Transdermal T products [gels, creams and patches] have low absorption rates. 10% at best and often lower or very little. With 90% wasted, the costs are very high relative to self-injected T which is least cost and 100% absorbed.
Creams should be higher concentrations so that lower surface areas are used for application. This reduces the amount of skin tissue driving T–>E2 aromatization. Applying to inner forearms and upper arms is best as this skin is thinner and typically little or no hair that can sequester some of the dose.
There are issues with possible transfer to other persons or children.
Sweating and showering are going to make things worse.
There is a well known pattern of very low absorption when there are thyroid issues. The thyroid issues can involve thyroid lab results that are perfectly normal, but the problems are still there but doctors will simply label things as normal and will be dismissive. The root problem is the blind allegiance to thyroid lab ranges that are stupid. Body temperatures are the best indicator of overall thyroid function see last paragraph in this post on how to check.
Please read the stickies found here: About the T Replacement Category
- advice for new guys
- things that damage your hormones
- protocol for injections
- finding a TRT doc
Evaluate your overall thyroid function by checking oral body temperatures as per the thyroid basics sticky. Thyroid hormone fT3 is what gets the job done and it regulates mitochondrial activity, the source of ATP which is the universal currency of cellular energy. This is part of the body’s temperature control loop. This can get messed up if you are iodine deficient. In many countries, you need to be using iodized salt. Other countries add iodine to dairy or bread.