Track marks are unsightly areas of damage caused by intravenous drug use. The site of a needle injection may become swollen or infected, especially if the skin is abused by repetitive injections. This often leave scars or bruises. Additionally, the vein itself may become scarred and become dark in appearance. Covering these track marks can avoid embarrassment. Efforts to cover track marks should begin with avoiding intravenous drug use.
Invest in a good concealer. Find a concealer specifically formulated to be applied to the body, not the face. These will usually offer maximum coverage. Additionally, find a setting powder to dust over the concealer that will prevent smudging. Aim for a waterproof body concealer. Visit the counter in person, because online color samples may not be accurate. After testing the shade in the store, go outside to make sure the concealer is invisible in the sunlight. You may have to buy two shades and blend, or buy a darker shade in the summertime, when your skin tans.
Keep the area clean to prevent infections. Preventing an infection is extremely important, because an abscess will leave even more unsightly scar tissue. Clean the area with an antibacterial wash and apply an antibacterial ointment. Topical antibacterial creams help cuts heal faster, in addition to working to prevent infections.
Apply a scar lotion. Scar creams will fade the appearance of skin blemishes. You will have to apply a scar cream for several weeks before seeing results, so do not be discouraged. A cream with anti-inflammatory ingredients, like eucalyptus or aloe vera, may help reduce swelling at the site, making the mark less visible.
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Allow your body to heal itself. Proper rest and nutrition helps your body recover from wounds, and track marks are essentially small wounds. Keeping your skin well-moisturized and hydrated by drinking lots of water (the recommended amount is 64 oz. a day) and using a lotion will help your skin replenish and heal itself. Look for lotion with vitamin E, a skin nutrient that can improve the appearance of skin damage.
Visit a dermatologist. A dermatologist may be able to prescribe a treatment after examining you and determining your individual needs. She will also be able to determine if the site is infected, in which case you should very carefully follow the doctor’s treatment plan and avoid applying makeup, which will worsen the infection and delay healing.
Based in the Washington, D.C. metro area, Sarah Nyako has been writing professionally since 2008. Her area of expertise is health, fitness and the pharmaceutical industry. She is currently working towards a master's degree in medical writing.