Anabolic steroids can cause the development of acne. However, the extent to which it is experienced can be due to a number of varying factors, with the particular steroids and exact dosages used being primary. The skin´s sebaceous glands have a particularly high affinity to Dihydrotestosterone, which is an androgen the body naturally produces from testosterone via the enzyme 5-alpha Reductase. Increased sebaceous gland activity promotes oily skin which can combine with bacteria and dead skin (normal wear and tear) eventually causing pores to become clogged more quickly than the body can cleanse them. This of course, is preventable by using only particular steroids, cleansing the skin regularly, and perhaps using a topical anti-androgen.
Although mentioned already above, as a closing point I’d like to re-iterate that there really is no issue of the relative strength of differing aromatase inhibitors, and no reason to chose one over another on account of claimed strength differences. Let’s say that a dosing of one aromatase inibitor is stronger – reduces estrogen more – than a dosing of another. If the first one reduced estrogen too much, then the dosing was too many milligrams. It’s not the product was “too strong.” Or, if the second one didn’t reduce estradiol enough, then the dosing was too few milligrams, rather than the product not being strong enough.
What does this all mean?
It is a long held belief among athletes that estrogen maintenance drugs can slightly hinder muscle gains during steroid therapy with a strong aromatizable steroid such as testosterone. Whether or not we have plausibly explained this remains to be seen, however the above evidence certainly does provide strong support for a direct and positive affect of estrogen on growth. Does this mean we should abandon estrogen maintenance drugs? I don’t think that should be the case. It is important to remember that estrogen can deliver many unwanted effects such as increased water retention, fat deposition and the development of female breast tissue when it becomes too active in the male body. Clearly if we plan a high-dose cycle with an aromatizable steroid, anti-estrogens will be an important inclusion. However we cannot ignore the suggestion of using estrogen maintenance drugs only when they are necessary to combat visible side effects during mild to moderately dosed cycles, especially if bulk is the ultimate goal of the athlete.