Curology and the trans community
Curology welcomes members of the trans community!
Our providers are experienced in caring for transgender people, including those undergoing hormone and/or surgical therapy — we are happy to help you as much as we can via telemedicine.
Taking androgens can be, of course, a part of the FTM (female‐to‐male) transitioning process. And, in the setting of testosterone therapy, acne may begin or worsen in a trans man, due primarily to an increase in sebum production. As well, chest binding may aggravate acne on the body.
A recent study on the short- and long-term clinical skin effects of testosterone treatment in trans men showed that the presence and severity of acne increased during the first year of T (testosterone) therapy, and peaked at 6 months. The good news is that, in that study, the acne responded to the usual treatments, and as time went on, most participants (93.9%) had no or mild acne after long-term T therapy.
(https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24344810) This reflects our experience, as, many times, Curology is all that is needed to achieve clear skin!
However, severe acne in trans men that required continuous isotretinoin therapy has been reported. ( https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25992965) Isotretinoin, commonly known by its former brand name, Accutane, can clear severe or treatment-resistant acne when other treatments fail. As most people know, Accutane cannot be prescribed via telemedicine; in-person dermatologic monitoring is necessary.
Transgender women may see certain changes in their skin while taking hormone replacements. Estrogens and androgen blockers (such as spironolactone) decrease sebum (oil) production. This may improve breakouts in some individuals. Some transgender women notice that their skin becomes softer with hormone replacements, but others may develop increased dryness, especially in those with already dry skin.
Given the complexities of the transitioning process, transgender individuals may face unique dermatologic needs in addition to routine care. So, if you are transitioning, it is usually best to have a relationship with a local dermatologist that you can see in-person to help you through this process. Having said that, you are always welcome here at Curology — we look forward to helping you achieve and maintain clear skin. If your Curology provider feels that you need something more than we can offer via telemedicine here at Curology, they will let you know — and your treatment here will continue for as long as you'd like. Some patients continue with Curology even while seeing a dermatologist in-person from time to time; others cancel their Curology subscription and transfer their care fully to their local dermatologist. It's your choice — we want what's best for you!