Author: Pedro Santos
Testosterone acne is a common skin condition that can affect transgender and non-binary patients on hormone replacement therapy (HRT). Testosterone, which is the predominant male sex hormone, plays an important role in both physical development and maintenance of testosterone levels in the body. In order for testosterone to stay at healthy levels, it must be converted into dihydrotestosterone (DHT) by a process known as testosterone aromatization. Unfortunately, this process can have an adverse reaction on the skin, resulting in testosterone acne.
If you are a transgender or nonbinary person on hormone replacement therapy, you may be experiencing testosterone acne. Testosterone therapy can have many benefits for these patients, such as increased energy levels, muscle mass, and libido. However, one potential side effect of testosterone therapy is acne. In this blog post, we will discuss the link between testosterone acne hormone replacement therapy and transgender and non-binary patients.
Table of Contents
Transgender and Non-Binary HRT Patients: The Link Between Testosterone Acne | ENBYNYC
Hormone Replacement Therapy
How Does Testosterone Acne Affect Transgender and Non-Binary Patients?
Managing Testosterone Acne
Follow a Skin Care Regimen
Follow Your Doctor’s Instructions for HRT
Practice Good Skin Care Habits
Eat a Healthy Diet
Reduce Stress Levels
Talk to Your Doctor About Treatments for Testosterone Acne
Things to Ask Your Doctor About Testosterone-Related Acne
Frequently Asked Questions
Are there any alternative treatments available for testosterone-related acne?
Is it safe to use over-the-counter acne treatments while on masculinizing hormone therapy?
Are there any long-term implications of testosterone acne?
Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is a common treatment for transgender and nonbinary individuals. Testosterone, in particular, is often used to induce physical characteristics associated with masculinity.
Testosterone therapy can have many positive effects on transgender and nonbinary individuals. Testosterone therapy has been known to improve energy levels, muscle mass, facial hair growth, libido, and mood among other benefits. Additionally, testosterone therapy can be used in combination with other hormones to create a more comprehensive treatment plan tailored to the individual patient’s needs.
This can treat gender dysphoria and improve the mental health of transgender men and nonbinary individuals. Gender dysphoria is a condition in which a person experiences distress due to their assigned gender not matching their gender identity. It will often be managed with testosterone therapy and other forms of HRT.
The testosterone used in HRT is testosterone esters, which are testosterone molecules bound to an ester group. This type of testosterone is more slowly metabolized than testosterone in its natural form and thus has a longer duration of action.
Unfortunately, testosterone can also cause testosterone acne, which can be distressing both physically and emotionally. Masculinizing hormone therapy can also lead to other risk factors for skin-related side effects, such as increased facial and body hair.
Testosterone therapy can also cause other side effects such as weight gain, fatigue, headaches, and hypertension. Testosterone also has an effect on the sebaceous glands, which are responsible for producing oil and can lead to an excessively oily complexion. Male pattern baldness is also a potential side effect of testosterone therapy.
Acne occurs when the pores on the skin become clogged with oil, dirt, bacteria, and other substances. Normally, testosterone is metabolized into a weaker form and excreted through the urine and sweat but testosterone esters are not as easily metabolized and can remain on the skin, contributing to acne breakouts.
When hair follicles are exposed to testosterone, the oil glands become overactive, producing too much sebum. This can lead to blocked pores and acne breakouts. The acne may be mild or severe depending on the individual’s testosterone levels and skin type.
Testosterone acne typically appears in areas that have more oil glands such as the chest, back, shoulders and neck. It can vary from small whiteheads and blackheads to larger nodules or cysts.
Treatment may be challenging due to the possibility that hormonal acne therapies will not be successful. It is essential for patients who are transgender or non-binary and are undergoing testosterone replacement medication to adhere to a consistent skincare routine in order to assist in reducing the severity and frequency of acne breakouts caused by testosterone.
Transgender and non-binary patients who are on testosterone treatment may be more likely to experiencetestosterone acne due to their elevated testosterone levels. This can be a source of distress for these patients, especially if the acne is severe or persistent. For some severe acne patients, this may cause them to feel embarrassed or ashamed of their appearance. It also may lead to difficulties in social situations and relationships, as well as feelings of low self-esteem and depression. The good news is that testosterone acne can be managed with some lifestyle changes and medical treatments.
