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