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Does Masturbation Cause Acne & Pimples? Here's What You Need to Know

Do you think regular masturbation may be a reason for your facial acne and pimple? Read on to find out!

5 min read
Does Masturbation Cause Acne & Pimples? Here's What You Need to Know

If there’s anything we could rhyme with “masturbation,” it is “misconception,” which could stem from a lack of research in this department. But one thing is clear — both masturbation and hormonal changes are related, but are they responsible for each other in any way? Continue reading and learn more about the relationship between pimples, acne, masturbation, the root causes of acne, and how to treat it.

Does Masturbation Cause Acne?

It’s no news that hormonal changes happen due to puberty and that they cause the body to secrete more oil. This may cause one to get clogged pores and see more breakouts on their face. But this is also the time when people feel changes in their hormones and start masturbating.

So does masturbation cause acne? No. Masturbating has a very small effect on hormones. But since both occur around puberty, many people think masturbating is solely responsible for acne. It’s true that masturbating and acne are both linked to hormones; however, it’s a myth that masturbating causes acne.

Does Masturbation Cause Pimples?

It’s a misconception that masturbation is the cause of pimples. In fact, as we said earlier, both pimples and masturbation are a result of hormonal changes. If masturbating is responsible for anything, then it is the benefits like reducing stress and physical tension.

During puberty, the body goes through many changes. Some of the changes are common signs of puberty and are simply occasional. Similarly, random pimples or acne too are a result of adolescence too.  So whether one masturbates or not or the frequency of it is independent of the breakouts. So next time you Google “does masturbation cause pimples,” you already know the answer.

Where Did This Myth Come From?

During puberty, the body experiences major changes, which are hugely marked by changes in hormonal levels, which in turn, show themselves through various symptoms and signs. The most common signs of hormonal spikes are acne and masturbation.

As you go through puberty, it is common for testosterone and other androgens to be produced more by the body. As these hormonal levels go up, the body produces more sebum, an oily secretion from the sebaceous glands. Sebum’s primary function is to protect the skin and lock moisture inside the skin. It helps to keep the skin flexible and not absorb too much moisture. But during puberty, the skin’s sebaceous glands tend to secrete more sebum than usual due to hormonal fluctuations. This, in turn, makes the skin excessively greasy and causes clogged pores. All of these eventually lead to acne.

On the contrary, masturbation doesn’t influence or regulate the sebaceous glands to affect the secretion of more sebum than what your body produces otherwise. This is where the myth comes into the picture. It’s said that this misconception found its way in an attempt to prevent young people from having premarital sex. Otherwise, there’s no relationship between masturbation and acne.

Acne can happen at any age to anyone, irrespective of their sexual life or whether or not they are masturbating.

But Doesn't It Affect Your Hormones?

Masturbating happens due to hormonal changes but does not cause enough hormonal activity to impact skin conditions. According to many studies, orgasms result in a small increase in testosterone in men. Research says that the rise in testosterone level is very little, and it goes back to normal after climaxing. Whatever influx of hormones happens during masturbation is insignificant and not big enough to result in acne breakouts.

What Really Causes Acne and Pimples?

Pimples and acne can happen for many reasons, but they all have one thing in common — clogged pores. Often, clogged pores result from dead skin getting trapped in the pores, resulting in blackheads, whiteheads, pimples, or folliculitis.

Acne is also a result of bacteria that can get into pores and cause inflammation, resulting in acne or cysts. These bacteria come from our surroundings, and whatever we come in contact with — cellphone, pillowcases, furniture, make-up, you name it. Also, acne doesn’t just happen on your face; it could also show up on different parts of your body like the neck, back, chest, shoulders, arms, thighs, or butt.

How Can You Treat Acne?

There are many ways to tackle the issue of acne. The primary step is to choose the right treatment for which you need to know the stage of acne. Many OTC (over-the-counter) medications can help with most types of acne. You can find them as medicated soaps, gels, face wash, lotions, etc.

Usually, the products have these two ingredients in common and are effective in treating mild acne cases:

  • Benzoyl peroxide
  • Salicylic acid

Some OTC products pack more ingredients for treating mild pimples and acne. Many people try a mix of organic and medicated OTC acne products to manage the condition on their own. However, if it can be treated at home, you should see some changes in 6 months. If you don’t, get in touch with a dermatologist.

Your dermatologist may initially prescribe you light medication to deal with common causes like clogged pores or antibiotics to combat bacterial activity. They can contain the following ingredients and come in pills, gels, lotions, etc.

  • Clindamycin
  • Erythromycin

These components fight bacteria that cause inflammation on the skin by clogging pores and help in relieving acne. Sometimes, they may prescribe a combination of OTC drugs like benzoyl peroxide and antibiotics.

However, if your case is severe with conditions like nodular acne, the dermatologist may ask you to consider isotretinoin. While this capsule drug is highly effective for treating cystic acne, it comes with serious side effects, such as:

  • Dry skin
  • Dry eyes
  • Sore throat
  • Skin rashes
  • Headaches
  • Anxiety
  • Stomach ache
  • Diarrhoea with blood
  • Pale skin
  • Trouble in urinating

When to See a Doctor?

Over-the-counter acne treatment products take time to work out for different people. Some treatments take at least six weeks before they show any visible signs of improvement. However, if there’s no change in your acne condition, you should see a dermatologist and start a personalised treatment.

Seeing your dermatologist should be your first step if you have a severe case like cysts, nodules, or severe acne. They will help you get stronger medications that better fight the skin condition.

Summing Up

To conclude, we can say that masturbation does not result in acne. If acne happens, it is a result of hormonal changes and adolescence. Masturbation indeed causes testosterone levels to rise, but it is momentary and not enough to affect your skin’s health.

As people start masturbating and having acne simultaneously, i.e., during puberty, people often get confused and believe masturbation is the reason behind the sudden breakouts. It's worth noting that there’s no exact cause of acne known apart from that it’s a result of excessive sebum secreted due to hormonal fluctuations.

Acne can also result from many other reasons and can be treated in various ways. While mild acne cases do not require a doctor’s appointment, severe cases have to be treated medically with prescribed medication, diet, and prescribed lifestyle changes.