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J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol. 2002 Jul;16(4):328-33.

The link between Helicobacter pylori infection and rosacea.

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Department of Physiology, Jagiellonian University Medical College ul Grzegórzecka 16, Kraków, Poland.



Rosacea is a common condition of unknown aetiology that is usually accompanied by gastrointestinal symptoms and responds favourably to treatment with antibiotics.


This study was designed to examine the prevalence of gastric Helicobacter pylori (Hp) infection verified by 13C-UBT, CLO-test, Hp culture and serology (IgG and IgA) and the presence of Hp in the oral cavity evidenced by CLO-test, Hp culture and saliva anti-Hp antibodies (IgG and IgA). During gastroduodenoscopy antral and fundic biopsy samples were taken for histological evaluation (the Sydney system). This study was performed on 60 subjects 30-70 years old with visible cutaneous rosacea symptoms and 60 age- and gender-matched controls without skin diseases but with dyspeptic symptoms similar to those of rosacea and without endoscopic changes in gastroduodenal mucosa (non-ulcer dyspepsia--NUD).


The Hp prevalence in rosacea patients was about 88%, compared to 65% in the NUD controls. A noticeable number of rosacea patients showed chronic active gastritis predominantly in antrum but also in the corpus while those with NUD showed only mild gastritis confined to the antrum only. Following the initial examination, a typical 1 week systemic anti-Hp therapy, induding omeprazole (2 x 30 mg), clarithromycin (2 x 500 mg) and metronidazole (2 x 500 mg), plus gargling and application of metronidazole paste in the case of Hp oral cavity infection. After the application of the systemic and local therapy in the oral cavity, Hp was eradicated from the stomach in 97% and from the oral cavity in 73% of treated patients. Within 2-4 weeks, the symptoms of rosacea disappeared or decreased markedly in 51 subjects.


We conclude that: (1) rosacea is a disorder with various gastrointestinal symptoms closely related to gastritis, especially involving the antrum mucosa; (2) the eradication of Hp leads to improvement of symptoms of rosacea and reduction in related gastrointestinal symptoms; (3) the lack of improvement of cutaneous symptoms in rosacea after eradication of Hp from the gastric mucosa could depend on bacteria in the oral cavity; and (4) rosacea could be considered as one of the extragastric symptoms of Hp infection probably mediated by Hp-related cytotoxins and cytokines.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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