Does Masturbation Cause Acne?


There are many misconceptions surrounding masturbation. Inadequate research into its long-term effects might have led to some of these misconceptions. Both acne and masturbation are related to hormonal changes.

But the big question is, is there a link between the two? It is a general myth that masturbation causes acne. Although both are common during puberty, this is the only link between them.

Please continue reading to learn more about the relationship between acne and masturbation, the causes of acne, and its treatment.

The Myth About Acne

Some years back, the older generation often used this idea to encourage younger individuals to abstain from any kind of sexual activity. It was a frightening strategy, but it seemed to be one that people likely believed more.

Although, today, no studies have revealed any relationship between acne and sexual activity. This critical tale perhaps came to light because acne first showed up during puberty. This is the exact time when sexual feelings arise, and individuals begin to explore their sexuality.

While the two may appear at coinciding times, one does not cause the other. It is barely a coincidence if you have found your acne getting worse after you masturbate or have sex. Acne seems to get worse and better on its own.

Therefore, the fact that you had sex and then woke up discovering a big breakout of new pimples is only coincidental. The blemishes would have emerged regardless.

Abstaining from masturbation will not make your acne go away.

Does masturbation cause acne?

During puberty, hormonal changes often occur. These hormonal changes make the body produce or generate more oil, leading to or contributing to acne development. Also, most people begin masturbating during puberty, and a small effect on hormonal levels.

Because masturbation and acne seem to occur simultaneously, it could better explain the common miscomprehension that masturbation causes acne. Nevertheless, it is a myth – that both acne and masturbation are linked to hormonal changes.

Masturbation and hormones

While masturbation can cause hormonal changes, these changes are only minimal. Testosterone levels tend to rise during masturbation and, after ejaculation, return to normal. It has a temporary effect and does not show to have any long-term health implications.

A study focused on the hormonal changes after masturbation after a period of abstinence. The results show that any hormonal changes due to masturbation are temporary and minimal. However, this only focuses on the short-term effects.

There is not enough research into the long-term effects of masturbation on hormonal levels.

If masturbation doesn’t cause acne, what then causes acne?

Acne is caused by many other factors, such as abnormal shedding of skin cells, hormones, and bacteria. Acne tends to generate from the hormonal changes in the body during puberty.

Most teenagers have experienced occasional breakouts; some adults also suffer from acne. Hormones are not the only cause of acne. People who are prone to acne as well shed skin cells abnormally.

Instead of dead cells shedding off, they become trapped within the skin pores, thus creating a blockage. Incorporate some acne-causing bacteria (Propionibacterium acnes), and you will wake up with an inflamed acne pimple.

Masturbation or sexual activity do not influence any of these factors mentioned. If you’re a person with acne, it will feel embarrassing if a friend suggests this is the cause of your acne.

But bear in mind that you did nothing to cause your acne. Don’t give people the chance to make you feel ashamed.

If you are the one with the idea that masturbation causes breakouts, you now know better.

Acne Treatment

After knowing the causes of acne, it is pertinent to focus on its treatment. There are various treatment options for acne available to you. Over-the-counter drugs: Some persons find over-the-counter (OTC) drugs powerful against their breakouts.

If you have mild acne, you will likely improve with these store-purchased products. Buy one with benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid, the most powerful OTC acne ingredients.

Consult a dermatologist or healthcare provider: If OTC products are not effective for you or your acne is more severe, your doctor can offer you more effective prescription medications. Don’t wait till it gets worst! The sooner you consult a doctor, the sooner you will begin to see results and clearer skin.

Although it is hard to prevent acne from developing, I have provided some tips for those prone to acne. They include:

  • Wash sweat off the face
  • Use cosmetic products that don’t clog pores
  • Avoid washing more than twice a day
  • Keep bedding and clothing clean
  • Avoid scrubbing areas of skin prone to acne
  • Spread acne medication on all acne-prone areas, not only where outbreaks appear
  • Try not to pick or touch the acne

When to visit a doctor

Acne is a common condition and scarcely has any severe health implications. Many cases of acne do not need a physician. Over-the-counter medications should eliminate symptoms without the need for stronger medicine.

After 4 to 6 weeks of home treatment, if your acne does not improve, then consider visiting a doctor.


Masturbation does not cause acne!

Hormonal changes may contribute to or lead to the development of acne. Also, masturbation can cause changes in hormonal levels, but that disappears after ejaculation.

In addition, these hormonal changes are small and do not contribute to acne development. People seem to begin masturbating and develop acne at about the same time, commonly during puberty.

This may be the source of controversy and the myth that masturbating causes acne. The main cause of acne remains unclear! Acne is a common condition with several treatments.

Most cases of acne are mild and do not need a doctor. In some other severe cases, a physician may prescribe antibiotics or stronger forms of the drug.

Kindly comment below if you have any questions or contributions!

Mary is the Senior Director of Medical Affairs at Health Parrots. She brings her years of clinical and healthcare technology experience to help consistently create high quality, concise and engaging content and products that uphold the highest medical integrity. She is an M.D. recipient from Baylor College of Medicine and completed her residency at St. Joseph Hospital in Houston, TX. After years of clinical practice, Dr. Le transitioned from clinical medicine to healthcare technology through her work at Epocrates, where she developed clinical news products and disease and drug content. With her wealth of experience, She has also helped create an EHR, secure messaging products, and clinical decision support tools for healthcare systems.


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