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Tip #8: How to Apply Androgel

Contributor: N

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.

    75 g of Androgel in a metered pump bottle


 


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.


Applying Androgel

When ready to apply Androgel, pump out the desired amount into your hand.

    3.75 grams (3 pumps) of Androgel are pictured here

Rub the Androgel onto the area of your body you’ve designated for Androgel application. I use my left shoulder.

androgel application    Androgel being applied to the 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.

 

Update

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.


10 Comments on “Tip #8: How to Apply Androgel”

  1. Dale says:

    I was told by the Dr. that her husband applies it twice a day to the scrotum and has better results, Has anyone else tried that and what was the effects?

    • Admin says:

      I haven’t personally heard of anyone applying it to their genitalia or that being recommended by a doctor — but I will post the question to the site and see if anyone replies.

    • Zack says:

      I have read that you should not apply Androgel to the genitals, as the rate of conversion to DHT and Estrogen is much greater.

  2. Steven says:

    they still make the pump? i hate the packets…

  3. Sandi says:

    I use Biest, Progestrone and Testosterone 50/5/2mg twice a day. My husband has enlarged prostate. My question will my testosterone and estragen transfer to him and cause more enlargement of his prostate? I use a pump and apply it to the palm of my hand and rub on my sides. I usually don’t sleep in anything but maybe I should to keep from transferring the testosterone to my hubby. As I feel like maybe it is transferring to him and affecting his prostate. Men that have enlarged prostate cannot use testosterone as it can turn into cancer.
    Any answers will be appreciated if you know about transferring testosterone.

  4. Wow… it’s about time this “cure” found its disease!

    According to its manufacturer, AbbVie, “AndroGel® (testosterone gel) 1% and 1.62% are controlled substances, available by prescription, used to treat adult males who have low or no testosterone.” The AndroGel website offers the following ten question yes-no quiz to see whether a man “should talk to” his “doctor about Low Testosterone:”

    1. Do you have a decrease in libido (sex drive)?
    2. Do you have a lack of energy?
    3. Do you have a decrease in strength and/or endurance?
    4. Have you lost height?
    5. Have you noticed a decrease in your enjoyment of life?
    6. Are you sad and/or grumpy?
    7. Are your erections less strong?
    8. Have you noticed a recent deterioration in your ability to play sports?
    9. Are you falling asleep after dinner?
    10. Has there been a recent deterioration in your work performance?

    The ten questions might just as well ask, “Are you getting old?” or “Are you naturally aging?” Snake oil salesmen have been selling fountain of youth elixirs since people starting getting old. Fortunately, most snake oils are only harmful to the purchaser’s wallet as many of the alleged aging cures are harmless. However, once in a while a potion does contain harmful ingredients or actual medicinal compounds which have major physiological effects. AndroGel seems to be promoted as the cure for a newly discovered disease called, “Low T.” However, its safety is in question.

    On January 31, 2014, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a Safety Announcement regarding testosterone products. This communication stated, “At this time, FDA has not concluded that FDA-approved testosterone treatment increases the risk of stroke, heart attack, or death. Patients should not stop taking prescribed testosterone products without first discussing any questions or concerns with their health care professionals. Health care professionals should consider whether the benefits of FDA-approved testosterone treatment is likely to exceed the potential risks of treatment. The prescribing information in the drug labels of FDA-approved testosterone products should be followed.” While the beginning of this Safety Announcement might not seem alarming, the FDA further states, “None of the FDA-approved testosterone products are approved for use in men with low testosterone levels who lack an associated medical condition. FDA-approved testosterone formulations include the topical gel, transdermal patch, buccal system (applied to upper gum or inner cheek), and injection.”

    What is “an associated medical condition?” The manufacturers of some testosterone products would have one believe that Low T (the condition of having low testosterone levels) is an associated medical condition to the condition of having low testosterone. If you think this is strange logic, you would be correct. There are some who feel that the manufacturers of some testosterone products, realizing that they had a profitable “cure” for a disease that did not exist, simply invented a disease with ten associated symptoms (see quiz above). Recent studies have shown that certain groups of men taking testosterone will have increased risks of stroke and heart attack. Lawsuits are now being filed against the manufacturers of some testosterone products and for failing to warn consumers about the deadly harm that testosterone can cause. Without getting technical, testosterone has been shown to increase the red blood count (thickening of the blood) which can cause clotting issues leading to stroke and heart attack.

    If your physician has prescribed testosterone for you, you should immediately discuss whether you truly need it and whether there are safer alternative drugs. After weighing the risks and benefits, you and your physician can determine what drug, if any, is best for you.

    If you or a loved one, have taken AndroGel, and have suffered a stroke, you should immediately consult with his physician and then consult with an attorney who is experienced in handling such a matter.

    - Paul

    Paul J. Molinaro, M.D., J.D.
    Attorney at Law, Physician

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