For hundreds of years, people have linked the act of masturbation to a very common skin condition known as acne. What could the possible correlation between these two? Before diving into this subject, let’s take a look at the background of masturbation and acne, and see if the link between the two is factual or just a myth.
What is Masturbation?
Masturbation is an act of sexual stimulation of one’s self through their respective genitals, usually because of sexual pleasure or sexual arousal. Studies have suggested that the act of masturbation is usual for both male and female sexes, and all ages.
According to a study from the University of Chicago, men that are in their teens up to their middle ages are more likely to engage in masturbation. With fifty years old being the age that masturbation among men will likely drop. For females, however, the period between twenty years old up to forty years of age is when women are more likely to masturbate.
Masturbation’s Main Cause
As mentioned previously, masturbation is most of the time caused by an individual’s desire for sexual pleasure, or as a result of sexual arousal.
Masturbation’s Possible Effects
A few effects of masturbation may include:
- Satisfaction – this is possibly the primary effect of masturbation. Since this is a form of sexual pleasure, it may give a certain level of satisfaction to some individuals who enjoy this act.
- Guilt– some people are somewhat casual when it comes to masturbation, but others instantly regrets the action due to conflicts with their respective religious, cultural, and spiritual views.
- Addiction– people who often engage in this kind of activity may end up getting addicted to the deed. It may cause individuals to veer away from actual intimacy from another human being. Since orgasm may be obtained any time of the day, the chemical that is linked to it may have an addicting effect to the brain.
- Prevents Certain Diseases – according to Dr. Sandra Lamorgese PhD., masturbation may help men in preventing prostate cancer since it can release toxins which builds up naturally from the urogenital tract. Lamorgese added that it also helps women from acquiring urinary tract infection (UTI) by flushing out the cervix.
- Releases Stress and Tension in the Body – this is true for both male and female. There is a calming effect that happens after obtaining that release. It helps an individual sleep better. In women, it can help alleviate the pain in connection to postmenopausal intercourse and even menstruation.
Other side effects that masturbation can give according to others, includes:
- The feeling of pleasure
- Release of sexual tension
- Mood enhancer
What is acne?
Acne is a common skin disorder that human acquires. This skin problem occurs when oil secreted by the skin mix with dead skin cells clog the pores that are found all throughout your skin. When a clogged pore gets irritated, it breeds bacteria which leads to infection and comes out as an acne.
An estimated 80 percent of people get acne in their lifetime. The said 80 percent of people are more likely to get acne between the ages of eleven to thirty years old. Both men and women are possible victims of acne, but it is more likely for males to develop acne more than females. People going through puberty and pregnant women are most prone to acne growth.
Types of Acne
The word “acne” is a very broad term because of its variations. Here is a list of the different kinds of acne:
1) Non-Inflammatory Acne
– Blackheads, which are also known as open comedones, are a very common type of acne. These can be commonly found across the nose area. They appear as tiny black bumps, and are formed because of blocked hair follicles.
– Whiteheads are also known as closed comedones, and appear as white spots on the skin. These spots are oil glands that are clogged from too much oil production. Due to this, the oil gets stuck between the skin layers making them unable to reach the skin’s surface.
- Sebaceous Filaments
– Sebaceous filaments mostly form as grey dots around your forehead, nose, cheeks, and around the lips. These result from excess sebum (oil) and dead skin cells gathered around hair follicles.
2) Inflammatory Acne
– Pustules are red bumps with pus that normally form around the back, shoulders, groin, armpits, and face, or basically the areas of your body that commonly sweat the most. These are painful acne especially when touched. Without proper care, pustules could lead to scarring.
– Papules are small red dots or bumps that are inflamed that also tend to appear in areas of your body that are sweaty. Unlike pustules, papules aren’t filled with pus. Scars can also be acquired if papules aren’t handled properly.
– Nodules are hard tender lumps. They are larger in size when compared to papules and pustules. It is filled with pus and as with other inflammatory acne, it is painful when touched.
– Cysts are deep acne infections that form soft lumps that are filled with pus and sensitive to touch. Cysts vary in size, from small lumps to big ones.
Other types of acne also include:
- Acne Mechanica
- Acne Conglobata
- Acne Fulminans
- Gram-Negative Folliculitis
- Pyoderma Faciale
Effects of Acne
Acne can have many effects on a person, depending on how they handle it. Obviously, the main effects of acne are the physical effects that one might obtain from it. Other than the acne itself, the main physical effect that acne can bring is scarring.
