T Nation

Dramatically Increased T Absorption from Dermaroller

I am 48 yo on TRT with Tostrex 2 % gel since about 8 months. I am prescribed 6 pump actions of Tostrex, which equals 60 mg of T. On average, 12 % is absorbed which would be equal to about 7,2 mg T/day. I apply half the dosage in the morning and the other half in the afternoon to get slightly more even Test levels instead of applying all in the morning as I’m prescribed.
About a month ago, I started a little experiment to use a dermaroller on the skin before applying the gel and had bloodwork before and after. All bloodwork is done first thing in the morning on fasting state and before applying the gel (i.e. about 14 hours after applying half the dosage in the afternoon).
Bloodwork before the experiment (i.e. on 6 pump actions of Tostrex):
T = 21 nmol/L (= 520ng/dl).
E2 = 31

Bloodtest, 1 week after starting dermarolling showed:
T > 50 nmol/L ( > 1420 ng/dl) (unfortunately, labs do not report exact level above 50 nmol/L in my country)
E2 = 75

Both the T and E2 was a bit shoking so I added 0.05 mg arimidex/day and halved the Gel dose from 6 to 3 pumps per day. Latest bloodtest (1 week after I made these chages) shows:

T = 24 nmol/L (690 ng/dl)
E2 < 20 (again, lab does not report exact value when E2 is below 20).

I was a bit shocked by how much difference the dermaroller made to T absorption. I am also a bit puzzled by the low E2 from only 0.05 mg arimidex/day (I dissolve half a tablet in 1 ml vodka and take 0.1 ml/day.)

My questions would be:

  • Does anybody have a similar experience with dermarolling (also called microneedling, there are some studies on microneedling and drug absorption but I could not find any regarding Test gel) before applying Test gel?

  • I also would appreciate comments on the arimidex since it is the first time I use it. From the lab results, would you think that I am extra sensitive to it?

  • Finally, I would appreciate comments regarding the safety of dermarolling before applying T gel. Naturally, I use correct sanitary technique by cleaning the roller and the skin appropriately. But since dermarolling increases the penetration of all substances in the gel (In addition to Test, the gel contains additional ingredients to aid transdermal delivery), I was wondering if it could possibly cause any harm that way? The following are listed as ingredients:

Propylene glycol
Ethanol, anhydrous
Isopropyl alcohol
Oleic acid
Carbomer 1382
Butylhydroxytoluene (E321)
Water, purified
Hydrochloric acid (for pH adjustment)

Thankful for any comments.

Very interesting. I use exfoliating gloves on my Testogel area, when I’m in a shower & then rinse the are with hotter water.

I get much better absorption from that 27 nmol versus 20 nmol & a similar increase in my free testosterone levels.

I use 50mg of Testogel once per day

What gauge dermaroller were you using, please?

I am using a 1mm.

Thanks mate :slight_smile:

I’m going to give this a go, although I ordered a 0.5mm before you’d replied (my impulse problems on Amazon haha).

My reason to try a dermaroller is my Testogel formula has changed & Im getting lower T levels despite putting more testosterone on my skin… So I’m hoping to boost my T levels back to where they were, while I wait to go onto injections.

I don’t really have enough skin for 5 pumps of the new gel!

Are you still using the dermaroller? What do you think of using it, a month on?

I am sure 0.5 mm will also work fine.

Yes, I am still using it. I have done a couple of more blood test and estimate that it increases the absorbtion by 2 - 2.5 times. So I normally use about half of the prescribed dosage, which allows me to “save up” for short burst periods where I double or tripple the dosage for 2-4 weeks to gain some muscle. This is the main reason I haven’t switched to injections.

The only downside is that the absorption varies between each occasion depending on how many times you roll the area as well as how much pressure you apply to the dermaroller (in addition to all other things that also affect gel absorbtion).

That’s great it boosts the absorption so much, I need about a 50% boost compared to the results I got from the old TGel.

As absorption varies so much per amount of rolling, how much rolling do you do roughly?

Thanks again :slight_smile:

I mainly roll arms and shoulders. About 20-30 seconds per arm, rolling in different directions (vertical, horizontal, diagonal).

You may feel a slight burn after applying the gel but its not too bad, at least not for me.

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Thanks Morgan \m/ The Dermaroller should be arriving this evening, so I’ll use it with tomorrow mornings Testogel.

Good luck. Would appreciate if you post your experience after using it for a while.

I have a friend that uses it with testogel (I am on tostrex myself) and his experience is similar to mine. He has just done one before/after blood test and got about a doubling in test reading with the roller.

\m/ to your pal getting the same doubling!!

I tried the dermaroller on the back of my hand first & it actually made my skin bleed a little, though I wasn’t pressing hard.

I just applied the Tgel to my upper arms after much lighter dermarolling. I’m quite excited about this!

