Classic coke: This woman, skin apparently still intact, goes for the blow in a photo from the 1920s.
Although it has enjoyed a seemingly unrelenting resurgence since, say, the late ’90s, cocaine could fall from druggie glory if more people were hip to one particularly distressing potential side effect of using the drug when a widespread contaminant is present. In short, it’ll rot your flesh, people. —KA
“If you are a user of cocaine, you should be aware that some of the cocaine is not clean and can have other agents that can cause you to have a low white-cell count or skin tissue death,” said Dr. Ghinwa Dumyati, an associate professor of medicine at the University of Rochester and an epidemiologist for the Monroe County Health Department in New York.
In a report in the June 1 issue of Annals of Internal Medicine, Dumyati and doctors from the University of Rochester Medical Center discuss two cases involving women with a history of cocaine use who came to the hospital for help when they noticed purplish plaques on their cheeks, earlobes, legs, thighs and buttocks.