the blood vessels being damaged or because blood is leaking into the surrounding areas. When using dull or dirty needles while injecting drugs can cause damage to the vein, resulting in bruises from IV drug misuse.
How Do I Get Rid of Bruises from Injecting Drugs?
The best way to heal any bruises causes by intravenous drug use is to stop injecting drugs or by getting clean altogether. This will ensure no further bruising will happen. When trying to heal current bruises you already have, there are a few things you can do to heal them quicker.
- Ice: Applying ice immediately after the bruise has begun forming will reduce the blood flow in that area. When you cool down the blood vessels, it lessens the amount of blood that leaks into the surrounding area. This will not only prevent bruising but also swelling of the injection site.
- Heat: Once a bruise has already formed, or if it is an old bruise, you can apply heat to help boost the circulation and increase your blood flow. At this point, any leaking area in your vein has probably already healed itself, so applying heat won’t cause any more blood to flow out. This can help to clear out any trapped blood once the bruise has formed already. Adding heat will also help with any muscle tension or tenderness in the area.
- Compression: Try wrapping the area in an elastic bandage. This will squeeze the surrounding tissue and prevent the blood vessels from leaking out altogether. Compression also helps reduce swelling and pain.
- Elevation: You can elevate the bruised injection site above your heart to drain the blood away from the area.
- Vitamin K: Using a cream with Vitamin K helps reduce blood clotting. It is shown to reduce any bruising if you apply twice a day on your bruise.
- Arnica: This is a more homeopathic method, but is often prescribed by doctors both before and after surgery to reduce bruising. It is said to reduce any inflammation and swelling which also reduces your chances of bruising. You can either take a supplement or use an arnica ointment on the bruised area.
Other Risks of Injecting Narcotics
Bruising is not the only thing you have to worry about when using drugs intravenously. Many other common occurrences can be very damaging to your veins and your overall health. Collapsed veins are a common side effect of IV drug use.
If you keep injecting drugs into the same vein, it will eventually collapse and no longer transport blood into that vein. Skin infections are also common for several reasons. If your skin is dirty or the needle is dirty, the injection site will become infected. Skin-popping can also occur with IV use. This happens when you miss a vein and inject the drugs into a muscle instead. It will form a painful lump that takes a while to go away.
Get Effective Treatment for Drug Addiction
The best way to heal your bruising the quickest is to stop using drugs intravenously. By continuing use, you are only compounding the problem. At On Call Treatment, we offer many treatment programs that can put you on the path to sobriety. Don’t hesitate to pick up the phone and get help now.