Monday, July 26, 2010

How steroids affect the skin

Its not to be concluded that any athletic persons or dedicated bodybuilders who have the following skin ailments use anabolic steroids. But if a person contemplating anabolic steroids, for any reason, the skin can reveal negative side effects of the drug.

Corticosteroids (topical steroids) prescribed by doctors, are absorbed into the skin in the form of creams, ointments and lotions. Corticosteroids stop these cells from producing various inflammation causing chemicals that are released when the skin reacts to allergens or irritation.

Anabolic steroids have few medical uses. Their primary use is to promote weight gain and muscle development in animals. Rarely prescribed to humans, the muscle building (anabolic) and androgenic effects of these drugs make them appealing to athletes and bodybuilders. Taken orally or topically, these steroids steroids come in the form of tablets, capsules, a solution for injection or cream to rub into the skin.

Although a muscular body may be appealing, these steroids have been associated with less appealing side effects for the skin such as acne, course or dry skin, cysts and very oily skin. These side effects of the skin can occur if these steroids are taken orally, injected or applied topically.
Inappropriate use of anabolic steroids stimulates the oil producing glands sebaceous glands. Over-production of this sebum leads to acne. The most "stubborn" acne is called cystic acne. This is a severe form of acne where pimples develop into small cysts. Cystic acne is caused by excessive build up of sebum in the pores and is not caused by hygiene or the lack of.

Cystic acne can affect the face, chest, back, shoulders and in rare cases, the upper arms. If cystic acne is not treated in the early stages by stopping the abuse of steroids, and with prescribed antibiotics, it can lead to permanent scarring, also known as "potholes" on the skin, most commonly on face and upper chest.

Another apparent side effect is skin becoming dry or rough, with a "scaly" appearance. There are a couple of reasons for this. While using steroids the side effect for rough skin is caused by the pores in the skin becoming larger. This is more prominent in women because they usually have smoother skin than men. If a person is suffering from acne brought on by very oily skin, a natural tendency is to overly cleanse the skin stripping the skin of it's natural oils, especially when harsh soaps with chemicals are used.

Another reason to stop the abuse of this drug is a possible, but less common side effect caused by long-term use of steroids is Cushing's Syndrome, which causes dark or purplish marks or bumps on the skin that can effect both men and women.

Exercise is part of a healthy lifestyle. It can make you look and feel stronger and healthier.

These benefits can outshine any drug for a healthier post workout glow to the skin!

By Sandy Alcide. Biochemist and Athlete Skin Care Consultant. Founder of Motion Medica skin care. Copyright 2014. You may use this article or portions of it but you must include this paragraph and a link to