Strange, I have never seen any blood at all and I am using 1 mm needles. Maybe you applied too much pressure. Also, the skin on the back of your hands is prety thin.

When using the roller, I apply very very gentle pressure, on the border of almost no pressure at all. Just apply enough pressure to keep the roller in place and let it slide.

There are a lot of instructional videos on youtube (mostly from women who uses it to look good and get rid of wrinkles :wink:

3 weeks into using the Dermaroller & I’ll get my Total T, free T & E2 measured in a week.

Subjectively I feel awesome! Probably too awesome - I’m probably over the top of the healthy top quartile.

I hope not though. I’d be very happy if this is what top quartile free T feels like.

Lots of night time boners + occasionally morning wood as well (I don’t usually get either, but I take erection killing antidepressants)

Long term twice a day Dermaroller will probably cause your skin to toughen from the effects of injury response growth factors. Now add the effects of alcohol etc as further irritants. Result could be reduced absorption and changes appearance.

Where are you located?
Are T self injections an option?

If you are going to endure that, why not self inject which is 100% absorbed and least cost. You would use #29 1/2" 0.5ml insulin syringes for subq injections.

0.05X7 = 0.35mg/week
Not enough clarity or data…
Note that some are anastrozole over-responders who need ~1/4mg per week in divided doses.

You are increasing your delivered T dose. If results are too good, doctor might reduce your dose. If original results were poor, doctor might have increased your dose.

Please read the stickies found here: About the T Replacement Category

  • advice for new guys - need more info about you
  • 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.

KSman is simply a regular member on this site. Nothing more other than highly active.

I can be a bit abrupt in my replies and recommendations. I have a lot of ground to cover as this forum has become much more active in the last two years. I can’t follow threads that go deep over time. You need to respond to all of my points and requests as soon as possible before you fall off of my radar. The worse problems are guys who ignore issues re Thyroid, body temperatures, history of iodized salt. Please do not piss people off saying that lab results are normal, we need lab numbers and ranges.

The value that you get out of this process and forum depends on your effort and performance. The bulk of your learning is reading/studying the suggested stickies.

My main concern with dermarolling is alcohol is a type 1 carcinogen according to the World Health Organisation… And that carcinogen is being better absorbed into the body’s largest organ - the skin - on a daily basis.

It’s definitely not something I’ll be doing for more than another couple weeks. Just an experiment really.

Im not the Original Poster, but I’m in England - Im saving up to go private so I can be prescribed self injections & do that sub q.

Hope to go private in about 8 weeks :slight_smile:

Mrmeeseeks: Interesting to hear. Will be interesting to see what your labs show. Regarding alcohol: My reasoning is that the amount of alcohol that gets into your blood (and thus could do harm your organs) is probably negligible and far less than e.g. having a beer. Otherwise, you would feel intoxicated after applying the gel. Whether or not it can do damage to the skin (except from a slight irritation) is another question and one of the main reasons I started this tread. Logically, I don’t think it should since T-gels shouldn’t have been approved as drugs if they were dangerous (the dermaroller just increases the absorption) but I really don’t know the answer and would appreciate answers from somebody who is knowledgeable.

Ksman: Thanks for your answer and Yes, I am located in Sweden. Unfortunately, self injections are not an option. The only alternative to gels in Sweden is Nebido, which I am not very inclined to switch to. Nebido injections is given every 14 weeks (one 4 ml injection of 1000 mg Test undecanoate, of which 632 mg is Test). Reading from other people’s experience, most people seem to feel fine for the first 5-8 weeks and terrible for the last 4-7 weeks (although some people seem to feel OK all the time). The cost of gels is not an issue since it is covered by government so nebido or gels cost the same for me.
Regarding your last comment, I am actually not increasing the T levels. I rather use the dermaroller to achieve the same plasma T levels with less gel (i.e. I only use about 1/3 the prescribed dose), This allows me to “save” some gel that I then can use for shorter (2-4 week) “blast” periods for gaining muscle. Since I am almost 50, I don’t want to use high doses or anything illegal. I have found that during very short blasts, I do not get any noticeable side effects and my bloodwork stays fine. I have managed to gain about 10 pounds of muscle in less than a year (I have been lifting for 35 years and have had a very hard time gaining anything significant for the last several years).
I am sorry but I don’t understand what you mean by “0.05X7 = 0.35mg/week Not enough clarity or data…” I guess that you mean that I should experiment with different dosages and do labs. Since I started the tread, I have realized that I do not need Arimedex at all during normal periods. I get bad symptoms even from as little as 0.2 mg/week so I certainly think that I am an over-responder. I am now trying to find an appropriate dose to use during blasts.

Yeah I meant the alcohol effect on the skin, rather than a systemic effect of the alcohol going into the bloodstream.

My slight worry is skin cancer from long term alcohol exposure on the skin. That’s just my idea though, not a fact!

I’d like to hear from experts too :slight_smile: