Severe skin problems on face after Propecia

I started taking Propecia mid-2007 but started to get skin rashes on my face so I stopped taking it. In mid-2008, I decided to try Propecia one more time because I was experiencing alot of hair loss. I started to get the skin rashes again so I completely stopped taking Propecia and decided that it was just not for me. A month after that and till today, the skin on my face has become very dry, it has started to scar alot for no reason and so many fine lines have started to form. I don’t know what is going on but my face looks so ugly right now and I don’t know how to stop all the scarring.

Has anyone else experienced this problem and do you know what is going on? Please help me!

Yes, browse through this subforum as many others have experienced skin issues post-Fin.

Mew, thanks for your reply…I had read these posts before I started my tread and couldn’t find anyone with a real solution to what’s going on. Do you think I should be checking my cortisol levels as it may be the problem with bad skin?

Skin oil production is controlled by androgens (Testosterone, DHT). 5AR enzymes are also present in the skin, which Finasteride inhibits.

You should get your androgen levels checked, but Cortisol would also be a good idea.

Mew, thanks for your advice. Which androgens in specific do you think I should check??

Total Testosterone
Free/Bioavailable Testosterone

Hey Mew,

I just started a new job so I finally got some insurance to see doctors with. Can you please guide me on how to get my self tested and diagnosed for my problems. I really think either I have hypothyroidism or something has gone wrong with my adrenal glands/hormones or my sex hormones are messed up. I know you cant see a endocrinologist directly, like first u need to see a general practitioner. I dont want to do trial and error before I get diagnosed because my skin problems are getting very worse now. Please guide me on the correct steps I should take to get myself diagnosed.

I really appreciate your help alot. Thank you!

That is simply guesswork until you have comprehensive bloodwork done.

I did provide a list of androgen tests to get in a previous post, but if you want more comprehensive bloodwork, see the list here:

As for how you go about getting bloodtests… depending where you live, you might be able to pay for them yourself out of pocket (ie, go to the lab directly) or need to get a requisition form from your MD.

Most likely you will need to see your doctor, discuss your issues, and request the bloodtests you want. At that point it is up to the doc if he will give them to you (if they are covered under insurance). If he says no, offer to pay for them yourself. If he still says no, find another doc who will.

That’s basically it – you need to argue for your health, or at the very least bring in materials from this forum (Finasteride Studies section) to educate docs and prove your points.

Good luck.


Finally, was able to meet a doctor that understood what was going on. He agreed to do blood tests but advised to not do all of them from the recommended list but instead try to attack by those most likely causing problems. So, I have listed my results below as per date. Please help me understand whats going on and what I should be testing next. Thank you!

02/24/09 15:33 CBC -
WBC: 6.4 (ref: 3.9-10.7)
Hemoglobin Blood: 13.3* (ref: 14.0-18.1)
PCV BLOOD: 40* (ref: 41-49)
PLATELET COUNT: 275 (ref: 135-371)
Red Blood Cells: 4.53 (ref: 4.5-6.0)
MCV: 87 (ref: 81-98)
MCH: 29.4 (ref: 27-32)
Mean Corpuscle Hemoglobin Concentration: 33.7 (ref: 31-35)
RDWSD: 40.1 (ref: 37.4-52.4)
Red Blood Cells Width Distribution: 12.5 (ref: 11.1-14.3)

02/24/09 15:33 Differentl -
NEUTROPHILS %: 55.0 (ref: 35-75)
LYMPHS %: 33.2 (ref: 15-49)
MONOCYTES %: 7.5 (ref: 3.5-12)
EOSINOPHIL %: 3.8 (ref: 0.4-7.5)
BASOPHILS %: 0.5 (ref: 0.1-1.5)
NEUT (ABS): 3.52 (ref: 1.6-8.1)
LYMPHS (ABS): 2.12 (ref: 1.1-3.5)
MONO (ABS): 0.48 (ref: 0.3-1.1)
EOSOINOPHIL (ABS): 0.24 (ref: 0.03-0.51)
BASO (ABS): 0.03 (ref: 0.01-0.08)
IMM GRANULOCYTES %: 0.0 (ref: <_0.7)
IMM GRANULOCYTES (ABS): 0.00 (ref: <_0> 60 (ref: no range given)
eGFRAA: > 60 (ref: no range given)
Glucose Blood: 100 (ref: 70-110)
Calcium Blood: 9.0 (ref: 8.5-10.5)
AN-GAP: 6 (ref: no range given)

02/24/09 15:33 Nutrition -
25-HYDROXY D2: < 4 (ref: no range given)
25-HYDROXY D3: 17 (ref: no range given)
25-HYDROXY D TOTAL: 17 (ref: 10-24 = mild to moderate deficiency)

02/24/09 15:33 Thyroid -
THYROID STIM HORMONE: 1.87 (ref: 0.3-5.0)
F T4: 0.84 (ref: 0.5-1.2)

02/27/09 08:05 Ob/Gyn -
LUTEINIZING HORMONE: 3.5 (ref: 0.3-15.1)
FOLLICLE STIMULATING HRM: 3.2 (ref: 1.0-42.1)
PROLACTIN: 10.3 (ref: <15)

02/27/09 08:05 OtherEndo -
CORTISOL SERUM: 8.0 (ref: 10.4-26.4)
TESTOSTERONE FREE: 141.0 (ref: 47-244)

25-HYDROXY D TOTAL: 17 (ref: 10-24 = mild to moderate deficiency)
According to the lab, Vitamin D is deficient. According to, this points to a liver issue. You should get a complete Liver Function Test done (Bilirubin, GGT, AST, ALT etc).

