One of the most commonly reported side effects associated with the use of anabolics is steroid acne. Fortunately, you can take some steps to minimize oily skin and the development of blemishes both during and after your anabolic steroid cycles.
Consider Your Genetics.
The acne caused by steroids is an androgenic effect, much like the worsening of male pattern baldness or the conversion to estrogen. Your genetics play a significant role in the ways in which these androgenic side effects will affect you. For example, if you have no male pattern baldness in your family, then the odds of developing it are slim to none. Along those same lines, if you did not struggle with acne during puberty or at any time in your adult life, the odds of developing severe acne because of anabolic steroid use are also slim.
Causes and Symptoms of Acne during Steroid Use
The androgenic effects of anabolic steroids cause the sebaceous glands in the skin to secrete more oils than normal. This also occurs in puberty for much the same reason; additional hormones during puberty cause oilier skin. However, in athletes, it is important to consider that working out also increases oil production, which causes acne to worsen very quickly. Most steroid users notice oily skin followed by blemishes on their backs, shoulders, and faces.
The absolute best way to prevent blemishes is to keep your skin clean at all times. Shower twice daily using a product that contains no additional oils. The best products are those labeled “non-comedogenic” and “water-based”, as these will not clog pores any further. Keep your blood sugar levels at the low end of normal, too. High blood sugar may contribute to worsening acne. Finally, studies suggest that incorporating a zinc supplement into your diet (30mg twice per day) can reduce the effects of acne.
Treating Severe Cases of Steroid Acne
Sometimes, as acne progresses, bacteria can build up in the clogged pores and worsen the situation. For mild acne treatment, try a medicated cleanser that contains salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide, but remember that these are sometimes harsh on sensitive skin. For moderate to severe acne, you may need to visit your physician and get a prescription for antibiotics to kill the bacteria in your pores. Another option is a topical medication containing a retinoid, which also requires a prescription. These not only treat your existing acne, but they also prevent new acne from forming.
Bulking Stack Online What Not to Do
Remember that the consumption of oily or fatty foods does not cause acne, nor will it make it worse. No studies – scientific or otherwise – have ever linked the two. Many bodybuilders also believe that tanning beds keep acne under control by “drying” the skin, but this is not the case. A tanning bed actually saps moisture from your skin and leaves the oils behind, and over time, tanning can cause skin cancer. Finally, using antibacterial soap to wash your skin can cause certain strains of bacteria to become resistant to the anti-bacterial agent, which can have a significant impact on your health.
Acne is one of the most obnoxious and embarrassing side effects of anabolic steroid use, and the bad news is that it is also one of the most common. However, by preventing acne before it starts and treating it when it does, you can minimize its impact on your appearance.