Dermatology for transgender people

Transgender people have several specific needs in dermatology. Speak to a dermatologist if you have questions or concerns about any of the following skin-related issues.

Trans women and transfeminine people

Unwanted hair

Hair removal is a major concern for trans women, especially facial hair removal. Many also opt for body hair removal or genital hair removal prior to bottom surgery.

Hair loss

Scalp hair loss is another significant concern for many trans women.

Hormonal changes to skin

Feminizing hormones, anti-androgens, and bottom surgery can all affect hormone levels. For trans women, these can make skin thinner and dryer, make hair and nails more brittle and prone to breakage.

Skin resurfacing

Some trans people opt for facial skin resurfacing to improve appearance. Smoother skin is generally considered more “feminine,” and some women need to correct damage from testosterone-induced acne or facial hair removal. These include medical grade chemical peels and laser peels.

Fillers

Some trans women seek injectable fillers from medical professionals. In some cases, trans women have received illegal fillers from untrained people, most notably injected silicone. This can cause serious side effects and may require surgical correction or removal.

Trans men and transmasculine people

Acne

40% of trans people taking testosterone and other androgens may experience increased acne, particularly on the face, chest, back, and shoulders.

Unwanted hair

Testosterone increases facial and body hair for nearly all trans people taking it. In some cases, this may lead to unwanted hair in some body areas.

Hair loss

31% of trans men experience moderate to severe hair loss after starting masculinizing hormones.

Fat distribution

References

Ginsberg BA (2017). Dermatologic care of the transgender patient. Int J Womens Dermatol. 2017 Mar; 3(1): 65–67. ePub 2016 Dec 22. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijwd.2016.11.007

Marks D, Awosika O, Rengifo-Pardo M, Ehrlich A (2018). Dermatologic considerations in transgender care. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. September 2018, Volume 79, Issue 3, Supplement 1, Page AB102 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jaad.2018.05.438

Almazan TH, Kabigting FD (2016). Dermatologic care of the transgender patient. Dermatology Online Journal. 2016 Oct 15;22(10). https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijwd.2016.11.007

Sullivan P, Trinidad J, Hamann D. (2019). Issues in Transgender Dermatology: a systematic review of the literature. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. 2019 Mar 15. pii: S0190-9622(19)30437-2. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jaad.2019.03.023

Motosko CC, Zakhem GA, Pomeranz MK, Hazen A (2018). Acne: a side‐effect of masculinizing hormonal therapy in transgender patients. British Journal of Dermatology. First published: 12 August 2018 https://doi.org/10.1111/bjd.17083