27/04/2023 / Health and Fitness

Does Masturbation Cause Acne - Here’s the Truth

Does masturbation cause acne? It’s believed by many that masturbation causes acne, but here’s the truth related to these two.

Does Masturbation Cause Acne Here’s the Truth
Mohammad AqdusMohammad Aqdus
Mohammad Aqdus
Medical Student, Research Associate
Medically Cited
Fact Checked

Table of Content


Have you ever wondered whether acne is caused by masturbation you're not alone in this? There is no direct evidence to this statement, it's a common misconception that has been perpetuated for years. 

In reality, acne is a complex condition of the skin and there are a variety of factors behind this, from hormones and stress to diet and lifestyle.

In this blog post, the facts and fiction will be shown separately, Understanding the pathophysiology of acne and identifying the causes and risk factors that contribute to it. 

Here's what we'll cover:

  • Understanding the different stages of acne development

  • Does masturbation cause acne? 

  • Effects  of hormones, diet, and lifestyle on acne

  • Discussing the best skincare practices for managing acne

  • Knowing when to seek professional help from a Doctor

Does masturbation cause acne?

It is generally believed that there's a link between masturbation and acne. However, the reality is quite different. It is suggested by the scientific evidence also that there's no direct connection between the two. So, what does science say about the masturbation-acne connection? 

  • Research studies have found no significant association between masturbation and acne development. There is a study which involves over 1,000 young men found that there was hardly any difference between the people who masturbate and those who didn't

  • Acne is primarily caused by hormonal imbalances, not sexual activity. Masturbation does not lead to hormonal changes significant enough to trigger acne breakouts.

  • Some benefits for the skin can be found in masturbation, as it reduces stress and promotes circulation, which can be beneficial for acne-prone skin.

  • Masturbation itself doesn't cause acne, importantly there are certain factors related to it which can potentially lead to acne formation. For example, using oil-based lubricants or touching the face after handling semen could potentially worsen acne breakouts

Why is it believed that masturbation causes acne?

Many myths and misconceptions are there which surround the link between masturbation and acne,  which make people believe that masturbation causes acne. Let's highlight some of the most common ones:

  • Masturbation doesn't cause acne: Some people believe that After sexual activity, some people may experience acne breakouts, but there is no scientific evidence to suggest that masturbation is related directly to acne formation.

  • No significant hormonal change while sexual activity or masturbation: Some people also believe that there is a significant change in the hormonal status of the body. The reality is that there is little change in the level of the hormones during masturbation which is incapable of causing acne. Hormonal levels are affected by sexual activity for a short time although there is no evidence to suggest that regular masturbation has a significant impact on hormones and acne.

Pathogenesis of Acne: How It Develops and Progresses

Acne is quite a common condition of the skin in almost all ages. Understanding how acne forms can help create more effective treatment plans. Few key takeaways to remember:

  • Sebum is an oily substance that clogs pores, excessive recreation of this is the primary cause of acne.

  • Bacteria on the skin can worsen acne by causing inflammation.

  • Hormonal changes during puberty and menstruation can contribute to acne formation.

  • Genetics can also play a role in acne development.

  • Acne lesions are variable types like blackheads or whiteheads.

Masturbation and Acne - What is the actual cause of acne?

Acne is a frustrating and uncomfortable condition that can be caused by various factors. Understanding the culprits and triggers behind acne is crucial in preventing breakouts and achieving clearer skin. Here are a few important points you need to know related to acne causes:

Masturbation and Acne - What is the actual cause of acne
  • Hormones: During puberty and menstruation, hormones are the main contributors to acne formation.

  • Unsupervised medication or cosmetic product use: Acne flare-ups can be caused by some medications and cosmetics, so don't use any random creams which are there on the market.

  • Genetics: The genetic constitution has an important association with the development of acne, and if it runs in your family, you may be more prone to acne.

  • Diet: Stress and lack of essential nutrients in the diet can also contribute to acne formation. Thus, eating a balanced diet and practising stress-reducing activities can help prevent acne.

The causes of Acne can be summarised as:

  1. Hormonal changes

  2. Genetics

  3. Bacteria on the skin

  4. Excessive oil production

  5. Dead skin cells

  6. Certain medications

  7. Diet

  8. Stress

  9. Environmental factors (pollution, humidity, etc.)

  10. Use of comedogenic (pore-clogging) skincare and cosmetic products

Masturbation and Hormonal Changes

Hormones play a crucial role in acne development, and many people wonder if masturbation can affect hormonal balance and therefore, their skin. 

Masturbation and acne have no direct relation, in some cases, it could indirectly affect the hormones that can give rise to acne formation. Here's what you need to know:

  • A little level of androgens is increased by masturbation, and oil production is regulated by a group of hormones. Excess oil can clog pores, leading to acne breakouts.