PROLACTIN: 10.3 (ref: <15)
May want to look at bringing this down… Dr Shippen prefers to keep it between 3-5.

CORTISOL SERUM: 8.0 (ref: 10.4-26.4)
Out of range low. Investigate adrenal function further – DHEA, DHEA-S, 24hr Urine Cortisol, ACTH, CRH.

"Normally, cortisol levels rise during the early morning hours and are highest about 7 a.m. They drop very low in the evening and during the early phase of sleep. But if you sleep during the day and are up at night, this pattern may be reversed. If you do not have this daily change (diurnal rhythm) in cortisol levels, you may have overactive adrenal glands. This condition is called Cushing’s syndrome."

TESTOSTERONE FREE: 141.0 (ref: 47-244)

Total Testosterone levels look somewhat low for a 29 year old male. Free Testosterone could stand to be higher. Get SHBG, Androstenedione, Estradiol (ultrasensitive), Estrone, Total Estrogens, DHT tested.

Thanks Mew for your advice. I am starting to think I should just see Dr Shippen for my problems as he has more insight on this drug. Coz my current doctor doesn’t know whats going on and now hes prescribing some depression medicine instead of finding whats causing problems with my skin. Whats do you think Mew?

My personal opinion: do NOT take any anti-depressants.

  1. Adding another drug into the mix will make any future diagnoses difficult to determine due to more variables (drugs) having been used throughout your history, rather than one only (Finasteride).

  2. SSRIs are notorious for causing sexual dysfunction in users, and many of them continue to suffer a similar fate even after discontinuing the drug, similar to Finasteride users.


Do a google search on “Post SSRI Sexual Dysfunction” – … DACA_en-GB
… or visit the Yahoo post-SSRI group:

My point with all the above is: your doctor is fooling himself if he thinks prescribing an anti-depressant will fix “skin” issues; the two aren’t even related. He obviously believes the issues you are experiencing are psychological in nature and simply wants to medicate you to try and “forget about them”.

Consider visiting a dermatologist, endocrinologist, or one of the doctors listed on this site in Doctors section. 5AR (particularly 5AR Type I), androgen receptors and androgen (Testosterone/DHT) play a role in sebaceous gland activity… Finasteride has been used to clear up acne, the connection seems logical that if you inhibit 5AR and thus DHT (and Fin DOES bind with 5AR1, albeit with far lower affinity than 5AR2) you may cause changes to androgen action in skin.

You should also note that SKIN RASH is a possible listed side effect from Finasteride – … e-effects/

Figure out what is going on hormonally and at the enzyme and receptor level, and you may have more answers.

Besides all that, what did your doc say about your test results?

I have a list of symptoms that I’m currently or was suffering from after stopping this drug and so he said I should take the anti-depressants and a sleep medication to treat depression while getting an appointment with a dermatologist for skin problems and then to see him after 3 weeks to see how I feel.

I don’t think the dermatologist can help me at all because I have already gone to some really expensive ones and they all don’t know anything. The thing is that they only look at the top layer of the skin and know nothing about things happening below the dermis that can affect the top layer of skin so I know I am wasting my time with a dermatologist and my current doctor is too naive to know what to do next with me.

Which doctor, Shippen or Crisler do you think I should contact for my skin problems, since I live in Tennessee, going to either of them would make no difference to me. But I am starting to think the scarring of my skin is maybe due to low testosterone or some other hormones. So, which doctor would be better for me?

Btw, I do have erection problems and many of the other side effects but I see my skin scarring has most important to treat as its one symptom that is getting worse by the day while the rest of symptoms are there but not getting worse.

If you want to take anti depressants and risk ruining your sexual health further, that’s up to you.

I can’t say which doctor is better but give Shippen a call and see what he says.

I should add that you should consider taking Fish Oil supplements as they have been found to help alleviate depression, and help with skin and joint health.

I am not taking the anti-depressants. I dont really have depression this year. It was kinda bad last year but im ok now depression-wise. Currently, I am more unhappy about the skin problems. I will call Dr. Shippen. Thanks Mew.

The rash could be seborrheic dermatitis…Do you have dandruff as well?
especially t zone face

yes I have dandruff and some peeling on face. What you mean by t zone face?

Can you look to this movie and than click on seborrheic dermatitis… or on

Let me know if it looks like that…

I got it too from propecia…
Does anyone also suffer sometimes like once a week or occasionally from time too time from diarrhea? or just thin stool?