Tip #8: How to Apply AndrogelPosted: January 26, 2012
Applying Androgel is pretty straight-forward — but there are some nuances to consider. If you’re interested in Androgel, I’d recommend reading the last post I made about it: Tip #7: What about Androgel and then learning more about it below.
As mentioned in my last post, Androgel comes in pre-measured packages or in a metered pump bottle. I have experienced both of these packagings — I prefer the bottle, because it provides more flexibility in how much Androgel can be measured out accurately per dosage. Each pump of the bottle provides 1.25 grams of Androgel. The packets I used had 5 grams a-piece. When I first started using Androgel, I was prescribed 3.75 grams daily. So, once I opened the 5 gram packet of Androgel, I had to eye-ball what 3.75 grams (or three-fourths of the package) would look like. With the bottle, 3.75 grams equals 3 pumps.
As someone who has been on testosterone for a while now, I can tell you that consistency with dosage is a good thing. Do I think that mis-measuring a smidge of Androgel would do irreparable harm? No. But, I like to know exactly what I am giving myself when it comes to testosterone and I like it to be consistent. Knowing what I’m taking also helps my endocrinologist make recommendations about my dosage when she reads the testosterone levels in my blood drawings.
Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional. The opinions expressed in this article are my own and should not be taken as medical advice. If you want to confirm or clarify something you read, please contact a medical professional.
When ready to apply Androgel, pump out the desired amount into your hand.
Rub the Androgel onto the area of your body you’ve designated for Androgel application. I use my left shoulder.
Wait for the Androgel to dry (about 5 minutes). It dries clear. You are good to go!
Placement on the Body
When I first started taking Androgel, I was instructed to select an area of my body — either on one of my shoulders or on my belly — that I would be applying Androgel to every day. The reason these are good areas to apply it is it’s assumed that these areas will be daily covered by a T-shirt. This prevents transference of Androgel to other people in day-to-day contact. So, you wouldn’t, say, select your forearm for application.
When I said in my last post that Androgel is a ‘clear, odorless testosterone gel’, that wasn’t completely accurate. Androgel actually contains alcohol, which allows it to permeate the skin. So, first, Androgel actually smells sort of like alcohol — think rubbing alcohol or vodka here. And, the fact that it contains alcohol can actually dry out the skin over time with repeated application. I have not noticed any skin drying on myself, but I’d be aware if you have sensitive skin.I was told it is okay to apply lotion to the same area one applies Androgel, some time after the Androgel dries.
Initially, I had chosen my right shoulder for application. However, I eventually got a tattoo on that shoulder and did not know if the Androgel would mess with the appearance of my tattoo over time — so I opted for an area that was tattoo-free.
Lastly, one should avoid contact with water for a while after they apply the Androgel. It is a good idea to take your shower beforehand — this will keep the water from washing the Androgel away and it will leave you clean for your Androgel application. Similarly, don’t swim for a while after applying.
Wash you hands. Or: Transference
This point gets its own heading because its very important. You need to wash your hands after you apply the Androgel! If you don’t, the Androgel could potentially transfer to other people. As the medical information that comes with Androgel mentions, having others in contact with areas of your skin that have Androgel on them can lead to transference and this transference can build up over time if you come in contact with someone every day. Transference especially affects children, as they are more susceptible to hormones affecting their developing bodies. Point being — wash your hands!
On that note — I’ve read differing things on whether or not coming into daily bodily contact with someone who is taking Androgel will affect an individual over time, if they touch the person at the end of the day (say, 12+ hours after application). For example, if you put on Androgel in the morning and sleep next to a partner at night — will coming in contact with your skin each night affect that person over time? I cannot answer that question definitively; but, I would say to be careful. I have had times where I have been traveling and unable to shower for a few days, and the Androgel did build up on my skin. Meaning, a slight residue remains after you put it on. This means that you might have to change your sleeping habits if you are looking to take Androgel: you will need to make sure to wear something to bed that covers your application area if you sleep next to someone and your partner does not want to be affected by testosterone.
Consistency of Application
It is recommended that Androgel is applied the same time every day. Some guys I know find this a hassle. The way I’ve dealt with it is by making it a part of my morning routine: I get up, I apply my Androgel, it dries while I brush my teeth, I have breakfast, etc. The only hassle I’ve found is that I have to be conscious of when I may not wake up in my room — and make sure I bring a bottle with me. Or, just always keep a bottle (or packages) in my bag. Guys I know who have partners keep an extra bottle at their place.
On the All About Androgel post on AnabolicMinds.com, I picked up some new advice on applying Androgel. The poster quotes a doctor from the site who advises on how to apply Androgel:
Squeeze all of the gel from the foil packet, the tube, or the number of pumps if using the pump bottle, into a cupped palm. Gently press your two palms together. When you separate your hands, you will have very nearly half of the gel on each palm. Do not rub your hands together. Try to keep the gel on the palms, instead of getting between the fingers. Then simply cross your arms, wiping the gel over your shoulders and upper arms. Thus apply most of it across your upper arms and shoulders. Absolutely avoid the area where they draw the blood from. Finish off by wiping what is left down your FLANKS (sides of your abdomen—not the middle). Then thoroughly wash your hands. Once you have washed them, there is no worry whatsoever about accidental transferal to others, as there is none left on the surface to transfer. Studies have shown this, and also that merely putting on a T-shirt to cover the exposed areas will do the same for the rest of you. If you had to, you could shower in an hour or so, without appreciable loss of testosterone delivery, as the gel soaks into the skin, and the skin acts as the actual reservoir for dispensation of the drug. You wouldn’t want to do this all the time, but swimming or showering in a pinch can be done. It’s still a good idea to take a quick shower before engaging in intimacy.
As an alternative with the pump bottle, you can apply half the total number of pumps to one palm, apply to the opposite side of the body, and then repeat for the other side. This makes it less likely to induce waste of the product.
For maximum effect, apply the gel within 3 minutes of showering.
You want a delay of at least two hours after application before drawing labs.
The poster goes on to talk about the phenomenon of “frosting” (something I’ve definitely experienced) — which is when the Androgel dries and a white, ashy residue is left over. Frosting occurs when “…The Androgel is not being spread around enough, or your skin is not absorbing the product well [or a combination of both]”. The doctor advises the poster on “frosting”:
It has been shown that the greater the surface area of transformation, the greater is the proportionate conversion to DHT and E. So try to keep it down. Unless you are having a “testosterone frost”, as I like to call it, cut down on the area…[K]eep the gel in the cupped palm area, so as to not get it amongst the fingers…it takes some work.
In a nutshell — try and keep the Androgel in the palm of your hand(s) when you apply it, trying not to spread it between your fingers. In the incidence of frosting, you can increase the surface area over which you spread it.
If you have any questions about Androgel application — get in touch. And make sure to stay tuned for my next post about the pros and cons of Androgel vs. injectable testosterone.