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What Is the Connection between Testosterone and Acne?

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  • Written By: C. Daw
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 04 December 2016
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Our body is influenced by many factors. Environmental factors have an impact on them, as does food and hygiene, but the main influence that has a huge role in changing our body comes from the inside. The body adapts to the environment and the changing conditions inside and out through rigid maintenance of homeostasis. To maintain this balance of function, our body operates intricate networks of cause and effect triggered by hormones, which is why testosterone and acne can be linked together.

Hormones are chemical messengers which influence bodily functions. There are many hormones operating in our body, with different roles in maintaining homeostasis. Most of them are essential in keeping us healthy, but some trigger physical changes that can be problematic as we age. During adolescence, a surge of male and female reproductive hormones trigger these changes.

Estrogen and progesterone are the two female hormones responsible for the female sex characteristics that are manifested during puberty. On the other hand, a surge of male hormone, testosterone (androgen), turns boys into men. Testosterone has been said to cause acne production. It is present both in the male and female body, but women usually have low testosterone levels. Testosterone and acne connection has been a problem for girls and boys, but boys experience the worst effects of the hormone.

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High levels of testosterone and acne occurrence has been debated for a long time. There are sensible defenses that prove the testosterone and acne connection in the medical field. Sebum is the oily substance that keeps our body sufficiently moisturized. High levels of testosterone can cause overproduction of sebum by the sebaceous gland. When the sebaceous gland, commonly known as the sweat gland, goes into overdrive, the trapped sebum accumulates and clogs the pores.

A clogged pore, caused by this change in sebum, is a convenient environment for bacteria to thrive, multiply, and cause harm to the neighboring cells. Whiteheads, blackheads, oily skin and cystic pores result. Inflammation and infection of the clogged sebaceous gland worsens. This unfortunate phase is commonly known as hormonal acne.

Acne does not only occur during puberty. Stress can also trigger an imbalance of hormones which may cause testosterone levels to surge, even during adult years. Some men use artificial testosterone for body building and there are athletes who also use it to boost their performance. As a result, embarrassing breakouts like adult acne occurs. Testosterone is largely responsible for acne in men and women alike. There is an aggravating connection between testosterone and acne which has been shown to exist through numerous medical studies conducted throughout the world.

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serenesurface
Post 3

@fify-- Not necessarily.

The relationship between testosterone and acne is not as simple as it is made out to be. There are many hormones that interact in our body. According to my doctor, it's not possible to pinpoint one single hormone as a cause of acne.

Some people with severe acne (men and women) actually have normal levels of testosterone but they have a deficiency in the protein that binds testosterone. This causes higher than normal levels of androgens, a hormone that's found in our skin. In some people, androgen causes acne.

My dermatologist explained all this to me when I asked him about testosterone and acne.

ZipLine
Post 2

I'm convinced that acne and testosterone levels are directly related.

I had mild acne during puberty but it cleared up soon afterward. I'm 28 now and a year ago, I started working out. I'm doing weight training several times a week and jogging and swimming on the other days. About six months ago, I started getting acne out of nowhere. It affects my face and my back. I'm using a body wash and a face cleanser for acne but it hasn't made a difference.

I've read from various sources that exercising and weight training boosts testosterone. This must be why I've developed acne since I've started to work out.

fify
Post 1

If testosterone causes acne, does this mean that men with acne have more testosterone?

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