Rosacea causes lumpy red bumps on your cheeks, but it can also thicken the skin on your nose. Although rosacea resembles acne, this skin condition isn’t treated the same way, and in many cases, treatment requires pinpointing (and avoiding) your triggers. Common triggers include stress, caffeine, and spicy foods. But what does H. pylori have to do with rosacea?
That’s the question that our team here at Dermatology Associates of Central NJ, is here to answer today.
What is H. pylori?
Helicobacter pylori 一 often referred to simply as H. pylori 一 is a type of bacteria that causes an infection in your stomach. This infection is common in childhood, and about 66% of people have this bacteria in their digestive tract, although not everyone shows symptoms. Left untreated, symptomatic H. pylori can lead to peptic ulcers.
Symptoms of an H. pylori infection include:
- Frequent burping
- Burning pain in your stomach that's worse when your stomach is empty
- Loss of appetite and unintentional weight loss
Because H. pylori is a type of bacteria, these infections can be treated with antibiotics.
What is rosacea?
Rosacea is a skin condition that causes redness, flushing, acne-like bumps, and thickened skin. It appears in cycles and tends to be triggered by:
- Excessive sun exposure
- Extreme temperatures (hot or cold)
- Food, including alcohol, coffee, and spicy food
- Strenuous exercise
- Certain medications
H. pylori infections can also trigger rosacea flare-ups.
How are H. Pylori and rosacea linked?
According to research published in the journal BMC Infectious Disease, H. pylori infections trigger acne rosacea because the bacteria stimulate your immune system. When your immune system is triggered, it produces a large number of inflammatory mediators 一 which are messengers that rely on blood vessels to promote an inflammatory response 一 leading to the telltale rosacea inflammation.
H. pylori and rosacea are linked in another way. The bacteria can encourage blood vessel dilation, which triggers the flushing and red, visible veins associated with rosacea.
Finding relief from rosacea and H. pylori
If H. pylori triggers rosacea, it’s important to treat both conditions. Treating H. pylori infections can help you avoid flare-ups related to this stomach infection, and treating rosacea helps soothe your skin. H. pylori infections are often treated with multiple antibiotics as well as acid-suppressing drugs. Acid-suppressing drugs include proton pump inhibitors, histamine blockers, and bismuth subsalicylate, typically known by the brand name Pepto-Bismol®.
Here at Dermatology Associates of Central NJ, our team may recommend any of the following rosacea treatments:
- Oral medications, including tetracycline, doxycycline, and minocycline
- Azelaic acid to combat bumpy skin and swelling
- Topical antibiotics
- Phototherapy treatment with the Excilite® system
- High-quality, gentle skincare products formulated for rosacea-prone skin
In addition to treating active flare-ups, our team can provide guidance to help reduce future flare-ups. This includes wearing sunscreen every day, practicing stress management techniques, using the right skincare products, and identifying other triggers that may affect your rosacea.
Rosacea can be hard to manage on your own, but Dermatology Associates of Central NJ is just a call or click away. Schedule an appointment through our website for any of our locations 一 Old Bridge, Union, or Freehold, New Jersey.