Can a Very High Testosterone Level Cause Back Acne?


Understanding Back Acne

Back acne, sometimes referred to as "bacne," occurs when the hair follicles on the back become clogged with oil, dead skin cells and bacteria. These clogged pores present themselves as acne pimples, and can be a great source of embarrassment and discomfort.

How Testosterone Works in the Body

Testosterone is present in the bodies of males and females. It's more is present in men, of course, but surging androgens (a form of male sex hormone) in women are present during the menstrual cycle. Testosterone is responsible for the male sex characteristics such as facial hair, a deepened voice, muscular growth and descended testicles. Some athletes who use illegal steroids experience a heightened surge of testosterone in the body, which can cause all sorts of unpleasant side effects--including aggression, acne and shrunken genitals.

Testosterone's Effect on Back Acne

Although not every case of back acne is caused by high testosterone levels, some are. Back acne you get during puberty is likely caused by high levels of testosterone in the body--in both boys and girls. Testosterone causes the sebaceous or oil glands to grow, which means more oil on the skin and an increased likelihood of the pores becoming clogged. Going through the menstrual cycle and menopause are also testosterone-related reasons for back acne. Those who use illegal steroids are also likely to have back acne, because the increased amounts of testosterone enact a sort of pseudo-puberty that leads to additional muscle growth, aggression and back acne.

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