Heroin track marks are the most common signs of heroin use. These marks appear due to injecting the drug. The drug enters the body through veins and causes severe damage to them over time. Injecting heroin repeatedly in the same vein causes infection, leading to collapsed veins and other health problems. Read on to discover more about heroin track marks.
Heroin Track Marks Definition
A track mark is a line left on the skin when someone injects heroin. These marks often show up in people who have been abusing heroin for a long time, as they will continue using the same vein until it collapses. The collapsed vein can cause severe tissue damage, and it can even be fatal if heroin enters an artery.
How do Heroin Track Marks Appear?
The appearance of heroin track marks varies depending on how often someone uses heroin and how long it’s been since they last injected. The effects may be flat or slightly raised or as small bumps. When these marks first form, they are typically red or pink and slightly raised from the skin’s surface; over time, however, they darken to a purple or black color and flatten out against the skin. These scars can fade over time, but they may remain visible for months after use has stopped.
Why do Heroin Track Marks Happen?
The repeated injection can cause the skin to break down and scar. In addition, it can cause the veins to close or collapse, making it difficult for blood to flow through.
Heroin addicts are prone to contracting infections from fungus, viruses, and bacteria because they might not have access to clean needles or a sterile environment when they inject their drugs. The injection site forms pus which leaves scars when it heals. Also, Drug users who use dull needles may find themselves scared.
Where To Spot Track Marks
Arms and Hands
Track marks typically appear near significant veins on the arms or hands of users. The veins in the arms and hands are large enough for a needle to enter them quickly, so this is usually where drug users choose to inject themselves. You may notice many lines around a specific vein or in a particular area if this person uses drugs regularly.
Legs and Feet
When you use needles repeatedly over time, scar tissue develops in your veins. This makes it hard for people who inject drugs to find healthy vessels through which they can insert these needles. When people who inject drugs cannot find active veins, they inject the legs.
Track marks on the hands or arms may be the most common sign of heroin addiction. Typically, addicts will use a needle to inject heroin into any area with an ample blood flow, including the tops of their hands and forearms. The areas often become scarred and severely discolored from repeated injections. It is also good to remember that heroin users may try to hide their track marks. They may avoid showing their arms or wear long sleeves.