It is important for transgender and non-binary patients to discuss any skin concerns with their doctor or healthcare provider, as they may be able to provide additional guidance on managing testosterone acne. This may include prescribing topical medications, or antibiotics to reduce the bacteria on the skin, as well as adjusting testosterone dosage or switching to another type of testosterone treatment. Additionally, patients may be instructed to avoid certain foods and ingredients that can exacerbate testosterone acne.
It is essential for transgender and non-binary individuals to practice good skincare routines in order to reduce the risk of testosterone acne. This includes using gentle exfoliants and cleansers, avoiding oil-based skin products, and using non-comedogenic moisturizers. Additionally, it is important to wear sunscreen to protect the skin from UV rays that can make testosterone acne worse. With consistent care and treatment, testosterone acne can be managed and treated effectively.
By following these tips, transgender and non-binary patients on testosterone therapy can take steps to reduce the chance of developing testosterone acne. With proper care and attention, testosterone acne can be managed and treated in order to promote healthy skin.
It is essential to have a consistent skincare routine if one wants to forestall the appearance of acne brought on by testosterone. This should involve washing, moisturizing, and exfoliating the skin on a regular basis, as well as avoiding the use of harsh chemicals or items that are irritating to the skin. When going outside, you should always make sure to protect your skin by applying sunscreen, as this will help prevent further damage to the skin.
In order to lessen the likelihood of developing acne caused by testosterone, it is essential for transgender people who are undergoing testosterone therapy to follow all of the directions given to them by their respective doctors. Your healthcare provider will be able to provide you with guidance regarding the ideal dosage as well as the frequency of your testosterone therapy.
In addition to following a skin care regimen and adhering to the doctor’s instructions, testosterone acne can also be managed through other treatments. This may include the use of topical medications, antibiotics, or anti-inflammatory drugs to reduce inflammation and bacteria on the skin. Additionally, it may be beneficial to adjust testosterone dosage.
Practicing good skin care habits can also help minimize testosterone acne breakouts. It is important to cleanse, moisturize, and exfoliate regularly in order to remove excess oil and dirt from the skin’s surface. Additionally, it is important to avoid picking or squeezing acne lesions in order to prevent scarring. Proper shaving techniques should also be followed in order to minimize irritation and inflammation on human skin.
Consuming a diet high in fruits and vegetables can also assist gender-nonconforming individuals in reducing the appearance of acne caused by testosterone. Clear skin and improved health are two benefits that can accrue to transgender individuals who increase their consumption of fruits and vegetables and reduce their intake of sugar and processed foods.
Acne caused by testosterone and other health conditions related to testosterone may be alleviated as a result of this. The foods that should be avoided are ice, oats, dairy products, and white flour. These foods contain a lot of allergens and hormone-disrupting ingredients which can cause testosterone acne to flare up. Moreover, it is also important to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water and limiting the intake of caffeinated beverages.
High-stress levels can also contribute to moderate acne. It is important for transgender patients to find healthy ways of managing and reducing stress, such as exercising, meditating, and engaging in relaxation activities like yoga or mindfulness. This testosterone-induced acne can be difficult for transgender or non-binary patients on testosterone replacement medication.
However, following a comprehensive skincare regimen and healthy lifestyle habits can assist in treating and preventing testosterone acne from occurring. With the right treatment plan and adherence to a regular skincare routine, testosterone acne breakouts may be reduced or eliminated altogether.
Regular exercise can help reduce testosterone levels and provide many other health benefits, including improved sleep quality and increased energy levels. This is also advisable for transgender women, who may be more prone to acne breakouts and may benefit from the testosterone-lowering effects of regular exercise. It is important to note that testosterone levels may temporarily increase after exercise, so it is best to wait a few hours before applying ointments to treat acne.
Treating testosterone acne can be a daunting task, but it is important to remember that with the right treatments and lifestyle changes, testosterone acne can be managed successfully. Transgender and non-binary individuals on testosterone therapy should follow their doctor’s instructions carefully, eat a healthy diet, practice good skin care habits, reduce stress levels, and exercise regularly in order to reduce testosterone-induced acne breakouts.
