Steroids Scar Bodybuilder’s Chest and Back

steroid scrarsSteroid induced acne has resulted in permanent scarring for a 21 year old bodybuilder. This is a stark warning to all those that take steroids, or are considering taking steroids, to try to build muscle faster. Steroid use is still a major problem, and it is often the young and impressionable that opt for steroids, without even considering the potential dangers.

In the recent case, a young German bodybuilder developed acne after taking steroids. However, rather than stopping the steroid abuse, or seeing his doctor, he continued as he was concerned that his muscles would stop growing if he stopped taking the steroids.


The bodybuilder did eventually stop taking the steroids, but only after they had caused his testicles to shrink to the size of peanuts, and his sperm count to plummet to the point that his was practically infertile.

The doctors in Germany that examined the man were horrified at the extent of the massive, deep ulcerating sores on the chest and back. The bodybuilder has been left scarred for life as a result of his foolish actions.

Dr Peter Arne Gerber, from the Department of Dermatology at Heinrich-Heine-University in Düsseldorf, Germany, said moderate amounts of the drug could cause big problems, as is now evidenced in the above photo of bodybuilding scarring.

“There is probably a dose-effect with the steroids but it’s also dependent on how the individual reacts,” Dr Peter Arne Gerber, 2008.

The British Crime Survey estimate that there are 42,000 steroid users in the UK, but some experts believe the true figure could be twice as high. Anabolic steroids are usually synthesised from the male reproduction hormone testosterone. They have been banned by many sporting bodies, including the International Olympic Committee, because of their danger to health and the potential for competitive advantage.

It is difficult to determine what percent of the population in general have actually used anabolic steroids, but the number seems to be fairly low. Studies in the United States have shown anabolic steroid users tend to be mostly middle-class heterosexual men with a median age of about 25 who are noncompetitive bodybuilders and non-athletes and use the drugs for cosmetic purposes. Another study found that non-medical use of AAS among college students was at or less than 1%. According to a recent survey, 78.4% of steroid users were non-competitive bodybuilders and non-athletes while about 13% reported unsafe injection practices such as reusing needles, sharing needles, and sharing multidose vials. Source: Wikipedia – Steroids

Jim McVeigh from Liverpool John Moores University, who heads up the substance use and abuse department, says;

“It’s well documented that some individuals can experience severe acne. Often this is just a transient problem – most people wouldn’t consider it a significant barrier to using anabolic steroids. There is a lack of studies examining the side effects of steroid abuse. Robust scientific research is required to establish exactly what effects anabolic steroids have on heavy users.” Jim McVeig, 2008

Really to stop youngsters from starting steroid abuse, more education is required teaching the dangers while still at school, as by the time people start suggesting young bodybuilders take steroids in gyms and weight lifting clubs, they have no information on which to make a decision.

News source: BBC Health News

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  6 comments for “Steroids Scar Bodybuilder’s Chest and Back

  1. michael R.
    October 27, 2009 at 4:47 pm

    This is another one of the stories that are put out by idiots ( they got their info from wikipedia?) that is either propaganda against steroid use, or just written by someone who is misinformed and truly believes that this type of thing occurs in all cases. Its like saying that because one person out of a couple thousand at my university had a seizure after being vaccinated with the swine-avian mist; His testicles shrunk huh? this is based on negative feedback, which lowers the amount of LH in the body and therefore lowers the amount of testosterone produced in the leydig cells in the testicles.. taking synthetic LH (HCG) will prevent any testicular shrinkage. So, while 16 year old girls are prescribed oral steroids (the ones that cause liver damage, not injectables,pricking yourself is actually way safer) just go ahead and highlight the effects of insane dosing for too long a time by a few stupid kids. It really is an issue though, kids taking substances which, when used right are perfectly safe and just overall amazing for the ADULT body

    ( not to mention that of AIDs and cancer patients, although many doctors wont even prescribe it to them, for fear of backlash.. idk who the hell would know, and who would care bc the doctor is a DOCTOR and went to school and has a right to prescribe something he feels fit.. remembe,r he prescribes estrogens and progestins to little girls, but not androgens to aIDS patients)

    and they take these substances and completely screw themselves up with them.. not all the time, but sometimes. This article clearly shows though, a lack of knowledge of how AAS is used properly and safely. Its a reflection of how little the general public knows.. thats why kids screw themselves up, and the public believe that rare reactions like the pics describes happens everytime someone takes them.. btw, this pic has been floating around for years.. f’ing propaganda.

