Author: Pedro Santos
Reducing acne is a top priority for many trans men, as acne can cause anxiety and affect self-esteem.
Testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) is often good at getting rid of acne, but in some cases, it can make acne worse. Here, we'll discuss what causes acne and how to get rid of it.
Table of Contents
What Is An Acne?
Acne is a skin condition characterized by the sebaceous gland's overproduction of sebum, an oily material. When this sebum accumulates on the skin's surface, it can clog pores and cause acne lesions to form.
What Is FTM Testosterone?
Testosterone is a natural hormone that is produced in the testicles. It is capable of the development of male characteristics, such as the deepening of the voice, growth of facial and body hair, and increased muscle mass. Testosterone levels typically peak during puberty and then gradually decline with age.
Individuals undergoing gender affirming hormone therapy who receive the hormone testosterone can experience a number of changes in their bodies. These changes can include an increase in muscle mass and strength, a decrease in body fat, and an increase in bone density. Testosterone can also lead to changes in mood, energy levels, and sex drive.
Gender affirming hormone therapy is an important step for many transgender and non binary individuals. It can help them feel more comfortable in their bodies and affirm their gender identity. For some people, hormone therapy may be the only form of treatment they need. For others, it may be one part of a larger treatment plan that also includes surgery and other therapies.
FTM testosterone is a synthetic form of testosterone that is often prescribed to transgender men in order to help them transition. It can be taken as a pill, injection, or gel.
Acne is one of the side effects of testosterone therapy. It happens when there is too much testosterone in the body, which stimulates the sebaceous glands. This makes the skin oily, which can lead to clogged pores and pimples on the face.
This masculinizing hormone therapy is usually continued indefinitely in order to maintain the desired effects. However, some people may elect to stop taking FTM testosterone after they have successfully transitioned.
Does FTM Testosterone Cause Acne?
Acne testosterone is a common side effect of testosterone hormone therapy. Acne is caused by an increase in testosterone levels, which can cause the overproduction of sebum, a type of oil that helps to keep the skin moisturized. When there is too much sebum together with other dead skin cells and dirt, it can block the pores and cause acne breakouts.
Acne symptoms can range from moderate to severe, resulting in whiteheads, blackheads, and cysts. Acne breakouts can occur on the face, chest, back, and shoulders. Treatment for acne can include over-the-counter medications, prescription medications, or a combination of both.
If you are considering hormone therapy and are concerned about acne, talk to your doctor about all of your options. They can help you to create a treatment plan that is right for you.
Different Types Of Testosterone-Induced Acne
Testosterone-induced acne is very common in transgender patients who are taking testosterone therapy or other forms of hormonal therapy. There are several different types of acne that can be caused by testosterone, and each type requires a different approach to treatment.
The most common type of acne caused by testosterone is called seborrheic dermatitis. Seborrheic dermatitis is a condition that causes the skin to produce too much oil. This excess oil can clog pores and lead to the growth of acne-causing bacteria. Seborrheic dermatitis is usually treated with over-the-counter acne medications.
Another type of acne that can be caused by testosterone is called acne vulgaris. This is the common type of acne, which causes blackheads, whiteheads, and pimples to form.
The third type of acne that can be caused by testosterone is called acne conglobata. This is characterized by the formation of large, deep, and inflamed pimples. Acne conglobata is often resistant to standard acne treatments, and it can require oral antibiotics or isotretinoin (Accutane) to clear.
These are some types of acne that can be caused by testosterone. If you are taking testosterone replacement therapy or other hormonal therapies, It is critical to be aware of the possibility of acne and to consult with your doctor about the best method to manage it.
Prescription Acne Treatment
Prescribed acne treatment options will differ according to the severity of your acne. Here are some acne treatment options that might be prescribed by a dermatologist.
Topical antibiotics acne treatments
Topical acne treatments that contain antibiotics are used to kill the bacteria that contribute to acne. These acne treatments are applied directly to the skin and include creams, gels, lotions, and ointments.
They work by killing acne-causing bacteria, reducing inflammation, and unclogging pores. Common topical acne treatments include benzoyl peroxide, retinoids, antibiotics, and salicylic acid.
When using topical acne antibiotics, it's important to follow the directions on the packaging. This will help to ensure that the acne treatment is effective and that you don't experience any side effects. Also, before and after applying the acne treatment to your skin, wash your hands.
The main advantage of topical acne treatments is that they are relatively easy to use. The main disadvantage is that they can cause skin irritation, redness, and dryness.
If you experience any side effects, be sure to talk to your doctor. They may be able to recommend a different acne treatment that is better suited for your skin type.
Oral acne treatments
Oral acne treatments are taken by mouth and include antibiotics, birth control pills, isotretinoin, and spironolactone. They work by killing acne-causing bacteria, reducing inflammation, and unclogging pores. This acne treatment option can be effective for those with moderate to severe acne.
One benefit of oral acne treatments is that they treat acne from the inside out. This can be helpful for those who have acne that is resistant to topical treatments.