By following these guidelines and adhering to the doctor’s instructions, testosterone-induced acne can be managed successfully. Contact a healthcare provider if symptoms persist or worsen after treatment. With the right treatment plan and adherence to a regular skincare routine, testosterone acne may be reduced or eliminated.
Finally, your doctor may be able to recommend treatments for testosterone acne that can help reduce symptoms and lessen outbreaks. This can include topical creams and medications that can reduce testosterone levels. Secondary sex characteristics such as testosterone-related facial hair may also be reduced with the use of certain medications.
Testosterone acne does not have to be an unavoidable side effect of testosterone therapy for transgender and non-binary patients. By understanding the link between testosterone and acne, practicing good skin care habits, following the doctor’s instructions for testosterone therapy, and consulting with your doctor about treatments, it is possible to manage testosterone acne.
If you are a transgender or non-binary person on testosterone therapy and you're worried about testosterone acne, it's important to talk to your doctor. Here are some questions to ask:
- What type of testosterone therapy am I taking?
- How can I reduce the risk of testosterone acne?
- What treatments are available to help manage testosterone acne?
- Are there any lifestyle changes that I can make to reduce my testosterone level and improve my skin health?
- What other side effects should I expect while taking testosterone therapy?
- How often should I be seeing a doctor to monitor my testosterone levels and skin health?
- Are there any other resources available to me for testosterone-related acne?
By asking these questions, you can better understand your testosterone levels and the risks associated with testosterone therapy or gender-affirming treatment, as well as how to manage testosterone acne. Knowing the answers to these questions can help you make informed decisions about your testosterone therapy and skin care regimen so that you can maintain healthy skin while on testosterone treatment.
There are a few alternative treatments that can help reduce testosterone-related acne. These include herbal supplements, oral antibiotics, topical retinoid, probiotics, and dietary changes. Benzoyl Peroxide is another option, however, it can cause skin irritation in some cases. It is important to consult with your doctor before beginning any treatment on treating acne.
Testosterone acne may not go away completely with therapy, but it can be managed. A comprehensive skincare regimen and healthy lifestyle habits can help reduce the risk and severity of testosterone-related breakouts. Additionally, your doctor may be able to recommend treatments or medications that can help reduce testosterone levels and minimize the risk of testosterone-related acne.
It is important to remember that testosterone therapy can be an effective treatment for many transgender and non-binary patients, but it is also important to consider any side effects and potential risks associated with testosterone therapy. By understanding the link between testosterone and acne, taking preventive measures, and talking to your doctor about treatments, testosterone acne can be managed and treated. This can help you get the most out of testosterone therapy treatment and maintain healthy skin while on testosterone.
It is generally safe to use over-the-counter acne treatments while on testosterone therapy. However, it is important to speak with your doctor before starting any new medications or topical treatments. Additionally, it is important to follow all product directions and avoid using more than the recommended amount.
It is recommended to avoid both topical and oral antibiotics as they can increase testosterone levels and cause testosterone-related acne. Your doctor may be able to recommend alternatives such as benzoyl peroxide or retinoid creams that are better suited for testosterone therapy patients.
Finally, practicing good skin care habits while on testosterone therapy is important. This good skincare routine can help reduce testosterone-related acne, prevent further breakouts, and improve overall skin health. This includes using a gentle cleanser or exfoliator to remove dirt, oil, and debris from your skin twice a day.
In many cases, testosterone acne will improve over time as testosterone levels in the body return to normal. However, it is important to speak with your doctor about any long-term side effects that may be associated with testosterone therapy or other gender-affirming therapies.
If you find that you are experiencing persistent acne or scarring from testosterone acne, it is important to talk to a dermatologist about treatment options. Treatment may include medications and topical antibiotics that can reduce excess testosterone levels, as well as laser treatments for any scarring.
In conclusion, testosterone acne is a common side effect of testosterone supplementation for transgender and non-binary patients. It can be uncomfortable and distressing, but there are treatments available to help manage it. Talk to your doctor about the best way to treat testosterone acne for your individual needs. With the right treatment plan, you can reduce testosterone acne breakouts and maintain healthy skin.
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.