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H Pylori is Associated with Rosacea

Rosacea is a chronic skin disorder that primarily affects the face (cheeks, nose, chin and central forehead).


Although the exact mechanisms for the development of rosacea are not clear, it is known that inflammation plays a central role in the disorder.

Recent evidence suggests that this inflammation is associated with the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) that are released by the body’s inflammatory cells (including neutrophils).

Topical application of drugs that contain antioxidants seems to work quite well in the treatment of rosacea. The antioxidants work to quench the ROS in much the same way as antioxidants in the diet – vitamins, C, E, flavonoids, etc – quench ROS inside the body.

A growing body of research indicates that H pylori infection may have a role to play in rosacea as well as some of the other skin disorders.

In 2009 a comprehensive review paper was published in the European Journal of Dermatology. It summarized the research associating H pylori infection and rosacea and other conditions.

The paper reported that:

  • The prevalence of H pylori infection in patients who have rosacea is higher than in people who do not have rosacea.
  • H pylori eradication can reduce the severity of rosacea (shown in several studies).
  • H pylori can increase levels of nitric oxide in the blood or tissues, which may lead to increased dilation of the skin blood vessels and/or inflammation and immune system changes.
  • Nitric oxide produced as a result of H pylori may, therefore, cause the flushing of the facial skin.
  • H pylori may reduce levels of vitamin C circulating in infected individuals. A reduction in antioxidant levels may leave inflammation unchecked, promoting the development of the condition.
  • It is known that that ROS that are normally quenched by antioxidants such as vitamin C can lead to skin aging, skin cancers and inflammatory disorders of the skin.

Other Possible Causes of Rosacea

Whilst it could be easy to point the finger solely at H pylori as a cause of rosacea, the reality is the condition, as with all the other skin conditions, probably has several causes, of which H pylori is just one.

If, indeed, rosacea is the result of inflammatory reaction, anything that causes an inflammatory response could lead to its development.

As a result, we have to consider all of the following:

  • Yeast and fungal overgrowth (Candida, Geotrichum, Rhodotorla, etc).
  • Parasite infection (we see many different parasites in clients, including microscopic parasites like Blastocystis, Giardia and Cryptosporidium, to worms such as Ascaris, hookworm and threadworm).
  • Chronic viral infections.
  • Foods such as gluten, which can cause significant inflammatory cascades in the body.
  • Chemicals in the air, food and water supply.
  • Stress.

All the above can cause inflammation in the body and, in my experience and that of my colleagues, can contribute to the development of skin disorders.

In fact, it’s my experience that, unless a person has obvious direct skin exposure to irritants, most skin disorders result from reactions to food, digestive infections and chemical overload.

So, if you are struggling with skin conditions of any kind, it’s my strong recommendation that you look at assessing your digestive and detoxification health by working with one of our specialists. We can identify whether you have food allergies, digestive invaders and liver/kidney overload and then help you correct the relevant imbalances.

H Pylori & Rosacea References

Rebara & Drago. Helicobacter pylori and rosacea. Am J Gastroenterol 1994; 89:1603-4.

Son et al. The response of rosacea to eradication of Helicobacter pylori. Br J Dermatol 1999; 140: 984-5.

Rojo-Garcia et al. Helicobacter pylori in rosacea and chronic urticarial. Acta Derm Venereol 2000; 14: 424-5.

Kolibasova et al. Eradication of Helicobacter pylori as the only successful treatment in rosacea. Arch Dermatol 1996; 132: 1393.

Hernando-Harder et al. Helicobacter and Dermatologic Diseases. Eur J Derm 2009; 19(5):431-44.

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