Some types of acne scars include soft acne scars, ice pick acne scars, depressed fibrotic acne scars, atrophic macules, and follicular macular atrophy, just to name a few.
Other than physical effects, acne can more likely cause psychological and social effects to a person. This is a big concern, mainly because most people who suffer from acne are adolescents undergoing puberty, and are likely in their most sensitive years.
People who have acne may experience low self-esteem because of high sensitivity when it comes to their body image. Most people become embarrassed with this skin disorder which causes them to avoid social interactions with other people.
Teens who suffer from acne may also experience bullying and teasing from their peers. This may cause trauma making it harder for them to form new relationships and social activities with others.
How Acne Forms
After providing the different kinds and effects of acne, listed below are some of the major causes and factors of how acne is formed.
- Blocked Pores- As mentioned earlier, acne is the result of the blockage of your skin’s pores which are known as hair follicles. These hair follicles are found all over your body’s skin except for the palms of your hands, the soles of your feet and inside your mouth.
If you’re wondering what usually clogs these pores, the blockages are primarily composed of an oily substance called sebum (secreted by the pores), dead skin cells, and dirt from the surrounding air.
- Dehydration- Without the proper ratio of liquid intake to its release, the body undergoes a condition called dehydration. Some of the main symptoms of dehydration mainly include dizziness, lack of physical strength, extreme tiredness, headaches, a dry mouth, and dry skin.
- Dry Skin – Having dry skin is one of the main symptoms that contribute to the possibility of the formation of acne. The result of having dry skin is mainly having more dead skin cells. These skin cells shed off and mix to the oil secreted by your pores, which in turn blocks the pores.
When the skin dries, the reaction of your sebaceous glands is to increase sebum production to help lubricate your skin. While this process’ intention is to help your body, sometimes the secretion of sebum becomes too much and leads to acne formation.
- Hormones – Acne is more likely to form during the puberty stage and women who still on the menstruating age and pregnancy. These specific stages tend to have an abundance of active hormones. These hormones are responsible for increased production of sebum by the sebaceous glands. The hormone that is mainly responsible for the said production is testosterone.
Other possible causes include:
- High sugar intake
- Excess cosmetics
- Sensitive skin
An ounce of prevention is always better than a pound of cure. In order to prevent acne to even develop, there are means to avoid and alleviate this skin disorder just by tweaking your lifestyle. Here are a few treatments just in case you are already facing some acne problems.
- Rehydrate – always keep in mind to hydrate to avoid dehydration and acne.
- Maintain proper hygiene – the union of excess sebum production and dead skin cells may be countered by maintaining cleanliness all throughout your skin.
- Lessen sugar intake – as said before, sugar can cause acne, so taking a little diet on sugar would certainly help.
- Consult your dermatologist – extreme cases of acne often needs consultation from a professional.
- Use anti-acne creams – there are a lot of over-the-counter products that can treat and cure acne. Find one that would best suit you.
Establishing the background of masturbation and acne, It is clear what relationship these to may have.
According to studies, from hundreds or even thousands of years, masturbation is often considered as one of the causes of acne. This certain enigma was said to be spread in order to scare people from the idea of acne growth through masturbation. With some people believing this, it helped lessen some individuals from masturbation and even engaging in premarital sex.
Due to lack of studies proving this to be factual, it is considered by scientists to be a myth. Another reason why this myth might have been conceived is through the role of hormones being a cause of skin acne.
Although hormones is one of the triggers of this skin problem and that there a rise and fall of hormones due to masturbation there is no solid basis for this. Besides, the hormones that triggers acne is said to be testosterone (androgen) while orgasm produces dopamine. Studies about how orgasms affect hormone/androgen levels say otherwise.
With everything said, the answer is no. Masturbation does not cause acne growth. Since a human produces several different types of hormones, it is safe to say that the hormone that orgasm releases after masturbation does not contribute to this skin disorder. In fact, it is somewhat therapeutic which at a degree, it is helpful in relieving the body harmful toxins.
Masturbation cannot be blamed for acne production and it cannot be linked to skin disorders in any way. So if you see this beneficial, do the deed as long as it does not distance you from enjoying real orgasm with your partner and not your hand.