How can I heal my track marks faster?
How can I heal my track marks faster?
neosporen i would assume care to give some context? maybe you could hide them with long sleeves or something
put some aloe vera extract on it.. i have the 98% pure extract (so the bottle says) and it works allright.
....wait a couple weeks and use some skin lotion
I have always used Vitamin E lotion. I don't know how effective it is but it seems to work.
I have probably said this before, but if you have a high preassure/massage showerhead but it on there with as warm water as you can. It also helps absorb the drug and reduce the lump if you miss a shot.
I did IV meth today and i always miss the last 1/5-1/4(max) of the shot because the rush makes me twitch and digg through the vein. I used the massage showerhead now, and I could feel the high getting stronger.
I am posting this because I IV a lot and have had this problem on and off. Earlier this week, on Weds and Thurs I IVed a bundle of dope on each day taking between two and four bags (usually three) for each shot. So that I must have injected about eight times total in the same spot over two days (I know the dangers of wearing out a spot but I am nearly out of places, it's the neck next...) and I got up today and noticed that you cannot tell that I have been hitting this favorite spot of mine at all. It is the crux (inside) of my left elbow. In fact it is barely even sore, which it normally would be after such an assault on my favorite spot to "hit". By using proper technique and the right equipment I was very pleased to have such success in hitting this spot so many times so rapidly. I usually have to give that spot a rest after four or five injections within a few days time and find other, much more difficult spots to hit. Proper IV technique is so very important, I only wish I had known about and taken seriously this issue earlier in my shooting days.
So how did I hit it eight times, probably piercing the skin at least ten times to find the vein and not leave any marks? I used 29G1/2 needles and used a fresh one each time.
I find that using a fresh needle for every single poke and using good technique along with a fairly fine gauge needle helps reduce track marks.
I know this won't help the OP in the immediate sense but I thought I would share this info here anyway.
I will answer speedball_racer's questions first, and then post some of my own thoughts on the subject.
In terms of the durability of the inner elbow spot, I've noticed a similar phenomenon, speedball_racer. In fact, the outer half of the inside of my right elbow was my very first spot, and it served me well for probably around a month. For the first few days/maybe even a week or two, I couldn't notice any marks -- there was some general redness, but that was all.
However, it does take its toll underneath the skin. Eventually, the scar tissue under the skin built up. So while it looks okay on the outside, when you put the needle in you can feel the resistance of the scar tissue, and if there's enough of that, it can squeeze off the vein.
Such is how I ruined both of these sweet spots on the outer portions of the insides of both of my elbows. It was a very sad day. Now I've moved on to the inner portions of the insides of my elbows, and I can see what you mean by soreness, and apparently this area bruises easily for me too because I've been getting some gross colored bruises despite not (to my knowledge) missing or poking through a vein.
I also use 29 guage needles -- you using a fresh one each time (I live abount 90 minutes from the closest needle exchange, which is one of two in my entire state; it is illegal to purchase needles here and in all of my neighboring states except two, both of which are at least two hours away) will help immensely too, I imagine.
I have been using the same 10 for about a month now. Sigh. Need more.
Anyway, for skin health around the sites, I use the following, depending on some criteria:
1. Right after a shot if you missed, poked a vein, made an abscess, or anything of this nature: Heat (heating pad, long shower, something) on and off the area fo 30-60 minutes. This is a pretty neat phenomenon, since (as another poster mentioned), if you've got any drug left over in the site where you missed, it will be rapidly absorbed into your system with the application of heat. This phenomenon occurs because heat expands the cappilaries leading to the site, allowing traffic in and out of the site for healing, etc. Which is why it also helps for bruising (bruises are just stagnant blood; this flows them away).
2. Once you are sure the puncture has healed, moisturizing lotion with antioxidants and skincare substances. I use a lotion of Vitamin E with Aloe Vera, however some people swear by these ridiculous home brewed concentrations of 20 different antioxidants (royal jelly, eye of newt, etc.). I've never used one of these concoctions, but some people swear by them, so who knows. It's important to saturate your body and the site with antioxidants, since putting any foreign substance into your body (especially IV) will cause chemical reactions, which cause free radicals, which can cause cell death, cancer, and other bad things. Antioxidants bind with free radicals, neutralizing their dangers. So whatever you rub on the area, make sure it's got some topical antioxidants in it.
3. Don't use the same area over and over again -- find 3-4 areas and switch off, giving the others time to heal. This sounds like good advice but sometimes isn't practical -- you're shaking, sweating, and trying not to shit and site A isn't working for you, you're sure as hell going to go back to old faithful. But this will only work so many times before old faithful stops working, so be prepared.
