How to Treat Steroid Acne

Anabolic steroids can give you the best results if you use them correctly with protection. But if you intake them randomly or take high doses of steroids, you may have to deal with several possible side effects. Acne is one of them. It can be caused by steroid consumption either by prescription or as a part of bodybuilding supplements.

In this article, we will cover all the essential details on Acne and what you can do about it.


I. What Is Steroids Acne?

Steroid acne is the name of an acne-like skin condition caused in people if they take high doses of anabolic steroids. Acne is the inflammation of the oil glands on your hair roots and your skin. In technical terms, acne vulgaris is called spots, zits, and pimples. It is one of the common side effect of anabolic steroids. Steroids acne has the same symptoms as typical acne.
There are two forms of Steroids Acne:

  •  Acne:

People with spots have medical conditions called acne vulgaris, where Vulgaris is the medical term of ‘common’. You may prefer to call acne spots, pimples, and zits.

  • Malassezia folliculitis:

It is also known as pityrosporum folliculitis. It is an infection of the pilosebaceous unit caused by lipophilic Malassezia yeasts, specifically M. restricta, M. sympodial, and M. globose. Malassezia yeast is the inhabitants of the human skin surface. It only causes disease under some specific conditions. Malassezia yeasts can cause several skin diseases, including dermatitis, seborrhoeic, and pityriasis Versicolor.

Steroid acne can be caused due to long-term use of steroids, and they are different from steroid rosacea. Acne, especially in the back, is often used to spot steroids users as it is a common symptom. A big bodybuilder guy with acne in the back is probably taking steroids.

Symptoms Of Steroid Acne


II. What Are The Symptoms Of Steroid Acne?

Steroids acne most often occurs on your chest; it may also spread on your neck, back, face and arms. Fortunately, you can reduce these chest acne in some different effective ways. Here are some common symptoms:

  • Small red bumps (papules)
  • Large, painful red lumps (nodules)
  • White and yellow spots (pustules)
  • Blackheads and whiteheads (comedones)
  • Cyst-like swellings (pseudocysts)

You may also get sensory effects from scratching or picking the acne. These can include scars, red marks from healed spots, and dark marks from the old spots. If the steroid acne is of Malassezia folliculitis (fungal) type, most acne spots will be the same. And Comedones are not present. But if steroids acne is acne vulgaris type, the spots may be uniform than with ordinary non-steroid acne.


III. Common Cause Of Steroid Acne

Steroid acne can be caused by steroid drugs when you take a high dose of steroid pills or steroid injection.

  • Consume Anabolic Steroids

According to cdijournal studies, steroid acne occurs in about 50% of people who take high doses of anabolic steroids. When you take famous anabolic steroids for bodybuilding, including testosterone, Deca Durabolin and Sustanon can cause steroid acne.

  • Prescribed Corticosteroids

When increased the usage of corticosteroids after any transplant surgery or chemotherapy, steroid acne can occur. Steroid acne will don’t show up instantly; it may show up after several weeks of treatments. According to the studies, the rate of acne is different according to age, also depends on the size of steroid doses and length of the treatment.

Anabolic steroids and corticosteroids


IV. How It Can Occur

According to studies, steroids may contribute production of your body’s immune system receptors known as TLR2. And together with the presence of the bacteria (Propionibacterium) acnes, the TLR2 receptors may play a vital role in bringing on an acne outbreak.


V. Treatment Option For Steroids Acne

The treatment for acne vulgaris involves various skin preparations and oral antibiotics, and for fungal acne, it can be treated with antifungals like oral antifungal, ketoconazole shampoo.

  • Oral Antibiotics: Antibiotics pills or tablets of the tetracycline group are prescribed for severe and mild steroid acne. You can use oral antibiotics such as minocycline, tetracycline, and doxycycline. All these antibiotics kill the bacteria that aggravate acne. It may also include anti-inflammatory properties. It can take approx four to eight weeks of regular antibiotic use before you see the effects on your skin. The full response of your skin clearing can take three to six months.

Here are some other treatments including:

  • Benzoyl peroxide or proactive cream will work for you. A lot of steroid acne can be cystic acne, and they are very painful.

  • Salicylic acid creams can be used in addition to the benzoyl peroxide to hit the acne from various angles.

  • Erythromycin or other topical zit fighters are combinedly placed on the effects area and do a good job depending on the severity of acne.
    Retin cream will work on minor outbreaks of acne. It can irritate your skin but also has benefits as a wrinkle eraser.

  • Accutane is very effective, but it is only prescribed with severe side effects. It will cure acne permanently. Blood work is required & the severe side effects scare lots of people.
Roaccutane (A-cnotren) 30x20mg Pharmathen
  • Cortisone shot into the nasty little zit by a dermatologist will make them disappear. It almost works within hours to make the zit disappear.


  • The sebaceous gland output is removed, and it will help prevent acne from occurring and become massive.


VI. Prevention Tips For Steroid Acne

The high use of steroids drugs can cause steroid acne. You can stop or reduce the dose of steroids; this will help to eliminate acne. However, it is not always possible. Because if you are taking steroids for severe medical conditions such as transplanted organs, you can not stop them. You should not take oily foods, some dairy products, especially sugar, because they may contribute to acne outbreaks. You can try an anti-acne diet. Cosmetics containing lanolin, vegetable oil, lauryl alcohol, and butyl stearate may contribute to acne.


VII. Conclusion

Acne is one of the common side effect that high doses of anabolic steroids can cause. However, it is easy to treat and possible to prevent these side effect. The symptoms will disappear when you stop using them, or you reduce the doses of anabolic steroids. If you feel the symptoms are getting severe, you need to consult your doctor and ask about the possible treatment options and prescription-strength medications.

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