Testosterone supplements come in a variety of forms. Some take them as pills, others prefer injections, while a number use transdermal approaches such as application of gels, creams, or patches. Testosterone patches may be applied on the scrotum or other parts of the body such as stomach, thigh, arms, or back.
A scrotal testosterone patch such as Testoderm, contains around 6 mg of testosterone. Before applying the patch, the scrotum must be shaved or waxed so it would adhere properly to the skin. It is often prescribed to apply at night before bedtime and should stay in place for 24 hours. After the patch is applied, the patient must not take a bath, shower, swim or wash the patched area for at least three hours. It should also be noted that the patch should not be taken off before taking a bath or doing sexual activity for possibility of irritation. The patch adhesive might be affected by too much sweat causing it to become loose of fall off. When this happens, try to put it back. If it falls again before afternoon, get a new patch and apply on the same area. If it falls in the afternoon, wait for the next schedule of application in the evening. Do not use other adhesives to put back the patch on skin.
It is necessary that the instructions on how to use a testosterone patch must be followed. If you have questions about the application instructions, make sure to consult with your healthcare specialist or pharmacist before starting the medication.
Men who have used testosterone patch have shown to have improved testosterone levels, as well as enhanced mood and sexual function. Skin reactions were observed in 1 to 2 percent of the patients, especially those who used nonscrotal patches.
Testosterone Supplements and Baldness
Male pattern baldness, is a genetic and hormonal-related condition which is also referred to as androgenic alopecia. It is exhibited by about 80 million men and women in the U.S. This condition is caused by shrinking of hair follicles disrupting the natural growth cycle of the hair growth. The next set of hair produced becomes thinner and thinner until no hair is formed in the follicles. Hair loss and baldness have been linked to testosterone supplements, especially with high testosterone levels.
Testosterone becomes dihydrotestosterone with the aid of an enzyme called 5-alpha reductase which is typically found in the hair follicles. Dihydrotestosterone attaches to certain portions of the scalp follicles then shrinks the hair follicles causing hair loss and eventually baldness. This illustrates that it is not the testosterone supplement that causes baldness but the conversion of testosterone into another form that causes dormancy of hair follicles. The sensitivity of the hair follicles is the primary determinant of getting bald. At the same time, a certain gene is involved in the expression of the receptor where dihydrotestosterone attaches itself.
When patients taking testosterone supplements encounter hair loss and baldness, they can continue the supplement but additional medications should be taken to address the hair problems. The patient should consult with a dermatologist and endocrinologist to make sure that the combination of testosterone and hair loss medication will not interfere with each other. Corticosteroid injections are often used to alleviate hair loss and baldness. Laser treatment or surgical hair follicle transplant can also treat baldness.
Other factors may also contribute towards baldness such as age and stress. But genetics is the primary factor that causes baldness. If a man’s father exhibit baldness even without testosterone supplements, it is highly possible that he would also get bad with or without testosterone supplement.