Bodybuilding and Acne – Causes & Treatments



If you’re a keen bodybuilder, you may have noticed that your acne problem has become worse. Unfortunately, if you already have acne-prone skin, bodybuilding can aggravate the situation. So, why is this the case?

Does Bodybuilding Cause A Hormonal Response?

Although many people think that bodybuilding causes hormonal changes, this isn’t actually as much of a problem as people think.

Weight training may cause a short-term increase in insulin, growth hormone and testosterone levels, but this is only for a brief period before returning to normal. Nevertheless, raised testosterone levels may result in acne. This is because the skin converts testosterone into DHT (dihydrotestosterone) which is a hormone known to stimulate acne. DHT also increases sebum production which leads to the pores becoming clogged and even more acne.

While training normally shouldn’t raise your testosterone levels so high that acne is the result, if you use steroids, acne can be a prevalent problem.

Which Supplements Should Bodybuilders Use To Avoid Acne?

Although steroids have a negative effect on acne, there are some supplements which won’t aggravate an acne problem and which can benefit bodybuilders when it comes to achieving their goals. These include:

  • Branch chain amino acids
  • Whey protein
  • Creatine
  • L-Glutamine
  • Zinc
  • Omega-3

What Should I Avoid If I Am To Prevent Bodybuilding Acne

There are a number of supplements and foods which you should avoid if you’re to guard against bodybuilding acne. These include:

  • B12
  • Biotin (B7)
  • Multivitamins with excess iodine

There are also several things you should do to prevent the problem of bodybuilding acne getting out of control. This includes:

  • Leaving them alone – even though you might want to pick your zits, they’ll just become inflamed and unsightly if you do so. Leave them alone and you’ll find that they will disappear more quickly.
  • Avoid overwashing – if you wash your face too frequently, you’ll find that acne can recur. You shouldn’t wash your face more than a couple of times daily as you need your body’s natural oils to work on your behalf. Washing too much dries out the skin and this means it’ll take much longer for the acne to heal up.
  • A small amount of sunshine is good for bodybuilding related acne. Avoid sunburn, of course, but getting outdoors on sunny days can be very beneficial.
  • Change your clothes regularly to avoid bacteria spreading and causing more breakouts.

How To Treat Your Bodybuilding Related Acne

If you’re a bodybuilder suffering from acne, you can try a number of home remedies to see if they resolve your problems. Applying diluted apple cider vinegar to the skin may prove helpful as may applying tea tree oil onto the affected areas. There are also a number of effective over-the-counter skincare treatments that you may wish to try. Should you fail to have any success in resolving your problem with any of these, you can visit your dermatologist or doctor to get a prescription for the most suitable medication for you to treat your acne problem.


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