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Removing Track Marks

Dear Dr. H,

I was wondering how long these awful track marks will last. The ones on my hands are the most shameful.

Sincerely,
Maria


Dear Maria,

You need to distinguish between tracks and scars. What you have are almost undoubtedly scars. Tracks are made up of needle holes which have coagulated closed. Tracks go away in a week or so if they are not replenished by fresh injections. If you inject into the same area long enough, the skin will become damaged--scarred. This usually happens because when users find a good vein, they use it until they can't anymore.

There are a couple of things that will help--how much is unclear. You might try cocoa butter, aloe vera, or vitamin-E oil or cream. There are more "high tech" creams that are said to remove scars. I have not tried any of these but I am highly skeptical about them.

by Dr. H © 2001
Last Modified: 9 January 2004


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