However, oral acne treatments can cause side effects, so it's important to talk to a dermatologist about the risks and benefits before starting this acne treatment option.
Acne surgery is a last-resort acne treatment option. It's typically used for severe acne that doesn't respond to other acne treatments. Acne surgery involves draining and cleaning the affected area. This acne treatment can be effective, but it can also lead to scarring.
One drawback of acne surgery is that it can be painful. Also, there is a risk of infection and scarring. Before deciding whether or not to go through with acne surgery, it is essential to have a discussion about the potential drawbacks and advantages with a dermatologist.
When considering surgery for acne, it's important to find a dermatologist who is experienced in performing this type of procedure. And make sure that you're ready to commit to the surgery, as it's not always successful.
Ways To Reduce Acne While On Testosterone For Transgender Men
While taking testosterone, there are a few treatments available that can help reduce acne. Because acne and treatment methods are so uniquely individualized, you should make an appointment with your primary care physician to discuss the most appropriate course of action for you to take.
The following are some suggestions to help you get started:
Improve Your Diet
Improving your diet is one of the best options that you can do to help your acne. Inflammation and acne flare-ups can be mitigated to some degree by maintaining a diet that is healthful and well-balanced.
Make sure that a significant portion of your daily diet consists of freshly prepared cereals, fruits, and vegetables. To the greatest extent feasible, stay away from processed foods, beverages high in sugar, and foods that are heavy in fat.
When you have acne, it is essential to maintain a clean skincare routine. Make it a habit to use a gentle cleanser to wash your face at least twice a day. Avoid scrubbing your skin too hard, as this can irritate the skin and make acne worse. In addition to washing your face, be sure to keep your hair clean. Shampoo regularly and avoid touching your face with your hands.
Get Enough Sleep
One of the best options to help reduce acne is to get enough sleep. When you’re well-rested, your body is better able to fight inflammation and acne flare-ups. Every night, you should aim to sleep for at least eight hours if possible.
Sleeping with a clean face can also help to reduce acne. Be sure to remove all makeup before going to bed and wash your face before going to sleep.
Exercise is another great way to help reduce acne. Exercise helps to improve circulation and reduce stress, both of which can lead to acne flare-ups. Get at least half an hour of exercise every day and make it a habit.
Use Salicylic Acid
Salicylic acid is an acne treatment that can be used to help reduce acne breakouts and control acne. It is a beta-hydroxy acid that helps to unclog pores and reduce inflammation. It is available over the counter in many forms, including acne cleansers, face washes, and moisturizers.
Salicylic acid is a good option for people with acne because it is gentle and does not cause excessive dryness or irritation. It works well on its own or in tandem with other acne treatments. Some people find that using salicylic acid on a regular basis helps to keep their acne under control.
Retinoids are a type of vitamin A derivative, and they work by unclogging pores and reducing the amount of oil that is produced by the skin.
Retinoids can be prescription or over-the-counter, and they come in a variety of forms, including cream, gel, and ointment. Retinoids are a great option for treating acne, as they are effective and affordable.
You can use retinoids on your own or in conjunction with a number of different acne treatments. On the other hand, they are also capable of causing some unpleasant side effects, including dryness, redness, and irritation. Therefore, it is essential to begin using them gently and gradually raise the dose throughout the course of their use.
Drink More Water
It is critical to the health of your skin that you consume a lot of water every day. Your skin is more likely to become dry and prone to acne when you are dehydrated. Consuming large amounts of water can assist in maintaining the hydration and health of your skin.
In addition, water can help to flush toxins from the body and improve overall health. Make sure to consume at least eight glasses per day to keep your skin and body healthy.
Finding techniques to alleviate stress is recommended for those suffering from acne because of the correlation between stress and its worsening effects. There isn't just one right way to do things, and what helps one person may not help another. Take into account the following as a starting point:
- Practice yoga or stretching
- Listen to calming music
- Read a book
- Take a hot bath
- Get regular massages
- Take a walk outside
Each of these can play a role in alleviating stress and its associated acne symptoms. To sum up, choose a method that serves you well and stick with it.
Acne is difficult to treat, but there are strategies to minimize breakouts that you should keep in mind. Acne treatment plans vary from person to person, so it's important to discuss options with your doctor. With the right treatment, you can clear up your acne and enjoy healthy, beautiful skin.
Acne is a frequent skin condition that can be caused by many different factors, including hormones. In transgender men who are transitioning, acne may be caused by an increase in androgens, which can trigger the overproduction of sebum.
Acne is not just a problem for teenagers, despite popular belief. Acne can be treated and future outbreaks avoided with a wide variety of methods. Acne sufferers should consult a medical professional or a dermatologist to determine the most effective course of treatment.
Pedro Santos is the founder and CEO of ENBYNYC, We at ENBYNYC are committed to helping our community and other members of the LGBTQIA+ family by creating a safe and welcoming space and providing the tools necessary to thrive. To learn more about him visit his bio.