T Nation

Hormonal Acne Connected to, Diet, Insulin, SHBG, etc

For the past few months i’ve been doing a lot of research on diet and acne related issues. There seems to be known a concrete causal relationship between the western diet and the formation of acne. Specifically the glycemic index/load of food we eat.

In societies that eat strictly low glycemic foods, 0 cases of acne are found, even in teens. Low carb diets would indirectly be low glycemic as well, like keto. Paleo diet would also be low glycemic.

My inquiry now is, how would these dietary cures for acne translate to exogenous hormone/anabolic steroid use? There is a book called The Dietary Cure for acne by Loren Cordain, which addresses everything crom insulin, IGF-1, SHBG, and its relation to acne and the formation of skin issues.

If anyone has any experience with using anabolic steroids while maintaining a low glycemic diet or low carb/keto/paleo diet, feel free to share your information with me! For those struggling, do some research, you will be astounded.

Said who? Do you have data to back this?

Acne is a tough one to tackle.
SHBG balance could play a role.

Overall state of the gut could play a role.
Sometimes hygiene and OTC can eliminate the issue.

There is no one cure for all cases.
Tackle it one by one and pay attention to what changes make a substantial difference. I personally do not even bother with OTC cleansers or agents to tackle the issue, however they may help you.

Vitamin A, E, D, Zinc and Selenium are also pretty fucking awesome.

Yes. Research Kitavan islanders, the ache people, Papa New Guinea and Acne. All the info you need is out there.

Has anyone had any success at tackling specifically steroid/TRT related acne through diet? Whether it be simply omega 3 supplementation, zinc OTC, low glycemic diet, keto, paleo, or anything?

I don’t have any answers to your exact question

But I have spent some time weeding out what causes inflammation in my own body. The easiest way to do so was to find out common irritants and exclude those and then bring them back successively while remembering that just because an inflammatory response occurs it might not be the particular item itself but that it combined with the rest of the food stuffs that have by now been included equal a less than ideal response (ideal being no symptoms of inflammation perceived).

What’s the most pro-inflammatory for you and me will most likely be different. The same, but chiral argument, applies for anti-inflammatory food stuffs such as fish oil and curcumin.

Before you discard carbs, maybe explore what happens if you narrow your carb intake to buckwheat, rice and potatoes/sweet potatoes. I’d also limit dairy during this time.

I see, i’m generally just trying to find out if, diet causes acne, can you mitigate any acne with steroid use from changing your diet drastically?

I don’t know, I’m a big fan of empirical studies with your own body. If you find something that works, it works. If you can try something out without harming yourself I just see the inconvenience as a price to pay for the knowledge one walks away with.

Have you also tried asking in the TRT and Pharma sections? Someone there might be able to help.

I have been reading numerous studies relating acne to diet. It has been observed that societies (multiple) who eat a non-western diet (low glycemic foods/ideal omega6:3 ratio) display 0, yes 0, cases of acne, compared to americans.

With this link between diet and acne being displayed, and much success with people online making the lifestyle change, would this work for TRT induced acne?

Has anyone here had any luck with Zinc/Omega3/diet changing factors that has made a drastic improvement to their TRT acne?

I’ve been wanting to try this myself, although I can’t build the courage due to doubt that this strong change in diet staying optimal with exogenous hormones at play.

If anyone has any dietary/supplementation besides antibiotics or accutane that has drastically improved their skin, such as Paleo (ideal for acne) or Keto, LCHF, feel free to share your own anecdotal experience!

Did you personally weed out foods and see a difference in steroid related acne?

No, I do not

long story short… the acne is hormonal based and is a direct result of elevated DHT levels. To combat the acne, you must either

a) lower the DHT levels or switch to a low DHT conversion androgen which is typically what female bodybuilders use but considering you are most likely on TRT for the testosterone related effects, that wont be much help to you.

b) low dose accutane. Like 10mg a day or EOD. Just enough to dry your skin out and close up the oil glands/production. This drug is very dangerous and can cause a lot of issues with joints, bones, muscle and a whole list of other stuff but at such a low dose, you may be able to tolerate it well without major issues. Bi weekly liver enzyme test is required.

The only other thing that could help is to stop TRT and let your DHT levels return to normal.

All the books and studies you are reading are in relation to people that are NOT on synthetic testosterone. You are a different case. So you can read all the cures and home remedies you want but since your DHT is so elevated,. none of those are gonna work.

Finally… if you do a DHT blood test, it may come back in normal range HOWEVER, this doesnt mean that DHT is not the issue, this could mean that you/your skin is very sensitive to DHT so even the slightest elevations, which is a for sure thing while on TRT, will make your skin worse.