Monday, July 26, 2010

Can Masturbating Cause Acne?

Almost everyone does it (whether or not they’ll ever admit it.), some more than others especially if you’re a teenager/young adult going through puberty or with raging hormones. This is another one of the acne topics that has mixed speculation. I hear or read from people and even professionals that masturbating in any way or form can’t cause acne, but there is also a flip-side where they say that it does. So like everything with acne it comes down to you and your personal experiences. One thing that is for known for sure is masturbation can help relieve anxiety and stress and that it can be healthy in ways!


Check out this article I found from acne.org.

“Does masturbation cause acne?

History: There is no specific scientific evidence linking masturbation and acne. However, for hundreds if not thousands of years, societies around the world, in their attempt to prevent young people from engaging in premarital sex, have latched onto the myth that sex/masturbation and acne are in some way related. Let’s take a moment now to look at modern science and see if we can help unravel this controversy.

What does research say?: As of 2009, there are no published studies attempting to link masturbation or sex with acne. Until researchers produce those studies, let’s take a step back. We do know that hormones and acne are linked, particularly when it comes to increased levels of androgens such as testosterone. So let’s look at how arousal and the sex act affect hormone levels. First, it’s worth mentioning that we know far more on this topic when it comes to animals such as rats and monkeys than we do about humans. Science is spotty in the area of human hormonal production and sex. According to a study in the journal Psychosomatic Medicine, “…small differences in methodology and data interpretation may easily produce contrasting results.” A survey of the evidence bears this out.

What the evidence shows: Several studies show very small increases in testosterone after orgasm in both men and women, while others show statistically insignificant differences. Studies specific to arousal show from very small increases in hormone levels to insignificant changes. However, even when changes are apparent, levels return back to baseline within minutes. As you can see, we have little if any compelling evidence. To complicate matters even more, a study in the Journal of Zhejiang University SCIENCE in 2003 showed a marked increase in testosterone on the 7th day of abstinence, which the authors posit is possibly due to sperm formation and maturation.

Conclusion: We simply do not know whether masturbation or sex is related to acne, or for that matter human hormonal balance. More research is needed. Current research tends to point toward very small hormonal changes after arousal or sex, if any. Whether these changes are beneficial or detrimental for acne remains unknown.

My common sense hypothesis: We know that humans with high androgen levels tend to experience more severe acne symptoms. We also know that humans with higher androgen levels tend to have a higher sex drive. This may explain why some people who are more sexually active, with themselves or partners, may at times experience more acne symptoms. Whether abstinence would increase or decrease acne in such individuals is up for debate.”



So whether you do it 20 times a day (that’s gotta hurt!) or once a week, or even less, it all comes down to how your acne/skin reacts!



-JC

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