Benefits & Side Effects Of Creatine: Can Creatine Cause Acne?

Research Based
Medically reviewed by - Dr Lara Mokhtar, MD Written by - Dr. Shaheen Shah



Creatine is the amino acid the kidney, liver, and pancreas make. It is also present in certain foods viz; seafood and meat. People can also obtain creatine from commercially available health supplements. In our body, creatine transforms into phosphocreatine which the body’s muscles utilize for obtaining energy. Hence, people often take creatine supplements to enhance muscle mass and energy and improve athletic achievement. There is also some proof that creatine can help with specific health issues, viz; heart ailments and brain disease. However, creatine is not an artificial hormone (Steroid), and there is no support to indicate if creatine brings about acne or other derma (skin) problems.

Creatine is the amino acid the kidney, liver, and pancreas make. It is also present in certain foods viz; seafood and meat. People can also obtain creatine from commercially available health supplements.

Although most people take creatine to improve their bodily presentation and boost exercise sessions, some purchasers have been distressed about whether it creates pimples and other dermal issues. Still creatine never produces acne in individuals who consume it; if someone experiences pimple while on creatine supplementation it might be due to other causes 1 Introduction | Researched based study from National Institutes of Health . The article will discuss creatine, its adverse effects, benefits, and its connection with creatine. It will also discuss some queries you must know about creatine and acne and offer specific tips to prevent acne while on creatine supplementation.

Creatine & Acne

Can Creatine Cause Acne?

  • No research establishes the association between acne and creatine. Indeed, creatine is advantageous for our skin health and combating aging factors.
  • Also, some confirm that creatine decreases wrinkles, skin drooping and sun’s ultraviolet injury.
  • Most people believe that creatine is a constructive artificial hormone that helps increase the body’s muscle mass. However, creatine isn’t a steroid.
  • Pharmaceutical companies produce Steroids like testosterone hormones, which can cause pimples. So, most individuals often misunderstand that creatine creates pimples 2 Creatine and Acne | Researched based study from National Institutes of Health .

Creatine cystic acne

  • Creatines do not trigger cystic acne. People on creatine supplementation get more energy to exercise vigorously for an extended period. It makes one sweat more than in a usual workout.
  • More sweating can accumulate dust and bacteria on the skin’s surface, creating pimples (acne). Thus, one should bathe and alter the exercise clothes as early as possible to diminish pimple outbreaks 3 Creatine and Acne | Researched based study from National Institutes of Health.

Side Effects

Side effects of Creatine.

Side Effects of Creatine

Although creatine is safe for most people, some sections of people can come across the following side effects-

  • Dehydration
  • Unusual heat sensitivity
  • Lightheadedness
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Muscle spasm
  • Diarrhea (watery stool)
  • Increased weight
  • Abdominal pain
  • Intense painful pressure around the muscles
  • Kidney malfunctioning
  • Liver dysfunction
  • Stomach gas
  • Kidney stones
  • Seizures

However, studies have shown that creatine is pretty safe for muscle building. Yet, individuals with records of liver and kidney issues must consult with a physician before consuming creatine health supplements.

Moreover, some body-building health supplements declare that they do not have added hormones, but they might possess some that can create adverse effects 4 Adverse Effects| Researched based study from National Institutes of Health .


Benefits of Creatine

Creatine is one of the efficient supplements that help bodybuilders and athletes grow their body mass to enhance their workout. Some evidence-based creatine benefits are-

  • Increase the muscle power
  • Boosts the brain’s functioning
  • Combat muscle loss in elders

Increase the muscle power

  • Creatine supplements provide surplus energy to exercise harder, decreasing muscle exhaustion and getting a quick revival.
  • Research has shown that taking creatine supplements enhances workout performance when compared to others who have not taken it.
  • Creatine is also efficient for specific sports, viz, hockey, soccer, and swimming 7 Benefits | Researched based study from National Institutes of Health .

Boosts the brain’s functioning

  • Research studies have indicated that people on creatine supplements have more creatine levels in the brain than others who do not take it. It might be due to more oxygen supply to the brain cells.
  • Studies have also shown that individuals who took 20 grams of creatine every day for seven days to 42 days had increased levels of intelligence, thinking, and memory 8 Benefits | Researched based study from National Institutes of Health .

Combat muscle loss in elders

Creatine prevents age-related muscle deterioration. Studies have indicated that older people taking creatine supplements and weight lifting found better muscle mass and strength 9 Benefits | Researched based study from National Institutes of Health .

Additional athletic benefits of creatine supplements are listed below-

  • People get increased energy in the muscles to perform laborious exercises for a prolonged period
  • Creatine helps create new muscles
  • Creatine boosts the body’s ability to do weightlifting
  • Creatine helps hold the body’s water, enabling an individual to work out at high temperatures or outside in the sun.
  • Creatine assists in the quick healing of any muscle injury 5 Benefits | Researched based study from National Institutes of Health .

Apart from athlete advantages, there are other medical benefits of creatine. Some of them are listed below-

  • Decreases mental exhaustion
  • Boost the thinking capability
  • Decreasing the bone mineral loss
  • Reducing blood cholesterol
  • Reducing blood sugar
  • Manages non-alcoholic fatty liver illness
  • Manages heart failures
  • Improves certain conditions viz; Parkinson’s disease and muscular dystrophies (muscle deterioration)

Additionally, research studies have shown that creatine might help new babies with reduced oxygen levels at birth. It might also assist in fetal development during pregnancy 6 Benefits | Researched based study from National Institutes of Health .

