The skin problems trans people bring to dermatology are not unique by themselves, but they can appear for unique reasons, specifically when hormones are being used.
For example, trans men often suffer from acne and hair loss due to testosterone treatments – testosterone directly stimulates skin cells to produce sebum, resulting in blocked pores and more acne, sometimes severe, while also affecting hair follicles, causing hair loss. The reversal of this is trans women who end up with dry skin due to the antiandrogenic effects of oestrogen therapy.
Trans men and women may not turn up at a dermatology clinic without great psychological effort, since explaining oneself to a new, unknown doctor can be extremely daunting. At ENRICH’s dermatology clinic in Melbourne, we welcome everybody and will work with you as an individual on your skin concerns.
Main dermatology concerns of trans men who take hormone therapy
Treating acne in trans men
For trans men taking testosterone, acne is a very common side-effect that requires then another treatment to alleviate or manage, often medication or skin treatments, or both. All men are treated the same way, since no acne treatment in men blocks testosterone. We use light, lasers, and topical treatments for our acne patients, with good success rates. We have quite a few options up our sleeves for acne treatments, with the goal to avoid future breakouts and scarring.
Treating male pattern hair loss in trans men
Many androgenic alopecia treatments for men contain testosterone blockers, which isn’t an option for men undergoing testosterone-based hormone treatments. Some patients will need to wait until they have got to their desired outcomes of changes before going on certain drugs, as they are not all appropriate and will actively block testosterone. We also have PRP, which is used for everyone when it comes to hair loss, since it works separately to hormones directly on the hair follicle’s own little mini hair production system.
Treating dry skin in trans women
Because of the antiandrogenic effects of oestrogen, women undergoing oestrogen therapies may experience dry skin as the testosterone-fuelled sebum dries up. This may self-regulate, but it can be an ongoing issue that can require special care and extra treatments or barrier moisturisers.
Treating incomplete body and facial hair loss in trans women
Body and facial hair will typically fall out once oestrogen therapy begins, but it may be incomplete, leaving some hair remaining, sometimes in very conspicuous places like the face. This can be inconvenient, with laser hair removal a good option for removing this hair in a long-lasting way.
Changing the face to fit the person – trans men and women
Masculinising or feminising the face can be achieved with non-invasive neuromodulators or dermal fillers, and in some cases, cosmetic surgery. There are a lot of non-surgical options to explore with your cosmetic dermatologist, so give us a call to make time for a consultation.
We welcome everyone!
Contact our Melbourne dermatology clinic for an appointment