Acne from masturbation: truth or myth?

Masturbation is completely natural. With the exception of pathological cases, it has no effect on the psyche and human health. Nevertheless, many myths and erroneous assumptions have accumulated around her. One of them is the deterioration of the skin condition.

How masturbation affects the body

Long gone are the days when masturbation was considered one of the sexual perversions, a sin and the cause of serious illness. Now doctors and psychologists talk about it as an integral part of the formation and development of healthy sexuality.

Urologists and gynecologists see many positive properties of self-satisfaction, among them:

  • Removal of sexual, physical and emotional stress.
  • Knowledge of the zones of pleasure and individual preferences in sex, which allows you to subsequently live a more fulfilling sexual life with a partner.
  • Improving blood circulation in the pelvic organs, which is a good prevention of urological and gynecological diseases.
  • Stimulation of the circulatory, endocrine and immune systems.

All this is true if the episodes of masturbation fit into the age, psychological and social norm. However, it is also possible to harm the body. There are nuances in which masturbation becomes pathological and leads to poor health:

  • Masturbation is not a substitute for a fulfilling sexual relationship. This is more about physical satisfaction. An attempt to compensate for the lack of emotional intimacy by stimulating the genitals is a direct path to neuroses.
  • Too frequent masturbation in men leads to irritation of the nerve endings, weakening of erection and subsequent premature ejaculation. In women, excessive infatuation often leads to loss of sensitivity and, as a result, difficulty with orgasm.
  • Frequent fluctuations in hormonal levels caused by constant sexual discharge can be dangerous for people with endocrine, mental or neurological diseases.

Masturbation, like sex, has a very indirect effect on the condition of the skin. The hormones released after orgasm do temporarily increase sweating and sebum secretion. This leads to the appearance of acne only if the person has other features of the skin and immunity, or hygiene rules are not followed.

How testosterone affects the skin

Testosterone is a male sex hormone that is normally present in women. In both sexes, the density of the hairline, the severity of libido and the activity of the sebaceous glands depend on it. The higher the level, the more lipid lubricant is released. If a person is healthy, then the average content of the hormone in the blood is genetically laid. Small fluctuations are possible due to diet, physical activity or lack of it, sex life, age and other factors.

It is impossible to significantly increase the testosterone titer with the help of masturbation. Homeostasis will quickly return everything to the normal values ​​for the body. The likelihood of acne due to increased production of androgens increases if their percentage was high before. In other words, oily skin will become even more oily, which is more likely to cause acne.

The effect of serotonin, prolactin, progesterone on the skin

In the process of masturbation, a whole cocktail of hormones is released one time. Their effect on the skin is somewhat similar, but different in intensity and duration of exposure.

Progesterone in a woman’s body plays an important role in the process of conceiving and carrying a pregnancy in the early stages. In addition, the hormone promotes fluid retention in tissues, and in some cases even leads to edema. With normal progesterone levels, the skin is hydrated enough, the lipid film is formed optimally, and the face looks fresh and radiant. Associated with this is an improvement in the appearance of newly pregnant women. They literally glow from within. A significant increase in the percentage of the hormone in the plasma leads to hypersecretion of the sebaceous glands. An oily sheen appears, the pores expand and become clogged. 

Prolactin is involved in the formation of breast milk, and also stimulates the production of oxytocin. Its level rises not only in lactating and pregnant women. Sometimes this is facilitated by experienced severe stress, intense physical activity or orgasm. From the side of the epidermis, the body reacts to this hormone with increased sebum secretion. 

Serotonin , like dopamine, is called the hormones of happiness. Their effect on humans is the opposite of stress hormones. Under their influence, immunity works more correctly, digestion improves, smooth muscle tone is normalized. Skin problems occur when there is not enough serotonin in the blood. With its deficiency, cortisol and its derivatives come into play. A person feels depressed, each nerve ending sends a signal of danger to the cells. The glands are preparing to protect the body from external threats, in particular, the sebaceous ones react by overproduction of sebum. The spasm of the smallest vessels, designed to minimize the consumption of resources, in fact turns out to be in vain death of epidermal cells, its dehydration and lack of nutrition. In a sense, masturbation can be used to prevent these kinds of problems.

Important! Cultivating feelings of guilt and shame for masturbation in adolescents and adults leads to chronically high levels of stress, and as a result, an increase in cortisol, which is much worse for skin health than the act of self-satisfaction itself. 

Influence of other hormones

The main hormones released into the bloodstream during masturbation and sex were discussed above. However, there are those that are not involved in the process, but are indirectly related and can affect the condition of the skin.

Melatonin is secreted in the body during sound, healthy sleep. It eliminates the effects of oxidative reactions, including those occurring in the dermis. Lack of night rest leads to increased levels of stress hormones and, as a result, increased sebum secretion, dull complexion, pronounced aging. 

Thyroid hormones help to assimilate and synthesize retinol – vitamin A . It is a natural remedy for acne. Prolonged stress can disrupt the functioning of the thyroid gland and entail problems not only aesthetic, but also systemic. 

Estrogens are responsible for shaping the female body. In addition to fat deposits on the thighs and breasts, they are responsible for the regeneration processes in the skin. An excess of estrogen can lead to a sharp increase in weight, rosacea, disruption of skin trophism and the appearance of deep purulent infiltrates at the site of clogged and dead vessels. 

Which doctor to contact

The appearance of acne itself is already a reason to seek the advice of a specialist. If the patient associates acne with masturbation, they can help him:

  • A psychotherapist-sexologist who will help you figure out whether masturbation in this case is physiological or compensates for deep psychological problems.
  • An endocrinologist, whose consultation and interpretation of the tests will indicate hormonal imbalance, if any.
  • Dermatologist-cosmetologist recommending proper care for oily and problem skin.


It is a myth that masturbation is the direct cause of acne. If there is a connection, then it is indirect and dependent on other factors, such as adequate fluid intake and nutrition, equally. Do not replicate the misconceptions, taking the trigger as a basis. It is much more important to assess the needs of your body in a harmonious and healthy way, to distinguish between norm and perversion, and timely seek advice from specialists in case of doubt.

event_note November 30, 2020

account_box Dr. Peter B Milburn

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