Skin & Hair

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It’s not a secret for anyone that anabolic steroids are one of the most effective means for recruiting dry muscle mass and increasing strength. However, many do not know even half of the side effects and most importantly how they can be fought. In this article, we will try not only to describe the main side effects of steroids, but also to give practical advice on reducing harm from steroids.

It is worth noting that most of the negative effects can be prevented if you follow simple recommendations related, first of all, to the choice of drugs, course duration, doses and PCT (post-course therapy). All data are taken from authoritative foreign sources, which are listed in the notes.

General measures for harm prevention

  • Do not use large doses of drugs
  • Do not do highly androgenic courses longer than 12-16 weeks
  • Choose an AC that lessens the secretion of endogenous testosterone to a lesser extent (it should be understood that a continuous intake of any anabolic steroid inevitably leads to its complete arrest)
  • To give preference to agents that are not toxic to the liver
  • Monitor blood counts, hormonal status, biochemical indicators on an ongoing basis
  • Use antiestrogens to restore testosterone secretion and prevent gynecomastia

Contraindications to taking steroids

  • Do not use anabolic steroids under the age of 25, because at a young age they can cause irreversible damage: changes in the hormonal background and stopping growth, resulting in the closing of bone growth zones.
  • It is not recommended to use steroids by women. Masculinization is irreversible.
  • Heart defects are also an absolute contraindication, so taking medications can lead to an exacerbation of the disease.
  • Renal and hepatic impairment
  • Uncompensated hypertension
  • Benign Prostate Cancer
  • Severe atherosclerosis

Baldness

Anabolic steroids can contribute to the development of alopecia in men, with only the scalp, whereas the hairline on other parts of the body may be slightly thickened.

Scientists believe that baldness is associated with a gene that is in the X chromosome, so the AU can provoke this process only if there is a genetic predisposition. If in your family on the paternal and maternal line no one had alopecia, then it obviously also does not threaten you. Otherwise, it is almost inevitable process.

The reason why steroids contribute to baldness lies in dihydrotestosterone, so you can use those drugs that are not converted into this metabolite.

Treatment

The hypotensive drug  minoxidil  showed an interesting side effect – hypertrichosis. To strengthen it, medicinal forms of minoxidil for external use (2 and 5% solution) were created. Minoxidil increases the size of the hair follicles, which is accompanied by a thickening of the hair shafts, and also stimulates hair transitions to the growth stage (anagen) and prolongs it, making the hair longer and thicker (Fiedler, 1999).

Finasteride  – one of the drugs for the treatment of androgenetic alopecia – is an inhibitor of 5a-reductase. The enzyme 5a-reductase converts testosterone into dihydrotestosterone. The use of finasterid for the treatment of androgenetic alopecia initiated one observation: it was observed that men with hereditary deficiency of 5a-reductase have a low level of dihydrotestosterone and do not suffer from androgenetic alopecia or prostatic adenoma.

Finasteride, taken for 2 years at a dose of 1 mg / day, stimulates hair growth in almost 80% of men. It increases the amount of hair on both the crown and forehead. Strengthening of hair growth can be observed already in 3 months after the beginning of treatment.

Finasteride is approved for use only in men. Pregnant women are not even allowed to take crushed pills in their hands because of the threat of malformation of the reproductive organs in male fetuses. Side effects of finasteride include decreased sexual desire, impotence, ejaculation disorders and a decrease in ejaculate volume, however, each of these complications occurs in less than 2% of patients. It is also known that finasteride reduces the level of the prostatic specific antigen – a biochemical marker of prostate cancer. To interpret the results of the definition of the prostatic specific antigen in patients receiving finasteride, special rules have been developed. As in the case of minoxidil, treatment can not be interrupted, otherwise the hair growth will stop.

Prevention

  • Use speakers that are not convertible to dihydrotestosterone
  • For the prevention of alopecia successfully used Finasteride, but the drug has quite a few side effects
  • Proven effectiveness is Minoxidil (Alerna), a spray registered as a drug to treat baldness
  • Low androgenic courses

Acne (acne)

Bodybuilders widely use steroid drugs for muscle building and development. These are effective drugs with some side effects. One of them is the appearance of acne, or acne.

In official medicine, the use of anabolic steroids is noted as one of the reasons that provoke acne.

From the physiological point of view, the provoking factor for acne is an aggressive hormonal effect on the sebaceous and generally dermal structures with such stimulation within the framework of bodybuilding; the activation of glandular secretion leads to an increase in the sebaceous layer. Simultaneously, the immune system tends to isolate the stimuli, which leads to the “packing” of the corresponding bacteria directly beneath the epidermis. Due to this, foci of inflammation form, and in the future the process does not differ from the usual course of the disease.

The main zones of acne localization on the course of steroids are the face, shoulders, hands, upper regions of the chest and back; possibly the appearance of pimples on the buttocks and in the pelvic region.

Most often, acne is provoked by drugs that have a high androgenic index. These include trenbolone, testosterone esters, methandienone, methandrostenolone, oxymetholone. The severity of side effects of each drug strongly depends on the individual characteristics of the organism.

Another common side effect. Acne is due to the fact that anabolic drugs increase the secretion of sebum, which leads to inflammation of the hair follicles and the formation of acne. This effect is especially pronounced in highlyandrogenic drugs.

The first category includes various ointments and other external agents (in particular, salicylic acid), as well as antibiotics. The latter are applied only with medium and severe acne. One of the most effective antibiotics against acne, including those caused by the use of steroids, are antibiotics of the tetracycline series, which allow reducing the number of acne rashes in six weeks. The effectiveness of antibiotic use is due to their specific properties:

  • The ability to dissolve in fat and accumulate in the secretion of sebaceous glands
  • High activity against the causative agent of acne
  • Direct anti-inflammatory action

Prevention

  • Keep your skin clean
  • Highly effective is Roaccutane

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