Ask the Diva

Ask the Diva!

June 2021:

Dear Savvy Derm Diva,

I am a transgender who has been prescribed hormone therapy, which consists of testosterone to suppress female sex characteristics. What can I do to prepare my skin, and what should I expect?

Masculinizing – Gina R.

Dear Masculinizing,

I am so glad you asked this question, as I truly believe it is important to have an established relationship with your dermatologist before starting any hormonal therapy. A study found that almost 30% of individuals starting testosterone hormonal therapy were prone to developing acne, with an increased risk of those under the age of 21. Though more studies are needed to find the most effective treatment options, it is better to be proactive than reactive. You may also experience increased hair growth to the face and hair loss to the scalp.

Diva Tip: Starting on an acne regimen for control is a wise approach when starting hormonal therapy. Visit us virtually or in person at Advanced Dermatology & Aesthetic Medicine. Schedule your appointment today!

Dear Savvy Derm Diva,

I see a lot of information about Gut Health and Skin. Can you please enlighten me on these associations?

Gut Reaction – David W.

Dear Gut Reaction,

Studies relating to impairment of skin barrier and inflammation can result from dysbiosis, which is the imbalance of the normal gut flora. Prebiotics such as Blue Spirulina, as well as others, is taking the internet by storm as the research has found these may provide the “good” microflora in the gut the nutrients it needs to protect against a compromised barrier in the gut (aka “Leaky Gut”) which may lead to exacerbations of many inflammatory skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis. Again, more studies are needed. This is not FDA approved, so do your research and use a reputable supplier and always speak with your provider before starting any supplements as they can interact with your prescriptions or exacerbate other conditions.

Diva Tip: Blue Spirulina is the next superfood of the future. It is an extracted protein from Spirulina which is a blue-green alga. It’s nutrient-dense, and studies are finding many benefits such as anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant properties. Check out Ocean Rx to learn more.

Renata Block, MMS, PA-C, is the creator of Savvy Derm Diva, an online resource for proper skincare. Ask Savvy Derm Diva is a monthly column answering your skincare related concerns! Make sure you follow her on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter! You can make an appointment with her via TeleMedicine or in person at Advanced Dermatology & Aesthetic Medicine, LLC, or TEXT to 847-802-9667.