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Does Creatine Cause Acne? What Studies Say!

By Dr. Luna Rey

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This article was created after thorough research and has been improved with the assistance of AI technology. Furthermore, our dedicated editorial team has meticulously fact-checked and polished its content for accuracy and clarity.

Acne is a common skin condition that affects millions of people worldwide, and it can be a source of frustration and self-consciousness for many individuals. While there are various factors that can contribute to the development of acne, such as hormones, genetics, and diet, the potential link between creatine supplementation and acne has been a subject of debate and speculation.

Creatine is a popular supplement widely used by athletes, bodybuilders, and fitness enthusiasts to enhance their performance and build muscle mass. However, some individuals have reported experiencing acne breakouts after starting creatine supplementation, raising concerns about a possible connection between the two.

Key takeaways:

Creatine supplements are popular among athletes and bodybuilders for their potential to improve muscle strength and performance.
When taken as advised, Creatine is generally believed to be safe, Nonetheless, like any supplement or medication, it can potentially result in side effects for some individuals.
While anecdotal evidence suggests a potential link between acne and creatine supplementation, the scientific research in this area is limited and inconclusive.

What Is Creatine?

Creatine is a naturally occurring compound found in our bodies, primarily in the muscles, and is also present in certain foods like red meat and fish. It plays a crucial role in providing energy to the muscles during high-intensity exercise by replenishing the body’s stores of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the primary source of energy for muscle contractions.


It is widely used by athletes and bodybuilders as a supplement because studies have indicated its effectiveness in enhancing athletic performance.

Creatine Side Effects: Is Acne One Of Them?

Creatine is generally considered safe for most individuals when taken at recommended dosages. However, like any supplement or medication, it can potentially cause side effects in some people. Common side effects associated with creatine supplementation include:

1. Weight gain: Creatine can cause water retention, leading to a temporary increase in body weight.

2. Digestive issues: Some individuals may experience bloating, diarrhea, or nausea when taking creatine supplements.

3. Muscle cramps: Dehydration or inadequate hydration while taking creatine can increase the risk of muscle cramps.

While acne is not typically listed as a common side effect of creatine supplementation, some individuals have reported experiencing acne breakouts after starting creatine. However, it’s important to note that these reports are anecdotal, and the causal relationship between creatine and acne has not been conclusively established through scientific research.

You may also like to read: Is Tea Tree Oil Good For Fungal Acne? Exploring The Benefits

What Are The Benefits Of Taking Creatine?

Despite the potential side effects, creatine is a popular supplement due to its numerous benefits, particularly for athletes and individuals engaged in high-intensity exercise. Here are some of the key benefits associated with creatine supplementation:

Increased muscle mass and strength: Creatine has been shown to enhance muscle growth and improve strength performance during high-intensity exercise.

Improved exercise performance: By replenishing ATP stores, creatine can help muscle strength, delay muscle fatigue, and improve endurance during intense physical activities.

Potential cognitive benefits: Some research suggests that creatine may have neuroprotective effects and may improve cognitive function, particularly in older adults.

Potential therapeutic applications: Creatine has been studied for its potential benefits in managing conditions such as Parkinson’s disease, muscular dystrophy, and certain neurological disorders.

Potential Explanation Between The Creatine And Acne Connection

While the anecdotal reports of acne breakouts associated with creatine supplementation cannot be entirely dismissed, the scientific evidence supporting a direct causal link between creatine and acne is limited.

According to dermatologists and experts in the field, there are several potential explanations for the reported acne breakouts in some individuals taking creatine:

Creatine And Acne

➡️Individual sensitivity: Some people may be more sensitive to the effects of creatine or may have an underlying predisposition to acne, which could be exacerbated by the supplement.

➡️Hormonal fluctuations: Creatine supplementation may potentially affect hormone levels in some individuals, leading to increased production of sebum (an oily substance) and subsequent acne breakouts.

➡️ Dehydration: Inadequate hydration while taking creatine can lead to dehydration, which may contribute to acne by increasing the concentration of sebum and promoting bacterial growth.

➡️ Dietary changes: Some individuals may make dietary changes (e.g., increased protein intake) when starting creatine supplementation, which could potentially affect acne development. Certain habits like smoking weed can also contribute to acne.

It’s important to note that the relationship between creatine and acne is not well-established, and more research is needed to determine a definitive causal link, if any.

Summing Up

The potential connection between creatine supplementation and acne remains a topic of debate, with limited scientific evidence to support a direct causal relationship. While some individuals have reported experiencing acne breakouts after starting creatine, these reports are anecdotal, and other factors, such as individual sensitivity, hormonal fluctuations, dehydration, and dietary changes, may play a role.

If you are considering taking creatine supplements and have a history of acne or are prone to breakouts, it’s advisable to consult with a dermatologist or healthcare professional. They can provide personalized guidance and monitor any potential skin-related side effects.

Additionally, it’s crucial to follow the recommended dosages, stay well-hydrated, and maintain a balanced diet when taking creatine supplements. By addressing any underlying factors that may contribute to acne, you can potentially mitigate the risk of breakouts and enjoy the benefits of creatine supplementation safely.


1. Does creatine actually cause acne?

There is no conclusive scientific evidence to suggest that creatine directly causes acne. While some individuals have reported experiencing acne breakouts after starting creatine supplementation, the direct causal link remains unproven.

2. Does creatine have any effect on the skin?

Creatine itself is not known to have a direct effect on skin health. However, some individuals may experience side effects like dehydration or hormonal fluctuations, which could potentially contribute to skin issues like acne.

3. Does creatine affect face?

Creatine does not specifically target or affect the face. However, if an individual is prone to acne or has underlying hormonal imbalances, creatine supplementation may potentially exacerbate facial acne breakouts in some cases.

4. What are the negatives of creatine?

While creatine is generally considered safe for most individuals when taken at recommended dosages, potential negative side effects may include weight gain, digestive issues, muscle cramps, and dehydration. Some individuals may also experience acne breakouts, although a direct causal link has not been established.

5. Will I lose muscle if I stop taking creatine?

When you stop taking creatine, your muscles may lose some water weight initially, but you are unlikely to lose significant muscle mass as long as you continue to exercise and maintain a balanced diet. Any gains in muscle mass achieved with creatine supplementation are typically retained if proper training and nutrition are maintained.

6. How much water should I drink with creatine?

It is recommended to drink plenty of water when taking creatine supplements to prevent dehydration and potential side effects like muscle cramps. Experts suggest drinking at least 1 gallon (3.8 liters) of water per day when supplementing with creatine.


WebMD (2005-2024) Creatine – Uses, Side Effects, and More Available online at: https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-873/creatine

NCBI (n.d) Creatine in Health and Disease Available online at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7910963/

Dr. Luna Rey

Dr. Luna Rey is a renowned dermatologist who has established herself as an authority in diagnosing and managing a diverse array of skin disorders. Her expertise encompasses both common conditions such as acne and eczema, as well as more complex dermatological issues like psoriasis and skin malignancies. Complementing her clinical practice, Dr. Rey has cultivated a profound passion for writing, which has led her to contribute numerous articles to prestigious medical journals. Her writing is characterized by its clarity, concision, and accessibility, enabling her work to resonate with a wide readership.

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