Penn Medicine Dermatology is dedicated to serving the needs of LGBTQ+ community members with dignity, respect and excellence. We are the first LGBTQ+ and HIV+ dermatology-focused clinic and the only trans-focused dermatology clinic in Philadelphia, and have been serving patients since 2014.
Many factors impact the health and treatment of skin conditions for LGBTQ+ individuals, and we aim to address them with cultural humility. We respect and promote the wellness of all identities and welcome all with compassion.
PRIDE Clinic for LGBTQ+ and HIV+ Dermatology Services
Penn Dermatology's PRIDE Clinic (PRoviding Integrated Dermatology for Everyone) is held monthly in our offices at Penn Medicine University City, 11th floor, 3737 Market St., Philadelphia, and at Penn Dermatology Pennsylvania Hospital, 235 S. 8th St., Philadelphia. We aim to provide world-class dermatological care in an environment where patients feel safe and heard.
We specialize in treating patients with skin concerns related to immunosuppression, due to genetics, medical intervention, or infection, and have specialized training in treating patients living with HIV/AIDS.
The PRIDE Clinic also treats gender and sexual minority populations (GSM), with a focus on transgender patients. Our goal is to treat referred patients within a month of request.
Skin Conditions Treated in PRIDE Clinic
We work with community organizations and providers inside and outside of Penn Medicine to treat a variety of conditions, including:
- Hormone-related skin conditions
- Surgery-related skin conditions
- Chest binding-related skin conditions
- HIV-associated skin conditions
Hormone-related skin conditions
Patients undergoing gender confirmation treatments may experience hormonal changes that affect the body's natural oil (sebum) production. For instance, estrogen may lead to dry skin, and testosterone may trigger inflammatory and painful acne.
Similarly, hormonal changes can lead to both increased hair growth and hair loss (androgenic alopecia).
Several treatments, including topical and oral medications, can address these concerns.
Surgery-related skin conditions
Some gender confirmation procedures produce scars, which are areas of fibrous tissue developed in response to skin trauma. Sometimes scar tissue can become overgrown, producing hypertrophic and/or keloid scars.
Treatment options may include steroid injections into scars and scar re-excisions.
Chest binding-related skin conditions
Other common experiences and exposures may put patients at risk for side effects.
For instance, chest binding is a term used to describe the process aimed at reducing the size of one's chest, generally to achieve a flatter, more masculine appearance.
Prolonged binding can cause irritation, swelling and tenderness, impacting the elasticity of the skin. The accumulation of moisture can also predispose to bacterial or fungal infections, and acne.
HIV-associated skin conditions
Patients who are immunosuppressed or immunocompromised, whether from medications, genetic conditions, or human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection, may develop related skin conditions.
With an altered immune system, the body may be more susceptible to skin cancers, may have more difficulty fighting off certain infections and be at greater risk of exposure to others, and may be at greater risk for reactions to certain medications.
Access and Safety for LGBTQ+ and HIV+ Patients
We want to increase access for patients who face discrimination or have safety concerns when discussing details important to their health. Learn more about providers who are a part of Penn Medicine's LGBTQ+ Health Program or Infectious Disease Programs.