Benefits of creatine for the skin:

  • Creatine provides the energy to the collagen (the protein that gives structural support) and prevents its reduction. Thus, it minimizes facial fine lines and wrinkles and prevents skin from drooping.
  • Creatine assists in repairing dry skin with new skin cells
  • Creatine maintains the hydration in the skin cells
  • Creatine also protects the skin cells from the harmful sun’s radiation 11 Benefits| Researched based study from National Institutes of Health .


How much Creatine should I Take per Day?

Creatine supplement is available in powder form; one can mix it with juice or plain water. Creatine monohydrate is the most researched and efficient creatine supplement for muscle mass. The two commonly used doses of creatine that individuals uses are listed below-

First regime

  • Initial dose-20 to 25 grams divided into five doses for five days
  • Maintenance dose- 4 to 5 grams daily

Second regime

  • Maintenance dose- 4 to 5 grams daily

Both regimes are efficient, but research found that people taking the initial and maintenance doses found four times more benefits 12 Dosage| Researched based study from National Institutes of Health .


Tips to Prevent Acne Breakouts

People who do regular workouts must adopt specific measures to prevent acne break outs.

Some tips to follow are as follows-

  • Wear oil-free sun protection lotion
  • Remove beautifying products from the face before working out
  • Keep the habit of wearing clean physical activity clothes
  • Always wipe the exercise equipment with a clean towel before using
  • Take a bath after any physical activity and cleanse the face with an oil-free wash 15 Prevention | Researched based study from National Institutes of Health .


Frequently Asked Questions About Creatine

Q. Does creatine cause hair loss?

  • Yes, creatine might cause hair loss.
  • A research study indicated that rugby players who took creatine supplements for an initial higher creatine dose for a week with the subsequent lower dose of creatine as the maintenance dose had increased levels of blood’s DHT(dihydrotestosterone) hormone during the initial high dosing period. During the maintenance dosing period, the DHT levels remained increased.
  • Research says increased DHT has an augmented impact on hair loss, so people with familial history of hair loss might experience the effect.
  • However, further research is still needed to evaluate whether creatine can impact hair loss 10 FAQs| Researched based study from National Institutes of Health .

Q. Is creatine good for the skin?

  • Yes, creatine is good for maintaining the skin
  • Creatine gives energy to the cells including the skin and muscles.
  • Creatine is a body’s natural compound produced by the liver, kidney, pancreas and assists in giving energy to the body. Creatine remains in the skeletal muscles as phosphocreatine which the body utilizes during muscle contraction throughout physical workouts. Some amount of creatine also occurs in our brains. When individuals take creatine supplements, more creatine becomes available in the body muscles giving more energy.
  • Creatine is essential for the correct functioning of the body and skin cells. With age, creatine production gets reduced, so it is necessary to supply that amount to restore skin health. Topical application of creatine lotions or creams helps reduce facial lines, wrinkles, and other anti-aging signs 11 FAQs| Researched based study from National Institutes of Health .

Q. How to get rid of creatine acne?

  • Creatine never causes pimples. However, working out for long hours and sweating can cause acne. Individuals can take a quick shower and change clothes immediately to prevent acne from occurring.

Q. Can creatine cause skin problems?

  • There is inconvenience among most people if creatine causes skin ailment. However, no studies have indicated that creatine causes any skin problems. Indeed, topical creatine application on the skin improves skin conditions and prevents anti-aging symptoms, viz, wrinkles and facial fine lines.

Q. Why am I breaking out after taking creatine?

  • Studies indicate that creatine health supplements might increase the DHT hormone level in the blood.
  • The increased DHT hormone might initiate an acne breakout in individuals sensitive to hormone induced acne 13 FAQs| Researched based study from National Institutes of Health .

Q. Is creatine worth the risks?

  • Creatine is a well-researched supplement that is good for individual consumption for muscle build-up.
  • Research studies have indicated no harmful effects when consumed within 20 grams daily for upto five years.
  • Some people belief that taking creatine supplement might impact the kidneys negatively. However, some studies have shown that diabetes mellitus patients who took 5 grams of creatine daily for 84 days did not affect the kidneys.
  • Yet, there needs to be more prolonged studies on kidney disease patients. Thus, people with kidney disease must consult the doctor before taking the creatine supplement.
  • Although creatine is a safe health supplement people must remember the potential adverse effects if consumed in massive amounts. Above all, always stick to the physician’s advised amount to prevent health complications 14 FAQs| Researched based study from National Institutes of Health .


Can Creatine Cause Acne? – No Concrete Evidence to Suggest

  • To date no studies suggest that creatine causes acne and there is insufficient data to validate that it makes pimples worse. Indeed, creatine is a trustworthy and efficient supplement to assist in constructing body muscles. Moreover, people experience creatine to enhance their skin look when applied topically.
  • There are some side effects of creatine so people with health issues, viz; liver and kidney disease, must talk to the health care professional before taking the creatine supplement to ensure it is the right fit for them.
Disclaimer: The user acknowledges that this article's information is being offered for informational purposes only. Every attempt has been made to guarantee that the article is informational and correct. If they have any doubts or questions about their health, we firmly advise our readers to visit a doctor or other healthcare professional.

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