  • The release of certain hormones during masturbation, such as dopamine and oxytocin, can also influence the skin. For example, stress hormones like cortisol can lead to acne development if it is in high amounts.

  • However, the effects of masturbation on hormone levels are mostly transient and do not result in huge hormonal imbalances that could trigger acne breakouts.

Overall, while masturbation can affect hormone levels in the short term, it's not able to cause hormonal imbalances in the long term that contribute to acne development.

The Role of Diet and Lifestyle in Acne Formation

Acne is a complex condition influenced by various factors, including diet and lifestyle. While there's no one-size-fits-all approach to preventing acne, a change of lifestyle can prevent the development.

Some useful points to keep in mind:

  • Balanced diet: A diet or an eatable which is sugary has more acne risk. Healthy skin can be achieved through a healthy and balanced diet.

  • Sleep: No sleep or decreased sleep hours, stress, and a less mobile lifestyle can also contribute to acne formation. Incorporating regular exercise, practising stress-reducing techniques, and getting adequate sleep can help maintain overall skin health.

  • Skincare products: Avoiding certain skincare products and cosmetics that contain harsh chemicals can also help prevent acne breakouts.

Masturbation and Stress: Does It Trigger Acne Breakouts?

Stress is a common trigger for acne breakouts, and many people wonder if masturbation, often associated with stress relief, could be a factor. Some important points to consider although there is no direct link between masturbation and acne :

  • Increased oil production in the skin leads to clogged pores and acne breakouts due to stress hormones like cortisol.

  • Stress can be relieved in some people by masturbation, but it can lead to anxiety if done excessively, potentially exacerbating acne.

  • A healthy balance should be there when it comes to sexual activity and stress management for physical and mental health promotion.

Best Skin Care Practices to Keep Acne at Bay

Maintaining good skin care practices can help prevent breakouts, although there is no direct connection between acne and masturbation. Some takeaway points to keep your skin healthy and acne-free:

Best Skin Care Practices to Keep Acne at Bay
  • Washing face regularly: To remove excess oil and dirt, wash your face twice a day with a gentle cleanser

  • Avoid scrubbing: Don't scrub your face too hard, as this can worsen acne.

  • Use moisturiser: Use sunscreen and moisturiser to keep your skin hydrated and protected.

  • Avoid pricking acne: Avoid touching your face or pricking at acne lesions to prevent further irritation and inflammation.

  • Eat veggies and fruits: Eat a variety of fruits and vegetables, and try to avoid unnecessary consumption of dairy and processed food items as much as possible.

Treatment of acne

Acne affects millions of people worldwide, and it becomes frustrating while dealing with them. There are treatment options available for the effective management of acne but It is always better to consult a dermatologist before opting for treatment options.

Treatment of acne
  • Topical treatments: Creams, gels, or lotions that are applied to the skin, can help unclog pores and reduce inflammation.

  • Oral medications: In some cases, oral medications like antibiotics or hormonal therapies may be prescribed to help manage acne.

  • Lifestyle changes: Eating a healthy balanced diet, exercising and hygiene are some of the lifestyle changes that one can start with.

  • Professional treatments: For severe cases of acne we can go for In-office treatments like chemical peels, microdermabrasion, or light therapy as recommended by a dermatologist.

When to See a Doctor

Some symptoms and signs that you should consider before taking an appointment with a sexologist or dermatologist.

  • Your acne is affecting your self-confidence or causing problems in your daily activities

  • Your acne is not getting a proper response from over-the-counter treatments or medication.

  • Your acne is associated with other symptoms, such as excessive hair growth or irregular menstrual problems.

  • Develop a personalized treatment plan by consulting with a doctor and addressing any underlying psychological or hormonal factors contributing to your acne.

Consult with your primary care provider or search for specialists in your area to book an appointment with a sexologist or dermatologist.

Take-Home Points

  • There is no scientific evidence to suggest that masturbation causes acne.

  • Hormonal fluctuations, diet, and lifestyle choices are the primary contributors to acne formation.

  • Stress can exacerbate acne, but masturbation has been shown to have stress-reducing effects.

  • Myths and misconceptions surrounding masturbation and acne are prevalent, but it's important to rely on factual information backed by scientific research.

  • Not every time over-the-counter medication is helpful, If over-the-counter acne treatments are not effective, it may be necessary to consult a dermatologist for more advanced treatment options.

  • Consulting a sexologist or healthcare professional can provide valuable information and support for individuals with concerns about their sexual health.

  • Acne can be managed effectively with topical treatments, oral medications, lifestyle changes, and professional treatments as recommended by a dermatologist.

  • Consulting a dermatologist before opting for any treatment options for your acne is always recommended.

  • Overall, taking a holistic approach to skin health, including factors such as diet, stress management, and skincare practices, can help prevent and manage acne.


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