Do SARMs Cause Acne? The Real Truth

You want a great body so you are looking for something to take your physique to the next level. Steroids seem great, but you’re worried about the long term negative effects. What good is having a great body if you’re covered in acne? Trust me, I get it.

SARMs are said to target only your muscles without bothering other parts of the body. Unlike steroids, SARMs are taken orally in the form of pills instead of being injected. Of course, none of them are approved for human consumption. So, how do we know how they will affect our skin?

This article will discuss the link between Selective Androgen Receptor Modulators and acne. You will learn how to see if you’re at risk for androgen related acne, and how to treat it if it occurs during your cycle.

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Androgens & Acne

The link between androgens, SARMs, and acne

Androgens are a group of hormones with testosterone being the most popular one. They are produced by all bodies for reproductive development. Androgens are produced in the adrenal gland and help cells around the body communicate. They play an important role in managing insulin sensitivity and metabolism in our body. They also impact our bone density and heart health.

Now, a problem with acne is more common among those who have heightened testosterone levels. This is because excess sebum, a substance like oil, is produced in the body when androgen levels shoot up. And when that happens, the dead cells in your body stay clogged inside the body instead of leaving it causing acne.

SARMs by nature increase androgen activity in the human body which makes it likely for some individuals to have acne when a particular SARM supplement doesn’t go down well.

Types of SARMs Acne

What are the types of acne caused by SARMs?

The possibility of acne is not high just because you take SARMs. However, it is good to know what to expect so that there are no unpleasant surprises. So let’s look at what the future awaits. You can read my full write up on common sarms side effects here.

Mild Acne

If you have mild acne because of your SARM intake, you are looking at some blackheads and whiteheads. Nothing harmful. These usually go away at the end of a cycle with no complications and hence it is nothing to worry about.

Moderate Acne

If you see abrasions that are inflammatory, or not, you are looking at moderate acne. This is a case where you may also see scars. However, you will be happy to know that is rare and highly unlikely if you have not mixed your SARMs with other medication or products that may react adversely to the composition of a specific SARM you are taking.

Severe Acne

Now, you have something to worry about. If you are noticing inflamed skin, redness and scars, you are experiencing severe acne. However, this is extremely rare and is not the result of using SARMs. If this happens, contact your physician (if not a dermatologist) and investigate further just as a precaution. You can never be too safe.

Acne Locations

Where does acne from SARMs typically show up at?

Sebaceous glands, that produce these oils that might cause acne, are all over the body but most often found near hair follicles. So, your face and scalp actually have a chunk of these glands.

Women have much less sebaceous glands than men do. Therefore, women using SARMs won’t need to worry nearly as much about experiencing issues with skin quality while on cycle.

The other smoother parts of your body like your shins have fewer sebaceous glands. The palms and soles of the feet have none. But when it comes to acne because of SARMs expect to see them (if at all) near your upper back, shoulders and upper chest. This is because these are also the areas that contain the most number of androgen receptors.


How do I treat acne caused by SARMs on cycle?

In the unlikely event that you happen to get acne and it is because of taking SARMs, you want to first sit down and assess your skin. From the above categories, figure out if you have mild, moderate or severe acne. Think of the other substances you have taken in the last few days.

For this reason, it is advised that you keep a journal of your food, drink and medication details. You should also make a note of the details of your SARM cycle and monitor the changes in your body. This is a very important process because remember, none of these products are cleared for human consumption. And yet, here we are. But one of the things you can do to keep yourself safe is to procure high-quality substances. Check out some of them here.

Now, if you have mild acne, all you need to do is wait until your SARM cycle comes to an end and keep monitoring the progress in the meantime. For most products, the cycle ends after six to eight weeks. You can also choose to use topical retinoids which are vitamin A supplements and apply them to the affected area. They are available over the counter and have no side effects. But they do come with an increase in the risk of sunburn. So, for the time that you take them, make sure you apply sunscreen when out in the sun.

If you have moderate acne, you should skip the rest of the SARM cycle and tend to your situation. Remember, moderate acne isn’t really all that moderate. It means painful abrasions and scars. Try and get some anti-androgen products that will reach deep into the skin and get rid of the acne. Maybe consult your dermatologist before jumping into any further self-medication courses.

If you are not seeing scars and it does not seem all that advanced, you must still consider skipping your SARM cycle but wait out to see if the acne goes away on its own.

Final Verdict

Final verdict: do SARMs cause acne?

The moral of the story is that it is highly unlikely to get acne from SARMs. But, every body is different and sometimes individuals experience stress while on SARMs. There isn’t much data to suggest that SARMs and acne go hand in hand but there can always be a first on a subject that we don’t know everything about.


Can I take Isotretinoin (RetinA) with SARMs?

I would not recommend it. RetinA is a very powerful drug and can damage your liver, so adding any extra stress with any oral anabolic isn’t a great idea. A better alternative is a growth hormone secretagogue like MK677. It will help keep your tendons and joints healthy while on isotretinoin.

How common is acne caused by SARMs?

It is much less common than androgenic acne from steroid or pro hormone use, however it is a reported side effect with specific SARMs such as RAD140.

Does MK 677 help with acne?

It may not directly reduce acne, but MK 677 does greatly increase your body’s natural collagen production. In my personal experiences, it improves skin quality and clarity. A low dosage of 10mg per day is enough for the skin quality benefits.

Sources Cited

Terry R. Brown, Nonsteroidal Selective Androgen Receptors Modulators (SARMs): Designer Androgens with Flexible Structures Provide Clinical Promise, Endocrinology, Volume 145, Issue 12, 1 December 2004, Pages 5417–5419,

Scott Segal, Ramesh Narayanan & James T Dalton (2006) Therapeutic potential of the SARMs: revisiting the androgen receptor for drug discovery, Expert Opinion on Investigational Drugs, 15:4, 377-387, DOI: 10.1517/13543784.15.4.377

Chris Jackson
Chris Jackson

Chris Jackson, co-founder of, is a renowned fitness blogger, physique model, and evolutionary bioscience researcher specializing in SARMs (Selective Androgen Receptor Modulators). His extensive work, characterized by cutting-edge research and practical training advice, has made a leading source for accurate, credible information on performance enhancers. With a dedication to improving the understanding and application of SARMs in optimizing human performance, his contributions have not only expanded public awareness but also shaped the conversation around these substances. Chris's pursuit of knowledge and commitment to sharing it continue to inspire many in their fitness journeys.

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