4. Take a multivitamin. Drug use is a lot of chemical reactions, and there are a lot of free radicals in your system as a result. In addition, the body uses certain substances to deal with the drugs and therefore depletes those substances moreso than if one wasn't doing drugs. So it's always a good idea to ensure decent nutrition with a multivitamin, unless you KNOW that one of the contents inhibits the proper absorption of your DoC (e.g. some people hate vitamin C + heroin).
Hope these help someone out there.
Yes, I live ten minutes from an awesome needle exchange - I can't say enough about how important using fresh unused needles for each poke into your skin is to keeping damage to a minimum. I know it has been written here a thousand times or more already but one can never hear positive, harm reducing information too many times can they?
Please folks, find and use your local, or regional needle exchange. Check your state laws you might be surprised that needles are legal to buy in your state, examples I know of: New York state, New Mexico, Arizona (most Walgreen's have been cool to me in the Tucson area - I am not sure on the legality in AZ), and I believe CA just changed their laws but I could be wrong. Ask a pharmacist - what is the harm in asking? I mean don't go into a drug store loaded and holding and ask a million questions then run out in horror and walk back home. But you get the drift - dig for info man, find and internet site that will sell and ship to you (they exist).
Use small gauge needles and use a freshy each time! It does the body good and you'll be so glad that you did. Even if you have been reusing needles for a long time (which I had done for years before adopting a better strategy) it will make a big difference as your ripped up veins repair under the care and use of new needles for each injection you will regain old spots that stopped working, some but not all anyway.
And man there is nothing like being able to get off fast and right, it just makes the whole experience so much better. I had quit smack before due to a lack of vein availability it has gotten that bad in the past, now I don't think that will ever happen again.
Sorry to rant so long about this issue, but I found making the change in approach to IV use was a great thing for my veins and my mind. It is now so much easier for me to get a hit. I hardly ever have to work for it, unless I am on a coke run, then I will exhaust all spots that work about the time I run out of fresh needles - I can only get 25 at a time from my exchange right now, you have to work your way up to more than that.
Last edited by speedball_racer; 01-07-2005 at 21:14.
Vitamin C supplements are great, not just for skin but for alot. I think. Doesn't hurt, should help.
That sounds crazy, 29G and no marks? I used 29 (or was it 28?) and I had a track mark for a week, with perfect technique, new needle. I hate those sons of bitches. 30g and 29g is a world of difference to me.
Aloe, Vitamin E, all the skin care products should do something. I wouldn't suggest alcohol. That may kill bacteria and prevent an infection, which is the worst case scenario, but it also kills skin cells. It's not too bad though, just don't leave a patch of alcohol on your skin all day. A quick rub with an isopropyl patch is good though, before injection especially.
Technique is the biggest thing. Fresh needles. 30g, or 31. I use small tips, so it's alot harder to pierce the vein by accident.
And injecting in the exact same spot is fucking gross. You can at least inject 2 millimeters above/below.
CreativeRandom - I agree injecting in the exact same spot is stupid and likely won't work anyway. I always move up the arm a few millimeters for each new hit if I can then when I have gone up as far as I can I go back to the bottom and work my way back up. It would be much better if I rotated sites altogether every single time injected.
That is the best strategy - changing injection sites each time, and by that I mean moving to a whole different area of the body, like the other arm or a different vein on the same arm, up to the bicep from the forearm, etc....
I should have pointed that out earlier on, my use of the same spot repeatedly and getting away with it is not only unusual (achieved by a combination of best practices injection techniques) but stupid and should only be done when you get like me, old and out of the hundreds of great spots a beginner has available.
Also, CreativeRandom, I agree 31 or 30G needles would be better and leave even less of a mark if at all. I find that 31's leave almost no mark but that they clog up on me way too easily, sometimes even before I finish a perfectly nailed hit, the needle will clog on the register and after registering I won't be able to complete the injection, I'll remove the rig and find it blocked. I don't know if others have had this problem. I guess the best advice for everyone would be to start with the smallest gauge 31 and work up in size, 30, 29, 28, 27 until you find a gauge that works best for you. But keep it small! Only use 27 gauge if you have to hit large veins deep under the skin and you are experienced.
I use 29G b/c my needle exchange doesn't carry 30G. Otherwise I would be using 30G1/2. I guess I could buy them but every time I go into a pharmacy here in NYS they have either 28 or 31G and almost always the short needles (<1/2 inch) which I find useful only for the veins in my hands and wrists - another no-no unless absolutely necessary - the chance for infection/abscess and painful nerve hits is much greater when trying to hit those tiny veins in your hands and wrists. Don't do it unless you must and use a 31G shorty if you can, by that I mean less than a 1/2 inch needle.
Good advice speedball_racer. Unfortunately I live in PA -- needles illegal here (two exchanges, one in Philly, one in Pittsburgh). I live in Eastern PA, near Jersey and Delaware -- but they're illegal in Jersey and Delaware too.
They're legal in New York State and Maryland, but that's a long drive.
