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Your Skin and Your Gut

Skin and your guts

Rosacea is a chronic skin disease and there is no cure. However you can control the symptoms of rosacea by paying attention to your gut health. Simply put - If you want to heal your skin, you have to heal your gut.

Poor digestion plays a major role in rosacea. When someone has low stomach acidity, abnormal gut flora, and eats food that promote these problems, undigested food particles can cause allergies, leading to flare-ups.

As far back as 1931 studies have shown that low stomach acid is a major factor in rosacea.

The treatment in the short term is to take acid supplements. Indeed, this may explain why cider vinegar is such a popular treatment for many problems - the vinegar acidifies the stomach and improves the digestion of food. Clearly, this has the potential to affect a wide range of conditions. Tablet form of apple cider vinegar is available from this website.

Also consider supplementing with Betain HCl – available online from most health stores and also from this website. Itis available in capsules, which need to be taken with food and the dose adjusted according to the response. WeI suggest that people start off with one capsule initially and build up to, maybe, four or five capsules depending on the size of the meal and the response to treatment.

Often in the longer term with the correct diet (low glycaemic index - CLICK HERE, low allergy potential, smaller meals), getting rid of helicobacter pylori, and correct gut flora this cures the chronic gastritis and the stomach is again able to produce acid normally.

It’s also important to note that Japanese researchers have reported that up to 2/3 of individuals with rosacea are actually infected with Helicobacter pylori bacteria, a common cause of low stomach acid, and also a cause of stomach and duodenal ulcers. A blood test for antibodies to Helicobacter can tell you if you’ve been exposed. If you have been, there are several natural remedies. (for more on Helicobactor pylori bacteria - see below).

Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO)

Some cases of Rosacea are caused by Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO). SIBO develops when there is a growth of excess bacteria in the small intestine (in a healthy digestive system there is only a small amount of bacteria present). This causes inflammation and damage to the intestinal wall which prompts other conditions such as Rosacea to develop.

The study Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth in Rosacea: clinical effectiveness of its eradication found that, "Rosacea patients have a significantly higher SIBO prevalence than controls." A recent report indicated that small intestine bacterial overgrowth (SIBO), a condition involving inappropriate growth of bacteria in the small intestine, is 10 times more prevalent in people with acne rosacea than in healthy controls, and that correction of SIBO in these individuals led to marked clinical improvement.

The researchers treated the patients with the bacterial imbalance with antibiotics. They found that by eradicating the overgrowth of bad bacteria, about 70 percent of the rosacea patients' skin cleared up entirely, and over 20 percent experienced a dramatic improvement in their symptoms.

Ask your dermatologist for the SIBO breath test . Its non-invasive but takes a few hours and at least then it can be ruled in or out. The treatment is a course of topical anti biotics usually rifaximin. However, prolonged use of antibiotics may disrupt gut flora which is increasingly being linked to other health risks.

Probiotics are often taken by SIBO sufferers which help reduce the inflammation caused, inhibit unwanted bacteria and help the body's digestive functions work more efficiently.Probiotics increase healthy flora in intestines and strengthen immunity.

Try a Low Carbohydrate Diet

When carbohydrates are eaten, they break down during digestion and 'feed' the bacteria. Of course we do not want that to happen! We recommend that if you have SIBO avoid grains and rather stick to veggies, fruits, legumes and protein instead.

Eat Bitter Foods

Bitter foods increase digestion:

  • Green juice,
  • All greens,
  • Lettuce,
  • Kale,
  • Broccoli,
  • Mushrooms,
  • Cucumbers,
  • Cabbage,
  • Melons,
  • Cauliflower,
  • Asparagus,
  • Tomatoes,
  • Olives,
  • Apple cider vinegar,
  • Lemon juice.


  • Fast food,
  • Vegetable oils,
  • Fried foods,
  • Refined flour,
  • Synthetic sweeteners,
  • Saturated fats,
  • Sonventional and processed meats, trans fat all increase inflammation.

Helicobacter Pylori

Helicobacter Pylori (Hp) is a common bacterial infection that affects the lining of the stomach and causes inflammation and stomach ulcers. It affects over 30% of the world's population, according to the Centre for Digestive Diseases. Hp may also lead to an increase of Nitrous Oxide (NO) in the blood and tissue which, along with the inflammatory symptoms, is believed to cause a range of other conditions, including Rosacea.

Treatments for Hp

The first step to treat Rosacea caused by Hp bacteria is to eliminate the bacteria itself and soothe the associated inflammation.

This can be done using: Oral Antibiotics - Antibiotics are commonly prescribed for Hp infections. However, if antibiotics are taken too much, the bacteria may become resistant to their effects which force you to take higher or stronger dosages.

Another option may be to try Natural Supplements. A number of natural supplements have been found to kill off Hp bacteria and soothe the inflammation. These include L Glutamine. L Glutamine is an amino acid that's found in high levels throughout the body. It acts as an anti-inflammatory and is essential for the proper function of the immune system. It is often taken as a supplement to heal any damage and inflammation caused by Hp.

Leaky Gut Syndrome

Leaky Gut Syndrome (LGS) is a common condition that occurs when the digestive tract walls become too penetrable, thus allowing toxins, allergens and food molecules to pass out of the gut into the rest of the body. The immune system identifies these as 'invaders' and responds to them as it normally would to say the Flu virus. As the leakages occur each meal, this leads to an overactive immune response which leads to inflammation and further conditions, such as Rosacea.

Treatments of Leaky Gut

Initial emphasis should be placed on healing the damaged digestive tract and soothing the inflammation caused. We recommend identifying any possible food allergies and make the required nutritional changes. Probiotics are often taken to help repair the intestinal tract and reduce the associated inflammation.

Natural Supplements

Some supplements have been found to help heal the damaged tract and reduce the inflammation caused. These include again:

  • L Glutamine, an amino acid, helps restore the gut barrier and digestive functions that are impacted by this gut condition. This article looks into this a bit more and the study Glutamine: a role in gut protection in critical illness looks at the effectiveness of Glutamine in treating LGS.
  • Quercetin - which is derived from fruits and veggies. Quercetin is a flavanoid that can be found in fruits, veggies, leaves and grains. It acts as an effective antioxidant and helps to soothe the inflammation caused by LGS by improving the tissue health of the intestinal wall. In addition to its antioxidant properties, it is also involved in inhibiting the production and release of histamines.

This was posted by a female senior member of the forum


Hi Just want to put in a plug for quercetin/bromelain supplementation. I kid you not, my rosacea is 95% gone now. I have been on this combo for a few months now. Quercetin is known to inhibit mast cells, which appear to play a role in rosacea. I take 2 capsules of quercetin/bromelain before each meal and my snack (so 4 times per day) and my rosacea is definitely getting better all the time.


Subsequent queries by other forum members revealed that this person had already made some changes to their diet, eg. low sugar, no citrus fruits, reduce alcohol, no gluten..etc so it looks like the supplement was reducing histamine release which is known in turn to cause flushing...One of the reasons why red wine is a no no for rosacea sufferers -because of the levels of histamine in it.