  2. MotleyHealth
    October 27, 2009 at 5:08 pm

    Michael, this story was reported by the BBC after appearing the The Lancet. Dr Peter Arne Gerber, from the Department of Dermatology at Heinrich-Heine-University in Düsseldorf also warned that even moderate use of certain steroids imposes a risk.

    This is meant as a warning (read 2nd sentence of article). It is not propaganda, just reporting news. Remember that steroids are illegal in some countries. Would you condone the use of narcotics if it made muscles bigger?

    Yes, some people are able to take drugs in a responsible way. Women are often given pethidine during child birth. But this does not mean that the average person is capable of determining what responsible use is. And when people become so focused on reaching their goals and objectives, common sense is forgotten.

    The article is a warning for every person who if offered steroids by a friend or gym partner to help bulk up. People should know the risks, even if they are small. Some people are not being vaccinated against swine flu because there is an unknown risk.

    If you are taking steroids and getting good results now, then good for you. But remember, the drug is banned by all professional sports for a good reason.

    And re-read Jim McVeig’s comment at the end of the article.

  3. garrett
    December 6, 2009 at 4:48 am

    I believe the first step to educating real consequences to the general public is by allowing doctors to work with those who choose to take them. so at least they are monitored by a trained professional rather then continually self-diagnosing or experimenting i should say… the idea of legalization is unlikely…but fortunately some get lucky and find a doctor that do monitor them.. but for the majority of those who want the benefit they will have to just learn from the users and take shots in the dark as far as how they will react.. Smart users will get regular blood work and stop at any sign of irregular or abnormal symptoms. Hmm good article .. definably one of those stories that makes news. Doesn’t really put the topic risk into perspective but an interesting note nonetheless.

  4. MotleyHealth
    December 6, 2009 at 7:44 pm

    An interesting idea, but a doctor will be putting his reputation at great risk if he openly helped an athlete use steroids, at least in countries where steroids are illegal for sport enhancement purposes. There could well be some research on the topic, I shall have a dig. Steroids are used by doctors to help patients recover from various conditions aren’t they? Asthma springs to mind too. Google Scholar may hold some information that could support this idea, although on first glances most articles on looking at the risks.

  5. Kennedy
    May 12, 2010 at 1:12 pm

    You know this is of course horrible but Michel has a point about medical service these days. It’s all business. pharmaceutical companies make medicines to sell them, that is the point of the fact, they are not doctors, they are business men. Doctors go to seminars where pharmaceutical companies will make up a bunch of reasons for doctors to prescribe their drug. Human kind has been to the moon and back but we do not have a cure for a simple cold. You tell me that is reasonable.

  6. MotleyHealth
    May 12, 2010 at 8:37 pm

    Hi Kennedy, I do not really think that this is true. Firstly medicine has to be tested and authorized before it can be prescribed publicly. Doctors do then favor certain medicines but that is because it is their job to do so, to prescribe the medicine that has been shown in recent studies to work well.

    When a doctor prescribes medicine to a patient they are informed of the common side effects of that medicine. The risk of side effects is almost always less than the risk of not curing the illness. When people push steroids in gyms they never provide a leaflet detailing all the known side effects to their clients.

    Remember that steroids are not legal substances. They are pushed onto people in gyms or by personal trainers without any regard for the health and safety of the individual that is being persuaded to buy them.

    This is why stories such as the one above needs to be told. This is not an isolated case. I am sure that there are many thousands of bodybuilders and athletes that have taken steroids with no noticeable side effects. This does not mean that the risk is not there though. If people are made aware of the risks then they can make a more informed decision when they find a respected member of their gym trying to sell them illegal substances in the lavatory.

    As for the simple cold, are you suggesting that scientists are deliberately not trying to find a cure? This is also not true. There are many research institutes that are working in this field. However, the “simple cold” is not a simple virus at all. It is constantly changing, mutating. There are so many strains that you would have to vaccinate every person with multiple versions. A huge cost, and for what? So people no longer have a runny nose and sneeze?

    The human body is perfectly capable of overcoming a simple cold by itself. Did you know that the average person gets 6 colds a year? Most of these are so mild they last for a few days with hardly any symptoms at all.

    There are flu vaccinations, these are far more important that
    wasting tax payers and investors money chasing after common colds.

    I guess if you are determined to take steroids, do as much research on the topic as you can, do not just listen to the first person in the gym that is selling them. As Garrett and Michael say, some people take them in a controlled and well managed way to prevent illness, so maybe it is possible. But without that knowledge you can do yourself serious harm.

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