The needle exchange in Philly is nice -- it's not 1:1, so you can take as many as you need. But that's a long drive too, and it's not in the best area of Philly.
I also have a hard time with a new needle, since it's so sharp you don't get that little "pop" sensation when you hit a vein.
I would order them online if I wasn't terrified of mail inspectors and all that bullshit. Maybe another trip to Philly is in order. Ugh. Thanks for the recommendations.
As for Vitamin C -- I've read that it interferes with the metabolism of some opiates, increasing the duration (but not the peak) of plasma concentrations. I've also read that it decreases the effectiveness of opiates. I haven't researched the subject seriously though (like I have antagonist tolerance attenuation), so I don't know anything. I eat a lot of Vitamin C just because of the antioxidant properites.
Thanks again everyone
I always inject in the left arm because no other place really gives a rush with H. I don't inject in the bicep because it takes too long and too easy to mess up. I use 30g needles because they leave no marks, cause nearly no pain or even feeling when piercing, yet are not so flimsy as 31's where as they will just bounce off your vein when inside your skin.
From your post I just realized that I have experienced the needle getting clogged, from 31g needle. Just pull back, and keep pushing and your fine. Or you can just force it, haha. But you shouldnt have that problem if your filtering correctly.
Then again, I came across some H that , while in the barrel, would start to form some kind of weird stringy sea-algae looking shit. Kinda creepy.
I use that place 1 inch below the wrist where the vein bulges out, and an inch or 3 out from the crook where a bunch of veins pop out. Working out is a miracle for vein cultivation.
30g are my preference, like Creative, 29g to 30g makes a world of difference. I just have really sensitive skin, all around, not just for shooting. 30gs are hard to come by in this area though, there's only one exchange 30-45 minutes away, and it's hours are pretty awful. They have 28g-29g, not very consistent, etc. There isn't much you can do about it. Not legal to buy OTC here.
the two most important techniques to healing tracks IMO are:
- use lotion execessively. Vitamin E or Aloe is a must in the lotion. I usually like to put on a coating right after injection.
- ice it up. usually when I am done IVing for the day I like to ice up the sore spots/bruises.
^ Some lotions contain ingredients that irritate the site if they're applied immediately after injecting. Most of those creams will say on the pack "Do not use on broken skin" or something to that effect. Also, sharing creams used after injecting is a possible route of hep C transmission, so keep an eye on where it's been before you.
I'm not all that convinced many of the products mentioned here are effective in reducing vein damage and preventing scarring. Maintaining good injecting practices is the best way to avoid developing nasty track marks. Prevention is much easier than cure. Have a read of this -> Preventing unnecessary vein damage
I'm assuming everyone knows the difference between track marks and scars.I'm not all that convinced many of the products mentioned here are effective in reducing vein damage and preventing scarring.
Track marks result from one injection with a brand new needle with proper technique (sterilize area, bevel up, point of needle in the middle of the vein, slow injection with proper dilution using sterile saline).
Scarring results from either an acute trauma to an area or repeated abuse to the same area before it has a chance to properly heal.
Track marks can be easily taken care of with proper skin care -- scarring is more permanent, if not totally permanent, and is much more difficult to get rid of, at least to my knowledge.
If someone has a good way to get rid of scarring, please let us know!
cocoa butter, works WONDERS.
Yea my friend kept telling me cocoa butter is the shit to use. I guess its true.
Cocoa butter is great for chapped skin too. It's a really great moisteurizer, but since it lacks antioxidants, it's not very good for free radicals. You can get cocoa butter prepared with Vitamin E, which is what I buy all the time. It will work very well if you are not looking for a lotion type product.
Always wait until the puncture wound is healed before administering it though, or you're risking infection.
Cocoa butter bonus: You positively REEK of chocolate. It's SUCH a good smell.
^^proper technique and cleanliness helps A LOT.
if you really don't want to risk horrible long term track marks ...take the time to do the correct methods
...pertaining to pre-, during, and post- injection.
Use your knowledge. Take care of your body.
It's a give and receive situation.
Where I come from, "track marks" is slang for any visible sign of injecting, either immediately after injecting and longer term scarring. That's the nature of slang, I guessOriginally posted by diacetyldeath
I'm assuming everyone knows the difference between track marks and scars.
take a knife, stab a cut so big that people will think ur a cutter and not an IV'er
ask yourself, which is looked down upon more in society? hmmmm?
No seriously, I have several permanent scars on my body, most of them not even IV related..... but put sunscreen over it everytime you go out, even if you are covering them. Sunlight is more likely to make it permanent.
IVing. I think due to the belief that is affects others, and your personality (you theiving cunt junky!) while cutting is just self infliced; people laugh at it and then stop caring.
"I also have a hard time with a new needle, since it's so sharp you don't get that little "pop" sensation when you hit a vein."
That's just gross. New needles buddy.