Tiny, Salt-like Crystals Coming Out of Skin [Causes and Treatments]

Normally, what comes out of skin pores is a soft substance of dead skin cells, but occasionally there are is a harder substance, like tiny, salt-like crystals. What are the tiny crystals coming out of your skin?

These tiny crystals coming out of your skin could be caused by dirty skin or salty sweat. If you have used methamphetamine in the past, this could also be the cause for these tiny, salt-like crystals.

Read on to learn more about the possible causes of these tiny crystals coming out of your skin, the treatment for each, and important prevention tips.

crystals coming out of skin

Tiny Crystals Coming Out of Skin

You might mistake skin debris and dry skin remnants as tiny crystals. These crystals are often simply that: dead, dried skin cells. The cause of these tiny crystals is often dirty, salty skin and sweat; however, it could also be caused by methamphetamine use.

Below are the possible causes and how to treat this skin issue.

1. Dirty Skin

Lack of personal hygiene can cause the formation of tiny particles that could appear as yellow crystals coming out of the skin. Some conditions can cause deposits of crystals underneath the skin, such as calcium salts in calcinosis cutis.

Although the condition itself doesn’t produce tiny, salt-like crystals, small bumps are usually found in the skin, causing lesions or producing skin secretions. [1]

salt like crystals coming out of skin

Solution

Consult a physician to determine if you have calcinosis cutis or a similar condition. You can find out if the crystals produced in your skin are only because of poor personal hygiene.

The doctor will perform several diagnostic procedures to ensure that the root cause is not pathological or harmful to your health.

Prevention

Take a bath daily, and before going to bed, using antimicrobial soap. Don’t allow your skin to be exposed to dirt, dust, and harmful chemicals. In cases of exposure, wash your skin or take a bath immediately.

2. Salty Sweat

Sweat is naturally salty because of the presence of electrolytes, such as sodium and chloride. Sodium chloride is the common table salt.

When you take in more salt than what the body needs, the body’s automatic defense mechanism maintains the substance’s normal levels in your system. This process is how it maintains homeostasis (state of balance) in your body.

To maintain homeostasis, the body has to get rid of the excess salt to stay healthy. The body eliminates this extra salt through the kidneys, liver, GIT, and the skin pores.

Thus, when you sweat, the salt comes out, and when your sweat dries up, small salt crystals may remain in your skin. You can remove these small crystals by wiping them off or by taking a shower.  

Solution

Avoid taking in too much salt. The salt can come from salty foods, preserved foods, and canned goods. Use less table salt in your daily food intake. If you happen to take in more salt than you should, you can dilute the increased salt concentration in your body by drinking lots of water.

The water will dilute the salt levels and maintain the normal water-electrolyte balance. This will help get rid of the excess salt in your body.

It’s not a life-threatening condition in itself but can worsen existing metabolic diseases, such as necrotic syndrome (kidney disease) and other kidney dysfunctions.

Prevention

Always drink enough water. Use salt in moderation. Exercise regularly and hydrate yourself often during exercise, especially if you sweat a lot. This would prevent the accumulation of sodium chloride in your system and your skin.

You may want to measure your water intake daily to make sure you drink at least eight glasses of water. If you could drink more than that, your body would be well-hydrated.

There are certain heart conditions, such as heart failure, in which excess water intake is prohibited. In this case, don’t exceed eight glasses per day or you may want to consult your physician for proper advice.

3. Methamphetamine Use

Some people who have used methamphetamine, an illicit substance, talked about the drug causing scaly skin as one of its side effects. When this scaly skin is scratched, it would disintegrate and may appear as tiny, salt-like crystals coming out of the skin.

Methamphetamine is a substance of abuse that the body’s defense mechanism recognizes as a toxin. Thus, the immune system would want to eliminate it. Meth is harmful to the body and can damage the internal organs, such as the brain, heart, kidneys, liver, and lungs.

This toxic substance can cause cardiovascular collapse, increased heart rate, cognitive impairment, high blood pressure, irreversible brain damage, and even death. It is also a highly addictive substance.

Hence, the body tries to get rid of it through the kidneys, GIT (gastrointestinal tract), respiratory tract, and the skin pores.

When the drug tries to exit through the skin, it gives off a peculiar body odor. Together with this body odor, the substance may also appear on the skin. Meth could also cause certain skin conditions, such as meth sores or scabs, that some people may mistake as crystals when disintegrated.

Solution

Substances of abuse, such as cigarettes, alcohol, and illicit drugs, like methamphetamine, are always bad for your body. Once you become addicted to them, you would suffer the resulting unhealthy side effects.

The solution to this problem is to stop using them. If you are already addicted to the substance, you should find professional help and get yourself admitted to a rehabilitation center before it’s too late.

Prevention

Do not experiment with these substances. Once you begin to use them, there is no assurance that you would stop – if you wanted to stop – as they are addictive. The best way to prevent this is not to experiment to avoid addictive substances and to avoid them at all times.

Next, let’s look at some tips for preventing tiny crystals from coming out of your skin.

