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5 Side Effects Associated With Testosterone Cream

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During the onset of puberty and throughout your twenties you are in your prime. Your testosterone levels are high and you find it easier to build muscle and keep body fat at bay.

But after your twenties your T levels naturally start to taper off – in fact after thirty your androgen levels fall by about 1% per year.

There are many ways that you can combat this – weight training, a nutrient-rich diet and a good T booster can do wonders for your male hormone levels for example.

Some men though choose to use topical treatments such as transdermal gels or creams to improve their testosterone levels. But these interventions sometimes come at a cost.

In this article we’ll take a look at the more common side effects of testosterone cream. Read on to find out why this might not be the treatment for you.

What is Testosterone Cream?

Testosterone is the primary male androgen hormone produced naturally by the Leydig cells of the testes. Normal levels vary but typically fall between 300-1000 ng.dL.

However, if levels fall below 300 ng.dL you will start to experience side effects such as loss of strength and muscle mass, increase in belly fat and a loss of libido. Clinically this is referred to as hypogonadism.

According to recent research, the number of men suffering from hypogonadism is on the increase, with 12% of men under 49 and 25% of men in their seventies suffering from low T [1].

It is therefore important for you to do everything you can to keep your levels with the normal physiological range. This is where testosterone treatments come in.

Approved in 2000 by the FDA, testosterone cream was designed to combat the effects of hypogonadism by providing the body with exogenous T. They account for around 65% of all T treatment prescriptions.

It is simply a cream that contains testosterone. You rub it into your skin as a way of allowing it to enter the bloodstream.

How Does Testosterone Cream Work?

Applied topically, these treatments are absorbed through the skin layers over a period of time. Once it comes into contact with the outer layer of skin it diffuses through each tissue layer until it reaches the bloodstream.

It usually prescribed to be used once a day in order to maintain an even release of T which helps to maintain normal hormone levels.

It is said that the transdermal delivery of this type of treatment works best if you administer it over more densely muscled areas so that there are more capillaries available to absorb it and move it into the bloodstream.

Even then, only around 10% of the topical cream penetrates the skin and is absorbed. The highest concentrations of transdermal treatments still only range from 15-20% penetration [2].

The reason why many men opt for topical T treatments is that they can then avoid the injections associated with more invasive testosterone replacement therapies (TRT).

But although easy to administer, testosterone creams might not be without their side effects. Here’s everything you need to know…

What Are The Side Effects of Topical Testosterone Treatments?

There are a number of side effects that transdermal treatments might cause. Here are just some of them.

#1. Causes Skin Issues

The most common complaint for those who use transdermal treatments is skin complaint. This may involve rashes or dry skin, or more severe symptoms of burning, blistering or swelling.

Around one third of all testosterone cream users will develop skin complaints and between 10-15% of patients stop using the treatments altogether for this reason [3]

#2. Transfering From Skin to Skin

As topical treatments sit on your skin for long periods of time it is easy for them to wipe off onto other people you come into contact with. This may be particularly evident with your partner or children who you’ll probably hug on a daily basis.

Between 2000 and 2009 there have been 20 reports of adverse effects in children via the FDA’s Adverse Event Reporting System (AERS). This included children between 9 months and 7 years.

For these children, symptoms of adverse effects included premature development of puberty, enlarged sexual organs and aggressive behaviour.

#3. Gynecomastia

Another side effect of testosterone cream is the development of feminine traits. Breast-like tissue, referred to as gynecomastia may occur for example.

This can lead to an increase in breast tissue that is sore, painful and tender to touch.

Although rare in comparison to skin complaints, ‘man boobs’ is caused by an increase in estrogen in the body. Although you might think that an increase in female hormone levels seems strange with transdermal T, testosterone can be converted into estrogen via a process called aromatization. More T this way means more potential estrogen.

Feminization is also thought to occur due to inhibition of gonadotropin secretion as well as the conversion of androgens to estrogen. Either way, it’s an unwanted side effect.

#4. A Drop in Libido

Testosterone cream can either enhance or decrease your sexual appetite. It is a big regulator of libido, so any changes in serum levels will have an effect one way or the other.

In some case reports patients have reported a loss in desire, sexual performance and interest. A lack of erection or inability to maintain an erection may coincide with these side effects too.

#5. Enlarged Prostate

Prolonged exposure to testosterone cream can result in benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) – an enlarged prostate.

More likely to occur in older patients, clinical trials show a modest trend towards an enlarged prostate which can increase the risk of urinary issues, bladder obstruction and kidney insufficiency.

In rare cases, testosterone cream may also cause acute epididymitis – pain and swelling of testicular tissue. If this occurs, withdrawal from transdermal treatment should occur and be re-evaluated as an appropriate intervention.

Are There Other Effective Methods of Boosting T Levels?

Natural testosterone boosters contain nutrients that are specifically designed to enhance your male hormone levels without the side effects of TRT.

Many men are ditching trandermal testosterone cream in favor of T boosting supplements. This is because there are no side effects and they don’t require medical supervision or prescriptions.

TestoFuel is a state-of-the-art testosterone boosting supplement made from the highest quality nutrients around. Exhaustively researched to help you build muscle and strength, TestoFuel is the most accelerated supplement you’ll find.


  1. Lakshman, KM et al. Safety and efficacy of testosterone gel in the treatment of male hypogonadism. Clin Interv Aging. 2009; 4: 397–412
  2. Swerdloff, RS et al. Long-Term Pharmacokinetics of Transdermal Testosterone Gel in Hypogonadal Men. J Clin Endoc Metab. 2000; 85(12)
  3. Jordan, WP. Allergy and topical irritation associated with transdermal testosterone administration: a comparison of scrotal and non-scrotal transdermal systems. Am J Contact Dermat. 8: 108–113