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Dermatologists Can Utilize Noninvasive Procedures to Assist Transgender Patients

At least 0.3% of the US population, or 700,000 people, identify as transgender. Within the medical literature there is a lack of articles that address the needs of the transgender community, especially in dermatology. Transgender people seeking plastic surgery may be subjected to highly invasive procedures, and even be willing to undergo procedures performed by nonmedical personnel, which often result in devastating and disfiguring complications. A recent study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology sought to outline how the dermatologist can assist the physical transitioning process. The authors identified opportunities where dermatologic procedures may provide safe and noninvasive options, and investigated the concerns and barriers that dictate decisions when choosing care.

The results of this study showed that though it is often presumed that genital surgery is the primary procedure-related goal of transgender people, neither men nor women had this as their top priority. The chest or face, respectively, was rated of highest importance for transitioning procedures. In particular, facial transformation is of high importance in this community, especially for women. Dermatologists have an opportunity to make a difference in this process by providing safe and noninvasive options (including neurotoxin, fillers, and laser hair removal) for facial transformation. When choosing procedures, money was the major barrier and good aesthetic outcome the primary concern.

The authors conclude that noninvasive procedures benefit transgender in the same way as cis-gender patients, leading to more comfort and confidence in their appearance.

Byline: Martha L. Sikes, MS, RPh, PA-C

Adapted from the original article


[image by Brenda Clarke]

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