FightAcne.com Interview with:
Howa Yeung, MD MSc | He/him
Assistant Professor of Dermatology
Emory University School of Medicine
FightAcne.com: What is the background for this study?
Response: Acne is common in transgender and gender diverse individuals who receive gender-affirming hormone therapy – a health disparity population that is understudied in health research. We aimed to explore the impact of acne and identify practice gaps in acne treatment in transgender and gender diverse individuals.
FightAcne.com: What are the main findings?
Response: Acne led to experiences of rejection and discrimination, worsened body dissatisfaction, and led to social avoidance. Transgender women reported acne interfering with feminine gender expression. Transgender men often normalized acne development, sometimes positively as an early sign of testosterone action. Many tried over-the-counter treatments and sought advice from physicians, peers, online forums, and social media.
Barriers to acne treatments included cost, lack of multidisciplinary care, mistrust toward the health care system, and lack of transgender-specific acne care education. Isotretinoin treatment required navigation of potential mental health adverse effects and patient discomfort with contraceptive and pregnancy testing requirements.