Q&A: Are my frequent breakouts adult acne?

Consumer Reports News: May 12, 2010 10:21 AM

Yes, but other causes are more likely. Breakouts in adults, almost always women, usually stem from hormonal fluctuations, generally caused by the menstrual cycle, menopause, pregnancy, or, in rare cases, an adrenal or ovarian tumor. Certain medications, such as progestins (Provera), prednisone, and iodine may also trigger the eruptions. If your face gets flushed or tender when you’re breaking out, you may have a fairly common condition called rosacea. If so, try keeping a diary to identify what sparks the flare-ups, and try to avoid common triggers, such as stress, alcohol, spicy foods and sun exposure.

If your physician diagnoses adult acne, choose facial cleansers, lotions, and cosmetics that are water-based and oil-free, or labeled "noncomedogenic" or "nonacnegenic." That means they shouldn’t aggravate acne. The prescription antibiotic tetracycline can often relieve severe cases of acne and rosacea.

Take a look at some things that can help keep your skin healthy and acne-free , and see our Treatment Ratings  (subscribers only) for 8 drugs to treat acne.

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