23. Acne and Testosterone, hGH, and IGF-1

Welcome back, Doctor Jacob here and we are talking today about acne and testosterone, human growth hormone, and IGF-1, also called insulin-like growth factor 1. As you can guess, this all falls within the section of things that can exacerbate or cause acne. So why do people take extra testosterone? Well, they could have deficiency of testosterone, or they could be trying to gain muscle mass or body weight for whatever reason. Same with human growth hormone and IGF-1. A lot of times these are people who are trying to excel in athletics or people who are trying to get into some anti-aging regimen and are getting a hold of these hormones legally or otherwise, and come to see me with really bad acne. All three of these turn on the oil-pumping mechanisms of the oil glands, and as a result the extra oil sludges up the pores and leads to acne. And this isn't just little tiny comedones type acne, these are big, inflammatory pimples, really on the trunk, the chest, the back, the shoulders and the neck and face, and sometimes even the scalp and armpits. It can be a really nasty acne, actually.

Testosterone, human growth factor, and IGF-1 - of these, probably testosterone is the biggest culprit in many bodybuilders or people who are taking testosterone for other reasons, are reluctant to give it up even though their acne is horrendous. Typically, if for whatever reason the drug cannot be discontinued, the testosterone or IGF-1 or human growth hormone cannot be discontinued if it's needed for a medical reason, the acne really only responds to Accutane (Isotretinoin) which is an oral medication that really shrinks up the oil glands, but it often comes back as soon as the isotretinoin is stopped.

Most people who are listening probably aren't taking any of these medications of testosterone, human growth hormone, or IGF-1, so it's probably not an issue for most listeners, but for the few who are - you're not going to get your acne cleared up until you are pretty much either off these agents or you're on long-term and continuous isotretinoin.

That's all for today. I'm Doctor Jacob, we'll see you next time.