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What is testosterone gel?

Testosterone gel is a gel that contains a male sex hormone called testosterone. Testosterone plays an important part in growth of body hair and building strong bones and muscles. In boys, testosterone also helps boys going through puberty.

Testosterone comes in a gel, cream, patch, injection or tablet. The testosterone in testosterone gel is absorbed into the skin.

Why does my child need to use testosterone gel?

Testosterone gel helps children who have different growth disorders or low levels of testosterone.

Where do I apply the testosterone gel?

Testosterone gel is typically applied to parts of the body that can be easily covered by clothing. This includes the upper arms, shoulders or upper thighs. Your child’s doctor will tell you which part of the body is best.

How do I apply the testosterone gel?

These instructions are for testosterone gel or testosterone cream. Follow the doctor’s instructions if they are different from the ones below.

  1. Make sure your child’s upper arms, shoulders or upper thighs are clean and dry.
  2. Open the gel pump or packet. If your child has a pump, press down on the dispenser a few times until the gel comes out. Squirt the extra gel into the sink. Rinse the sink.
  3. Pump or spread the testosterone gel into your or your child’s hands. Follow the doctor’s instructions on how much gel to use.
  4. Rub the gel into the appropriate area until it is fully absorbed into the skin.
  5. Wash your or your child’s hands very well with soap and water. Cover your child’s skin with clean clothing.

What are the side effects of testosterone gel?

Call the doctor if your child has any of these side effects:

  • Acne
  • Mood swings
  • Rash or redness where you apply the gel
  • Breast tissue growth in males (called gynecomastia)
  • Higher red blood cell count

How do I store and dispose of testosterone gel?


Store testosterone gel at room temperature out of reach from family members, children and pets.


Dispose of the gel in the trash. Make sure the trash is covered and out of reach of family members, children and pets.

Important things to know about testosterone gel

  • Do not share your child’s testosterone gel with others. The dose of testosterone is just for your child. Do not use anyone else’s testosterone gel.
  • The skin and clothing where testosterone gel is applied should not touch other people’s skin, especially women and children. If this happens, have the other person wash their skin very well with soap and water.
Rev. 12/2017
Reviewed by the MGfC Family Advisory Council