More Tips on Preventing Tiny Crystals Coming Out of Your Skin

1. Observe Personal Hygiene

Those tiny crystals will not be coming out of your skin if you maintain good personal hygiene. Being able to wash off your body’s sweat immediately will prevent the skin’s drying and thus the formation of tiny, salt-like crystals.

As previously explained, sweat is composed of sodium and chloride, which would crystallize on your skin when dried. Dried sweat will produce tiny white or yellow crystals on your skin unless you wash off the sweat before it dries up.

2. Avoid Drugs

You should avoid any drug of abuse as it is harmful to your body. Most of these substances affect your brain and plays havoc with your internal organs. Most methamphetamine users have a peculiar odor because the drug usually finds its way to the skin pores.

Coming out with this odor, substances may appear on your skin too. These substances remain there unless you wash them off. The substance will remain in your skin with continued meth addiction.

3. Use Skin Moisturizers

Using skin moisturizers will prevent the drying of your skin. This will allow your skin cells to remain smooth and healthy. Moisturizers also reduce the risk of forming flaky skin, which can crack and become tiny white or yellow crystals.

yellow crystals coming out of skin

Applying the moisturizer right after your daily bath is a good practice. Don’t apply to dirty skin, as the resulting combination may nurture your skin’s existing bacteria.

Before using any moisturizer, do the skin patch test first. Apply the lotion to a small area on your skin. Observe for 30 minutes; if nothing happens, you can use the product safely. If allergic reactions occur, don’t use it.

What are the causes of tiny crystals coming out of the skin? Tiny, salt-like crystals coming out of your skin may occur because of methamphetamine use, due to a saltier sweat and dirty skin.

4. Hydrate Often

Drink water as often as you can. Water is not called a universal solvent for no reason. The body comprises 70% to 80% of water because body cells cannot perform their physiological functions without water.

Water hydrates body cells and acts as a conduit to the body’s different parts to transport essential nutrients. It also facilitates the elimination of toxins from the body.

Your immune system needs water to eliminate foreign substances, such as crystals that can be waste products of the body’s metabolism.

Unsweetened fruit and vegetable juices are suitable hydrating liquids too. However, avoid alcohol, carbonated drinks, and overly sweetened drinks, as they can be harmful to your body.

5. Use an Antibacterial Soap

Bacteria can quickly form on your skin’s surface and deposit whatever products of metabolism they can produce.

Hence, it’s better to use an antibacterial soap to ensure that your skin is always protected from bacteria. Consult your dermatologist for the right soap for your specific type of skin.

If you don’t have time to visit your doctor, you can use any soap as long as you scrub your skin thoroughly to remove microbes.

Take note, though, that not all bacteria on your skin are harmful. Some are part of your normal skin’s microbiota, such as Micrococcus epidermidis, Staphylococcus albus, and Micrococcus candidus, among others. [2]

These bacteria are usually non-pathogenic unless there is an open wound or a severe break in the skin. They may turn pathologic (harmful) in some instances.

6. Exercise Regularly

Exercises can open up your skin pores and facilitate eliminating foreign substances and acidic waste products of your body’s metabolism. Exercise can be a great remedy for the tiny crystals that are coming out of your skin.

Exercise strengthens the musculoskeletal muscles, builds your body’s immune system, promotes blood circulation, and strengthens your cardiac and lung muscles.

Your immune system removes harmful substances that enter your body and maintains homeostasis. These include toxins, bacteria, and accumulated substances in your system. Any substance that is in excess inside your body is harmful.

Examples of these are sugar and salt. They are needed in moderate amounts, but they can worsen diabetes and kidney diseases when they are in excess. When in excess, they also appear on the skin and may cause the formation of small crystals.

You can exercise one hour per day to ensure that you get enough muscle movements and workouts.

7. Use Tea Tree Oil

You can bathe in tea tree oil to remove those scaly or dry cells from your skin. Dissolve at least three tablespoons of tea tree oil in a bucket of water and use this to finish your bath. You could also mix the oil in your bathtub and immerse your body in it.

Another option is to apply the diluted oil directly to your skin twice a day. You can dilute the oil with coconut oil. But you have to perform a skin patch first to ascertain that you’re not allergic to any of its components.

You can do this by applying the oil to a small area on your skin and observing any allergic effects after 30 minutes. If itching or redness occurs, don’t use the tree oil. If the skin remains normal, go ahead and use it.

The oil will help restore your skin’s health, exfoliate dead skin cells, and prevent the formation of tiny crystals coming from disintegrated dry skin. It also can treat acne, psoriasis, and other skin conditions due to its anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties. [3]

Conclusion – Salt-like Crystals Coming Out of Skin

Hard tiny crystals are coming out of your skin because of dirty skin, salty sweat, or past methamphetamine use.

Tiny crystals coming out of the skin are unnatural, and you should find the root cause – when this occurrence happens to you. Finding the root cause would help you eliminate the condition.

You have to prioritize your health to ensure that the cause is not pathological but physiological. Pathological conditions need treatment, while physiological causes will only require changes in your lifestyle.