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What Are the Side Effects of Testosterone Gel?

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The importance of testosterone can’t be understated.

Not only does this natural steroid hormone provide the key to better health,well-being and longevity; it’s vital for your masculinity too.

The problem is that while you enjoy these benefits during your twenties, your testosterone levels begin to slide away as you age This can lead to low energy, loss of libido and a reduction in both health and performance.

In this article we take a look at whether or not testosterone gel could be the cure for your hormonal balance or whether the risks outweigh the potential benefits.

Here’s what we’ll cover:

  • What is low testosterone and why is it bad?
  • What is testosterone gel?
  • Are there any side effects?
  • Is there a better option?

Low Testosterone Therapy

Testosterone is the main hormone responsible for promoting development and growth of male reproductive organs, as well as masculinity and male attributes.

Known as test or simply T, testosterone regulates a number of aspects of physical performance such as endurance, strength, stamina and energy levels. It also optimizes your mood, motivation, assertiveness and personality.

Lastly, T promotes longevity and wellness by reducing your risk of metabolic, cognitive and cardiovascular illness and has a neuroprotective role by helping to prevent age-related neuronal disease [1].

All-in-all it is the most important hormone you have for boosting overall quality of life.

Health effects of low testosterone

Throughout your twenties your test levels are at their peak. You looked and felt good – your body was muscular and lean and your mind was sharp, focused and resilient.

But as you reached your early thirties your natural testosterone production began to slow down. And with it came a gradual decline in the many benefits that this androgen hormone offers.

The normal and safe threshold for test levels is between 300 and 1,000 ng.dL.

If your doctor feels that you are suffering from a low libido, lack of energy and increase in belly fat then they may suspect that your hormone levels are low. And if they do fall below the lower limit you will be diagnosed with clinically low T levels.

This is what’s known as hypogonadism.

If you don’t act quickly to fix the problem it can lead to many side effects.

  • An increased risk of early death from a number of metabolic diseases
  • A sharp decline in sexual performance, libido and sperm quality. You’ll likely suffer from erectile dysfunction too.
  • Loss of stamina, fitness, strength and energy
  • Low mood, frustration, anxiety and increased risk of depression

At this point your doctor will hopefully go through a number of different options with you.

Some may suggest that you use a natural testosterone booster in combination with exercise and a healthy diet to bring your test levels back up. This is a safe and effective way of normalizing hormonal balance.

Some may ]suggest testosterone replacement therapy by either injectable or topical hormones such as testosterone gels or creams.

What is Testosterone Gel?

Testosterone gel is a form of T therapy. As the name suggests, it comes as a gel that you apply topically as a way of elevating your androgen levels.

It is used to treat hypogonadism and is administered on prescription only. To date, testosterone gel and cream accounts for around 65% of all prescribed T therapy.

How does it work?

Testosterone gel is applied to the your upper body once a day, generally to either the shoulders or upper arms – sometimes to your abdomen.

Although your health professional would advise on exactly where to apply the drug, it is typically a more muscular area with a high number of capillaries. This increases transdermal absorption.

Manufacturers suggest that absorption and bioavailability of topical testosterone is higher than through oral dosing, however not everyone agrees with this as some studies have shown that penetration of the skin ranges as low as 10%.

Even then, the strongest preparations still only range from 15-20% absorption [2].

A white tube of testosterone gel with the lid off

Accidental Exposure of Testosterone Gel to Woman and Children – A Real Risk

Testosterone gel has to be fully absorbed before you come into contact with anyone else for risk of it rubbing onto their skin. You also need to be aware of it rubbing off onto your clothing too and not being as effective.

Additionally, you’d have to wait up to 5 hours before showering, swimming, or going out walking in the rain so that it doesn’t wash off. The gel can affect even simple day-to-day activities that you might not have necessarily thought of prior to starting T therapy.

It requires planning and preparation and the chances of you forgetting to apply a dose are quite high.

You must avoid accidental exposure to others

If women or children come into contact with testosterone gel it can have severe consequences. For example, pregnant women who are exposed to the gel have a higher risk of harm to the developing fetus.

This means you have to be very aware when giving your children a hug or spending time with your partner. Even low doses can lead to side effects in others.

One study, published in Human Reproduction [2] reported an increasing number of case reports where skin-to-skin contact led to unintentional transfer of testosterone gel to both women and children.

The research went on to say that several cases of hyperandrogenism exist and that testosterone gel is a real concern.

This has since led to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) including clear warning on testosterone gel labels cautioning men to be careful when coming into contact with others or risk harming them.

Up to 2009 there had been 20 separate cases of adverse reactions in children via the FDA’s reporting system for adverse reactions. Worryingly these included children as young as 9 months old.

What Are The Side Effects of Testosterone Gel?

Applying exogenous testosterone to your body rarely escapes side effects. Whilst natural testosterone boosters use nutrients to stimulate test production naturally, topical gels directly elevate androgen levels directly and this can lead to a number of adverse reactions.

May interact with other drugs

Transdermal test can interact with other medications such as blood thinning drugs, anti-inflammatory drugs, corticosteroids or insulin. If you are taking other medications it is important that your health practitioner knows about it.

This includes not only prescription drugs that you might be taking, but over-the-counter and recreational drugs too.

Increased risk of allergic reactions

The most common complaints in those that’ve used testosterone gel is skin issues and allergic reactions. Dry skin, rashes, swelling and pruritus are all common side effects of the topical treatment.

In some cases you may even experience more severe issues such as burn-like blistering.

As many as 15% of testosteorne gel users decide to stop using the drug due to these side effects [2].

Enlarged prostate from testosterone gel

Although more likely to occur in older men, benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) can result from long-term gel use.

An enlarged prostate can lead to pain and discomfort, bladder obstructions and kidney problems. In rare, but severe case it can also cause acute epididymitis – a condition characterized by painful swelling and inflammation of the testicular tissue.

Transdermal test may cause gynecomastia

If you don’t monitor your test levels and you use a dose that is too high you may find that there is an increase in aromatization. This is the process by which your body senses that your testosterone levels are higher than needed. And as a way of restoring balance converts some of it into the female hormone estrogen.

If your estrogen levels begin to increase you’ll find that feminine traits such as gynecomastia occur – a condition where you develop breast tissue.

Although not a common side effect of testosterone gel use, the development of gyno or man boobs can be painful, tender and sore; but can also cause embarrassment and low confidence too.

Older man sat at the beach smiling

Is There a Better Option?

More and more men are turning away from testosterone gel in favor of a natural alternative. With so many potential side effects to trandermal therapy it’s easy to see why.

All-natural testosterone boosters don’t directly administer androgen hormones into your bloodstream. Instead, they use specially selected hormone-boosting ingredients to stimulate your body to make its own T.

This mean that it doesn’t increase aromatization or require medical supervision or guidance. And because it’s natural it doesn’t carry the side effects that gels or creams do either.

TestoFuel is a pioneering anabolic support complex, exhaustively researched to help you:

  • Increase energy levels so you feel better and look better
  • Ramp up your strength and muscle mass
  • Shred belly fat and man boobs
  • Enhance your libido, stamina and mood

TestoFuel is the most well-rounded, accelerated supplement you can find.


  1. Bialek, M et al. Neuroprotective role of testosterone in the nervous system. Pol J Pharmacol. 2004; 56(5): 509-18
  2. 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
  3. de Ronde. Hyperandrogenism after transfer of topical testosterone gel: case report and review of published and unpublished studies. Human Reprod. 2009; 24(2): 425-428