Testosterone is a naturally occurring hormone that is usually found in high levels in men and lower levels in women. Testosterone replacement therapy is one option to treat low testosterone levels due to aging or medical conditions. Testosterone can be administered in many different forms, including oral pills, or patches, gels and creams that are applied to the skin. Different forms of administration can cause slightly different side effects; side effects from testosterone cream range from mild to severe.
One of the most common side effects of testosterone cream is extremely oily skin. This oily skin can lead to severe acne, explains the HealthGuidance website. Testosterone cream can also cause skin irritation where the cream is applied, warns Drugs.com.
Testosterone therapy can cause excessive growth of body hair, particularly when used by women, notes HealthGuidance. In contrast, using testosterone cream can have the opposite effect on scalp hair, causing thinning of the hair on the head, sometimes leading to baldness. Men and women who already have thin hair on their head should not use testosterone therapy, according to HealthGuidance.
Increasing the amount of testosterone in the body can have detrimental effects on mood and emotional states. Mood swings, depression and anxiety have all been linked to testosterone cream, reports 4-Men.org. In addition, testosterone cream can cause headaches and dizziness.
Application of testosterone cream has been linked to changes in sex drive, reports Drugs.com. In addition, testosterone therapy can cause breast tenderness in men and women, and may cause unwanted breast enlargement in men. The use of testosterone cream has also been linked to problems with the prostate gland. Doctors typically will not prescribe testosterone therapy for men who have been diagnosed with prostate problems, according to 4-Men.org.
In rare cases, testosterone cream can cause a severe allergic reaction. Signs of an allergic reaction include swelling of the face, mouth or lips, or cough, itching, rash, hives and difficulty breathing. Additional severe reactions include severe headache, swelling of the arms or legs, severe nausea and vomiting, change in shape or size of the testicles, dark urine, frequent or painful erections, unusual tiredness and weakness, skin discoloration and stomach pain. Anyone who experiences these symptoms after using testosterone cream should seek urgent medical care, according to Drugs.com.