T Nation

ACNE: My Personal Theory: Testosterone Flux

I personally do not believe there is a single cause for why people break out; rather there is a process that we understand about acne and several unknown factors that jolt that process that must be identified by each individual. I have had an issue with my skin at several times in my life; sometimes not having an issue at all and other times breaking out in a manner where I feel a real lack of confidence.

At the moment, I am testing out a theory. I consider myself a weight-lifter, as in I go to the gym with the purpose of packing on muscle. However, 2010 was a bad year for me. My wife relocated to Santa Cruz, I left my job and went with her, then came back to Southern California and we broke-up. During that whole breakup time, until I got with my new girlfriend, I had zero problems with my skin.

This was also the period when I was in better shape, as I was working out very often. During the winter months, with Christmas, etc. I worked out less and then for the first half of the year I did not really have a consistent and stable workout routine. Just recently, like for the last two weeks, I have been working hard, almost every day. It is strange but I seem to have clearer skin when I work out for a few days in a row, and I tend to breakout when I take too many days off after a string of work outs.

My belief, and perhaps it is my head, is that an inconsistent body building creates fluctuation in hormones. If I work out often and on a routine, my body adapts to that. If I work out hard for a few days then take a few days off, etc. my body becomes confused and it freaks out. It is looking for higher levels of hormonal production that it was trying to adapt to, and when it cannot find it, it wigs. I am still testing this theory, in the lab so to speak.

Last week is an example. I started strong, working out Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday really hard and strong. Thursday was half assed because I was busy. Friday I do not work out. Saturday and Sunday I also did not. So thatâ??s three great days, one lame, and three off. I had a mild breakout (aka one little cyst) over the weekend on Sunday. So I am beginning to think there might be something to this.

Anyone have similar experiences?

It could be from sweating when you train or increased blood flow. I think either of those could be as likely as hormones.

[quote]on edge wrote:
It could be from sweating when you train or increased blood flow. I think either of those could be as likely as hormones.[/quote]

I was thinking the same thing.

Sweating is a good way for the body to expel toxins.

[quote]Iron Dwarf wrote:

[quote]on edge wrote:
It could be from sweating when you train or increased blood flow. I think either of those could be as likely as hormones.[/quote]

I was thinking the same thing.

Sweating is a good way for the body to expel toxins.

Or just clear pores

I do sweat like a whore in church when I work it. Perhaps it?s really that simple. I don?t know though, body building and sweat are so connected I don?t think I can determine that. But I always heard sweat can make it worse.

I heard several times that acne can be worsened by psychological issues - especially guilt - I don’t know if it’s true. But if it is, acne could be connected to you feeling guilty for not working out regularly. My experience tells me there is something to it.

I had an acne problem for a LOOONG-fucking-time, all the way into my early twenties. I’m close to 24 now and I have decent skin. My face started clearing up when I started taking zinc, but even if I’d take a lot of it, there would still be a mild breakout occasionally. Without zinc, it would be back where it always was.

Last 10 months though, I dealt with some problems and reduced stress and feeling guilty. And now, even when I cut back on zinc, my face looks fine.

Acne has many causes, but it can just be genetic. My mother still has acne issues (I got rid of it with Accutane) and she says that her grandfather had horrible acne all his life until he died.

I tried changing my diet, doing exercice, not doing exercice, creams, patches, etc. Nothing helped until I started to take oral medicines.

The interesting thing is that I didn’t have acne until I was 18-20 and I had a horrible year and got very depressed…but I really have no idea if acne popping caused confidence issues that helped my way into depression or it was the depression that caused acne.

My friend has the opposite case as you do, kennethrios. He gets acne when trains very hard and it calms down when he’s having an off week.

The extra shower on training days can help too.

The more I sweat the worse my back and shoulder look…jus sayin

acne is from the sweat glands getting plugged, then the bacteria take over and produce FFA’s which are irritating to the skin. working out keeps them from plugging up as fast. Hormones are involved on a much longer scale (al a mr I quit getting acne far enough away from puberty). To say that your workouts are increasing your hormonal profile to the point of a 16yo boy would be stretching it.

When I was like 14 or so, I started getting some bumps on my forehead, they weren’t red and swollen, but it wasn’t normal. I just put some d-alpha tocopherol on it, and boom goes the dynamite.
Not having a faggy emo haircut helps keep your pores clean too, as does regular washing of face and hands.

I’ve got acne myself and had it pretty damn bad 1-2 years back. Presently, I just tough it out and don’t take anything for it as it’s at a level where I’m unlikely to create further scarring unless I go tearing my face apart when I should just be leaving it to run its course. I feel better for not having taken anything and generally, in photos, unless I have messed with my face it is not at all noticeable, which is all I’m really bothered about.

The two things that FOR ME make the difference are:

  1. The drier the skin remains the better, after all roaccutanes main function is to dry out the system. I Have not taken it as the potential side effects far outweigh the damage it does to me mentally, I can still go out with full confidence etc etc. So I do see the benefit in creams that dry out the skin, but at present don’t use anything as needing to go through doctors and over the counter and pay quite a lot just isn’t working for me. Don’t know if there’s a commercial product for this purpose

  2. SUNLIGHT! If there’s one miracle cure for me it is the sun. Put simply, the percentage of acne cases by those who consistantly expose themselves to sunlight IS LOWER! You go to hot countries and they acne is very rare in comparison (of course you still get those who stay inside a lot etc. )

I realise #2 is far from a cure all for those with very severe acne, after all mine was getting there at one stage, however, it is brilliant for maintenence of keeping the skin relatively dried out and in my opinion does wonders to speed up the scarring look. NOW if anyone knows if sun beds have the exact same benefits, let me know, but I don’t believe it would feel as healthy or as effective for me… just wish I lived somewhere with more then a few weeks of sun per year… jel of you cali peepz etccccc

EDIT: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Clear-Skin-Diet-Defeat-Healthy/dp/1581825749/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1310942882&sr=8-1

Bit silly of me for not talking about the diet side, the book above covers that, but for most t-guys, I’m presuming crappy diet is not the cause… and yes this confirms my theory on sunlight, those in hot climates with acne are almost definitely cause of a poor diet imo.

Further to this, the reason you get it in the first place is hugely genetic, my dad being why for me…

stress and diet are the two biggest factors for me… i used to have pretty bad acne in college… after graudation i’d get flare ups eveyr now and then but nothing serious… same thing between when im eating “clean” and just “dirty”