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Does Testosterone Cause Acne: What is the Link?

Julian Carter


does testosterone cause acne

Testosterone, classified as an Androgen, is a vital hormone with various bodily functions. Though present in both male and female bodies, it is found in greater quantities in men. 

During puberty, testosterone contributes to the development of secondary sexual characteristics, including body hair growth and deepening of the voice. 

Increased testosterone levels during Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT) may also lead to several unwanted effects, such as the development of acne. 

So, does testosterone cause acne, and how long does it last? Many people are curious about this symptom. 

This article uncovers the connection between testosterone and acne. It discusses how to manage and suggests how to prevent acne while on testosterone.

Does testosterone cause acne

Yes, high testosterone levels can indirectly contribute to the development of acne. It is a skin condition that leads to outbreaks of lesions (pimples or zits) on the skin. 

However, testosterone is not a direct cause of acne. It increases sebum production, which can clog pores, leading to acne lesions (pimples or zits).

Testosterone is also not the only cause of acne. Genetics, hormones, diet, and skincare habits may be other contributing factors. 

Not everyone with high testosterone will get acne, as individual responses to hormone levels can vary.

Consult a healthcare provider or dermatologist for personalized advice and treatment options regarding acne or hormone level changes.

Why does testosterone cause acne

Acne (symptom of high testosterone)Source: AndreyPopov_from_Getty_Images
Closeup of a woman showing her acne.

Testosterone stimulates the skin’s sebaceous (oil) glands, increasing sebum production. 

Excess sebum, along with dead skin cells, can clog pores. Blocked pores lead to the growth of bacteria, which may contribute to the formation of acne lesions. 

Women (or people with biologically female anatomy) may also experience testosterone-induced acne due to medical conditions like Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS).

The condition causes hormonal imbalances, leading to high testosterone levels in women, which could contribute to symptoms like acne. 

Testosterone acne can also occur in people undergoing Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT) for gender transition or medical purposes.

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Curious about the potential side effects of testosterone? Did you know that high testosterone may also be associated with hair loss? Read: Does Testosterone Cause Hair Loss: Myth or Reality

How long does testosterone acne last

The duration of acne caused by testosterone can vary among individuals. Acne can occur as the body adapts to changes in hormone levels.

For some individuals, it could be a temporary issue that resolves naturally once their hormone levels stabilize. 

However, in ongoing hormonal imbalances, acne may continue for a prolonged duration.

According to Healthline, people undergoing testosterone therapy may experience acne breakouts for the first 6  to 12 months. 

Others may struggle with it for as long as they take testosterone. 

However, it may be possible to effectively manage testosterone acne with proper skin care and treatment. 

Testosterone-related acne is most common during puberty, when hormone levels undergo significant fluctuations. It may also occur during testosterone therapy or low testosterone treatment.

How to get rid of acne from testosterone

a plate of foodSource: oleksandranaumenko

Treating acne caused by testosterone involves a regular skincare regime and, in some cases, medical intervention.

For severe or persistent acne, a dermatologist can provide personalized treatment options, which may include prescription medications.

The following are some ways to help address acne associated with high testosterone levels:

Consistent skincare routine: Cleansing your skin regularly and exfoliating to remove excess oil, dirt, and dead skin cells can help manage acne.

Avoid heavy cosmetics: Limit heavy makeup or skincare products that can clog pores.

Topical treatments: Using topical products with ingredients like Salicylic acid or Benzoyl Peroxide may help.

Medical interventions: In extreme cases, a dermatologist may prescribe antibiotics, topical retinoids, or hormonal treatments.

Balanced diet: Consume a nutrient diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Limit dairy and foods high in glycemic index (GI), which may worsen acne.

Stress management: Engage in stress-reduction techniques, as stress can cause a hormonal imbalance and increase acne breakouts.

Don’t self-medicate for hormonal imbalances or severe acne. Consulting a healthcare provider ensures safe treatment.

Final takeaway

So, does testosterone cause acne? It is not a direct cause of acne. However, it affects sebum production, which can contribute to acne breakouts. 

Understanding this connection is crucial for people experiencing hormonal fluctuations in testosterone therapy. 

Addressing testosterone-related acne involves a regular skincare regime and, in some cases, medical intervention. 

Seeking advice from a healthcare provider or dermatologist is essential. They can help develop an effective acne management plan tailored to your needs.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you prevent testosterone acne?

To prevent testosterone-related acne, stick to a regular skincare routine. Use non-comedogenic products, cleanse frequently, and consider Salicylic acid treatments.
Consulting a dermatologist for personalized advice is also recommended.

Does back acne mean high testosterone?

Back acne, or “bacne,” does not necessarily indicate high testosterone levels.
Hormonal imbalances can influence acne, but other factors, including genetics, skincare habits, and diet, can contribute.
Consult a healthcare provider for accurate assessment and personalized treatment options for back acne.

Can hormonal therapy for acne affect testosterone levels?

Hormonal therapies like oral contraceptives can regulate hormones and may help manage acne.
However, their effects on testosterone levels can vary. Therefore, consultation with a healthcare provider is essential for an individualized approach.

Can high testosterone clear acne?

No, high testosterone cannot clear acne. While balanced hormone levels promote healthy skin, high testosterone levels can increase sebum production and worsen acne.
Achieving hormonal balance through proper medical guidance may aid in managing acne effectively.

Is testosterone causing my acne?

Increased testosterone levels can cause acne by affecting sebum production. However, acne can occur due to various factors, including genetics and skincare habits.
Consulting a doctor can help determine the underlying causes.

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