Topical testosterone, which can be applied directly to the skin, is a convenient way for men with hypogonadism to undergo testosterone replacement therapy.
However, men should use it cautiously and keep these key points in mind:
- Available only by prescription, topical testosterone comes in several forms, such as gels and creams, which may come in individual-use packets and pumps. Always follow the instructions of the medication guide leaflet and your doctor.
- Wash your hands completely before applying testosterone.
- Topical testosterone is usually applied to the shoulders, upper arms, or abdomen, but always follow the instructions.
- Do not apply testosterone to broken skin. Never apply it to the penis or scrotum.
- Let the testosterone dry before you get dressed.
- After applying testosterone, don’t shower or go swimming for several hours. (The medication guide leaflet should tell you how long to wait.)
- Make sure the drug does not transfer to another person, especially a woman or child. Wash your hands after applying and clean any areas where testosterone might have dripped, such as the bathroom counter or sink. Cover the area or wash it before having skin-to-skin contact with another person.
- See your doctor regularly to monitor your testosterone levels.
- Be aware of possible side effects and contact your doctor immediately if you experience blood in your urine, problems with urination, or any other symptoms that seems severe or unusual.
Finally, don’t hesitate to talk to your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions about using topical testosterone.
International Society for Sexual Medicine
“How does one use a testosterone gel?”
“Testosterone (Topical Application Route)”
(Last updated: March 1, 2019)