Definition: "An ergogenic aid is any substance or phenomenon that enhances performance "

about us





Extreme acne scars chemical bodybuilder (21) for life

The dermatologists at the Heinrich-Heine University in Dusseldorf, Germany, scratched their heads in amazement when they saw the skin of the 21-year-old amateur bodybuilder. The young manís torso was covered with zits of the worst imaginable sort.

The guy was suffering from acne conglobata. His sebaceous glands were inflamed, causing painful lumps. It's almost impossible to resist the urge to squeeze and scratch. As you can see in the photo below, the bodybuilder had abscesses and open wounds all over his upper back, chest, shoulders and upper arms. Some of the inflamed areas extended centimetres below the surface of his skin.

Extreme acne scars chemical bodybuilder (21) for life

Only after the doctors kept on questioning him did the bodybuilder confess that he was using anabolic steroids: 30 mg dianabol a day and twice a week 250 mg testosterone-enanthate. [In fact the guy probably took much more, if you ask us Ė Ed.] The photo below shows how the bodybuilder looked not so long ago, when he had the body he had dreamed of.

Extreme acne scars chemical bodybuilder (21) for life

But an examination of his testes also revealed the effects of anabolic steroids use: they had shrunk and the sperm quality was also low.

The doctors got the bodybuilder to give up his anabolic steroids regime and gave him medicines to kill the micro-organisms. The bacteria Proprionibacterium acnes, which lives on the skin, plays an important role in the development of acne. The bacteria form colonies in the zits, but if you kill the bacteria the acne disappears.

And after six weeks the bodybuilder's spots were gone too. But, as you can see in the photo below, the guy's upper body is still covered with scars. They are so serious that the doctor who treated the bodybuilder, Peter Arne Gerber, is not sure whether the bodybuilder will ever be able to train again. "It is questionable whether he will be able to start building muscle mass again - he may not be able to perform the exercises due to the scarring", Gerber said in a BBC interview. [BBC 21 August 2008]

Extreme acne scars chemical bodybuilder (21) for life

That you can get acne from anabolic steroids is not news. You can read it in all underground handbooks and in the medical textbooks. And everyone in the steroids world will tell you too. But not everyone knows that acne caused by steroids can be so extreme, and that you may have to live with the damage for the rest of your life. That's why Peter Arne Gerber decided to discuss the case in an article in The Lancet.

One out of ten anabolic steroids users has a serious acne problem, researchers estimate. Acne is the second most common side effect of anabolic steroids use, after the psychological side effects, like irritation, aggression and sleeplessness.

According to scientists, the sunbathing so loved by chemical bodybuilders does not help against anabolics acne. The vitamin A-based accutane and anti-bacterial agents do help, but doctors are wary of giving accutane to anabolic steroids users because the side effects of the one can exacerbate the other. Both anabolic steroids and accutane can lead to depression. Another, non-medical way to reduce acne is to eliminate refined carbohydrates such as sugar and white bread from the diet.

The Lancet - Vol. 372, Issue 9639, 23 August 2008, Page 656.
BBC 21 August 2008.