Busting Acne Myths: Does Masturbation Cause Acne?

I know what you’re probably going to say but, hey, hear me out first.

There are tons of things that can cause acne and masturbation is probably the last thing you’ll think of. While most studies suggest that there’s no direct link between the two, we couldn’t just ignore those people who actually swear that the act causes their acne flare up.

And if you are one of these people, I’m sure you’ll want to know the truth, right?

Research points to at least two things: hormones and zinc.

Hormones, particularly testosterone, play a crucial role in men’s masculine appearance and reproductive capability. Unfortunately, it’s also testosterone that elevates your skin’s sebum production which, naturally, predisposes you to acne.

Now, this association between testosterone and acne is the same thing that caused your skin to break out during your teenage and adolescent years. The hormone is at its highest during adolescence to early adulthood but its first manifestations become most obvious during the puberty stage.

During masturbation, or simply when a man is sexually aroused, his testosterone level increases immensely. A study by Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Urban Technology in Vienna found out that its male subjects experienced 100% increase in their testosterone level just by watching a 15 minute-explicit video.

Aside from testosterone, research also points out to the depleting levels of zinc after masturbation. Yes, your semen contains zinc.

As a matter of fact, there’s around 0.561mg of zinc in the average semen volume of 3.4mL.

Now, this might not sound like much but there’s a good chance that it can be the missing link between masturbation and acne. Well, sort of.

One study in India was able to find out that people who suffered from acne vulgaris have significantly low levels of zinc. Another study from Ghazi University showed the same result.

Is It Causing My Acne?

While there are these links, there’s really no way for me to tell you definitively that it’s masturbation that’s causing you acne. It can be due to your genetics, skin type or the way you’re taking care of your skin.

It can also be due to the products you are using or the food you’re eating. Technically, there are a lot of things that can trigger your acne.

Will masturbation cause you to breakout?

I highly think otherwise. I mean people who have clear skin just don’t generally break out after that.

But I do think that masturbation can aggravate your condition if you have an existing acne problem. It’s more of what masturbation does to your body.

When you’re highly stimulated, such as when you’re masturbating, engaging in a sexual activity or just horny, your body releases tons of chemicals and hormones. This includes serotonin, endorphins, testosterone and phenylethylamine.

The release of these chemicals and hormones affects almost all your system, from your neurovascular to your endocrine system. These reactions further create an imbalance in your system, which we all know is one of the most common causes of acne.

So, how would you know?

If you’ve radically changed your diet and eliminated all possible causes, not doing the behavior for a couple of days should give you an idea. Most of the people that blame masturbation for their breakouts figured it out this way.

Now, I’m not saying that it’s the most guaranteed way of knowing. But similar to how you would eliminate triggers, such as food and skin care products, this method should be helpful.

Great. Masturbation aggravates my acne, now what?

You can’t just give up masturbation now, can you? Nope, it’s never going to happen, and I can hear you.

I also don’t think you should even if you could. Well, cutting back on frequency isn’t a bad idea, too.

So, what now?

The most effective way you can stop your skin from breaking out is still to treat its root cause. Adopting a good skin care regimen, finding the right skin products and eating a balanced diet are some of the things you can do to keep breakouts at bay.

Aside from the benefits of clear skin, doing these things can also help make sure that masturbation and the imbalance it creates in your body won’t further complicate things for you.

Are you experiencing the same issue? Do you think masturbation causes your acne?

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Hannah Do

Hannah is the founder of ThankYourSkin. Having personally battled acne during her younger years, she aspires to provide an invaluable guide to anyone suffering from it.

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