Are there negative side effects when taking transdermal supplementation?

September 01, 2020

Are there negative side effects when taking transdermal supplementation?

Are there negative side effects when taking transdermal supplementation?


It isn't uncommon to search for ways to lose weight, boost energy, or fight age. For this reason, men and women supplement with vitamins, minerals, and hormones. While there are many avenues for increasing vitamin levels, one method is transdermal supplementation. Yet what are the negative side effects when taking transdermal supplementation. In this article, we'll explore the world of topical supplementation and possible adverse effects.

What is transdermal supplementation?

 There are different types of transdermal supplementation. One is applying an adhesive pad or patch to your skin; another uses a topical cream or gel. Trans means "through," and dermal means "dermis or skin." The patch or gel may contain wellness products, such as vitamins and minerals, or deliver a dose of medicine to the bloodstream.


The most common application using a transdermal supplementation in the past was a nicotine patch. However, now transdermal applications is a popular delivery method for the following:







B vitamins


You can also find transdermal delivery for many other medicines and vitamins, not listed above. Speak to your doctor if you believe transdermal supplementation is right for you.

How does transdermal delivery work?

 The skin is your body’s biggest organ with distinct layers. It’s designed to protect and nourish your body. When you apply a transdermal supplement, the vitamins or medicines usually release slowly into the bloodstream in a controlled manner. 

                                                                                                                                   The controlled permeation enters the top layer of your skin (epidermis), before entering the second layer, referred to as the dermis. Inside the dermis is connective tissue that provides strength and structure for the skin. It also encompasses hair follicles and sweat glands.


Once the vitamins, medicines, or hormones enter the dermis, it helps transfer the substance into the deepest layer called the hypodermis. The hypodermis contains subcutaneous tissue and fat and blood vessels reaching into the epidermis and dermis. The blood vessels provide the transmission of the gel to the bloodstream.


Then the blood cells move the supplement into the bloodstream, which then transfers it throughout the body and circulatory system.

What are the side effects of transdermal supplementation?

 The adverse effects of taking any kind of medicine are distinct to that particular supplement. So it can be hard sometimes to determine if the side effect is coming from the vitamin or medication in general or from the type of delivery.


However, applying a patch or cream to your skin may cause one of the following skin reactions in the area of application.


  • Redness
  • Itching
  • Burning
  • Irritation
  • Small bumps
  • Hardened skin


Your skin may be sensitive to lotions or gels with unnatural ingredients. Look for transdermal dietary products with natural ingredients, such as aloe or chamomile, which soothe and hydrate the skin.


The above adverse effects may be mild and go away. Yet if the symptoms worsen or continue for an extended period, make an appointment with your healthcare provider. This is especially important if you have a burn-like sensation or experiencing dizziness, problems urinating, or other health concerns.


Also, you may have adverse effects from the medication and the method of absorption. For example, estradiol hormone therapy may cause stomach cramps, diarrhea, or bloating. Testosterone therapy may cause anxiety, hair loss, or acne. 


While all of these unwanted effects aren't common, they can occur. Before taking any kind of supplement, read and follow the directions completely. 


What are the benefits of transdermal supplementation?

 Transdermal supplementation has some pretty powerful benefits that most people love. Here are a few of them that stand out.

Enters the bloodstream quickly

The quick absorption of transdermal dietary supplements is one of the most significant benefits. As mentioned above, your skin takes the medication and channels it into your bloodstream and bodily organs. You don't have to wait for a pill to be digested before you feel the effects.


Transdermal patches can also be time-released, making absorption slow and steady throughout the day. Pills can offer control-release, but it can be limited. If you're looking for a fast and sustained release of vitamins or hormones, topical application may be superior.

No large pills to swallow

 Have you ever wondered why a pill is that large? Or why does it taste so foul? Well, if you have, then you'll love transdermal supplementation. You apply the topical cream or patch in seconds. You don't have to swallow pills that smell terrible and make you gag. 


And don’t worry if you believe you're the only one who has a hard time swallowing pills. It’s actually more common than you think. 

Painful injections are no more

 Not many people enjoy getting a shot each day. For some, it may be the only option. However, for those who can choose transdermal supplementation, you don't have to worry about painful injections.


There are no needles to dispose of or having cotton balls and tape nearby to dab the blood. With transdermal supplementation, there's no pain or extra steps involved.

Targets specific areas

 When you swallow a pill or inject medicine, it travels throughout your body. While this is true for transdermal supplementation, you can use it to target specific areas of your body. 


For example, you can use a transdermal patch or topical gel to soothe sore muscles or skin conditions. Or place closer to the area of the body you want to target first. 


Are transdermal supplements effective?

 Everyone responds differently to vitamin, hormone, and medicine supplements. However, the transdermal application is valid and can deliver a controlled-release that enters the bloodstream efficiently.



The question of the adverse effects depends on your body and type of vitamin patch or hormone cream, you're applying. You may also have an adverse effect from the cream or patch itself, and other absorption methods are preferable.


In either case, side effects may be common for some and uncommon for others. In the end, transdermal supplementation can be life changing. If you suspect you have an adverse reaction, speak to your doctor immediately.