How Steroids Affect the Skin

Fitness Expert

How Steroids Effect the Skin

Its not to be concluded that any athletic persons or bodybuilders who have the following skin ailments use anabolic steroids. But if a person is 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 and ointments. 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 farm 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 come in the form of tablets, capsules, a solution for injection . 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.

Inappropriate use of the anabolic steroids stimulates the oil producing sebacious 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 the excessive buildup of sebum in the pores and is not caused by hygiene or lack of.

Cystic acne can affect the face, chest, back shoulders and upper arms. If cystic acne is not treated in its 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 of 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 side effect caused by long-term use is Cushing's Syndrome. This ailment causes the skin to have dark or purplish bumps or marks on the skin that 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.

By Sandy Alcide Athlete Skin Care Consultant, founder of Motion Medica skin care.