Managing Acne While Undergoing TRT

Our bodies are complicated machines that perform many functions to keep us energized, healthy, and strong. Androgen hormones, in particular, play an essential role in our well-being. One such hormone, testosterone, is responsible for many functions, including bone growth, sperm production, sex drive, and muscle size. As we age, our hormone levels change, and testosterone production often declines.

To avoid unpleasant side effects of low testosterone, many individuals choose to undergo testosterone replacement therapy with the help of their healthcare professional. While testosterone therapy has numerous desirable benefits, it also has potential side effects, one of which is mild and severe acne.

The relationship between testosterone replacement therapy and acne is highly personal and will depend on the individual’s response to the hormones. Some people will experience acne only during the initial period of their body’s adjustment to the therapy. While others will have a more extended acne period lasting anywhere from 6-12 months. Others yet will have acne the entire time they are receiving TRT. Regardless of your experience with acne, there are specific strategies you can use to manage acne breakouts.

Testosterone Replacement Therapy Quick Look

Testosterone is a sex hormone naturally produced by the body and is essential for men’s health. Testosterone levels are usually at their peak in adolescence and early adulthood and then begin to decline with age, leading to hypogonadism. This condition occurs when the body’s sex glands produce little or no hormones. Low testosterone levels can result in potential side effects like:

  • Low sex drive
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Muscle wasting
  • Depression
  • Irritability
  • Fatigue

Optimizing testosterone levels can benefit men of any age, as it is an essential component of men’s health. Testosterone replacement therapy (TRT), like the one offered at LaSara Medical Group, can help regulate testosterone levels in your body. TRT injections, gels, or patches gradually release testosterone into your system, helping you achieve your desired results with minimal side effects. One such side effect, however, can prove bothersome and can affect your self-esteem and confidence – acne.

What is Acne?

Acne is a skin condition most often associated with teenage years, although adult acne is also common. Acne is a common side effect in individuals using testosterone replacement therapy and can last anywhere from a few weeks to the entire duration of TRT. Here are the most common causes of different types of acne like pimples, blackheads, cystic acne, and whiteheads:

  • Clogged Pores: When hair follicles become obstructed due to the accumulation of sebum and dead skin cells, it can create an ideal environment for bacteria build-up, resulting in acne.
  • Sebaceous Glands: Sebaceous glands can be a cause of acne problems. They produce sebum, an oily substance that lubricates the skin, but they can also produce too much skin oil, resulting in acne.
  • Inflammation: When bacteria begin forming in clogged pores, they can trigger the body’s inflammatory response, resulting in red and swollen pimples.

What is The Relationship Between TRT and Acne?

Several factors could be at play when it comes to the relationship between TRT and acne:

  1. Increased Sebum Production: Testosterone could stimulate the sebaceous glands to produce more sebum. Sebum is essential for skin health because it keeps it moisturized. However, elevated sebum production can lead to oily skin and clogged hair follicles, resulting in acne.
  2. Hormonal Imbalances: TRT can disrupt the delicate hormonal balance in your body. A rapid increase in testosterone could lead to “steroid acne.” This type of hormonal acne is caused by hormonal imbalances and can affect the face, chest, back, and shoulders.
  3. Individualized Causes: The relationship between TRT and acne is highly individualized. Genetic predispositions, pre-existing skin conditions, hormone levels prior to TRT, and specific methods and dosages of testosterone replacement could all play a role in acne development.

Managing Acne During TRT

Acne can manifest in various forms, such as whiteheads, blackheads, papules, pustules, nodules, and cystic acne. Understanding these variations is essential for finding the right acne treatment. Treating acne associated with TRT will require an individualized approach that takes into account the visible symptoms of your acne as well as the underlying hormonal imbalances.

Here are some steps you can follow to address your acne concerns:

  • Consult a Dermatologist: If you are experiencing acne during your TRT treatment, the best thing to do is to consult with your dermatologist. Dermatologists specialize in skin conditions and can help you determine the underlying factors contributing to your acne.
  • Benzoyl Peroxide: Benzoyl peroxide can help kill acne-causing bacteria and reduce inflammation. It is available in over-the-counter and prescription-strength formulations.
  • Accutane: Accutane, or isotretinoin, is a popular prescription treatment for acne. It is most commonly used to treat cystic acne, a severe form of acne that can cause scarring.
  • Oral Contraceptives: Oral contraceptives can help regulate hormones and improve acne. This treatment option, however, is generally reserved only for females.
  • Salicylic Acid: Topical treatments like salicylic acid help exfoliate the skin, unclog pores, and prevent the buildup of dead skin cells within hair follicles. This can help prevent acne.
  • Retinoids: Topical retinoids, like tretinoin and adapalene, can help improve cellular regeneration and prevent the formation of acne lesions.
  • Skincare Products: Appropriate skincare products like creams, face wash, and sunscreen could all help maintain healthy skin and help minimize the appearance of acne. Consult your dermatologist to find products best suited to your needs.

TRT and Acne at LaSara Medical Group

At LaSara Medical Group, we understand the unique challenges faced by men and women. With offices in Los Angeles, Orange County, and San Diego, our highest priority is to help you feel comfortable and confident. If you are experiencing acne during your testosterone replacement treatment, our knowledgeable providers are here to help. During your initial consultation, our helpful healthcare providers will review the various side effects of TRT and recommend a personalized course of action for you. LaSara Medical Group serves Los Angeles, San Diego, and Orange County and also provides Telemedicine services to eligible clients. Call us today to find out if TRT is right for you!