Acne in transgender patients

If there’s anyone America is buzzing about right now, it’s Caityln Jenner. The world is paying attention to a celebrity using their spotlight to raise awareness about the issues facing transgender people everywhere. That’s why I thought I’d use this opportunity to discuss one the problems that dermatologists see transgender patients face: acne.

Sexual minorities don’t always receive a lot of interest in the dermatology world, despite the fact that they do deal with specific skin disorders. This is especially true for female-to-male transsexual patients (trans men), who often deal with more acne. Interestingly, it’s the same kind of acne that men who lift weights and take hormones deal with - taking male hormones is a trigger for more acne and is certainly a large contributing factor.

Trans mean receive doses of testosterone in order to induce virilization, and unfortunately not much has been published about it. However, while some research claims that testosterone therapy in trans men doesn’t lead to troublesome acne, dermatologists have seen otherwise in their practices. It’s my hope that people like Caityln can encourage more research, care and consideration from the medical community for transgender patients, and I look forward to seeing new developments in this field of dermatology.

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