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The connection between stomach acid and rosacea

Happy ending for one rosacea sufferer

Q: I am contacting you to thank you for publishing your newsletters. A friend of mine forwarded one of your newsletters to me when she learned I was having difficulty managing my rosacea. The symptoms have been typical, I suspect; they are very uncomfortable with red flaky skin around my nose and chin. I have had this problem for years. None of the medicines that my doctors have given me in the past have worked and, in some cases, have made matters worse.

At my friend’s suggestion, I read your newsletter that discussed rosacea and its connection to low stomach acidity. I am not normally a pill taker, as it were, and prefer to maintain my excellent health through balanced diet, exercise, and lifestyle. However, I was so frustrated that I was willing to try anything that I felt would be safe and effective.

After some research, I started a daily regimen of betaine hydrochloride with pepsin pills taken with a protein meal 3x per day. That was about three weeks ago and my skin is already much improved…I am hoping that my skin stays looking this good and am thrilled that for the first time in about 10 years to see my healthy pretty pink skin.

I wish more doctors were educated in identifying the cause rather than treating the symptom. It seems to be the standard method of practice in American health care.

Dr. Wright: Thank you for sharing your experience with rosacea and the use of betaine hydrochloride.

It’s sad that information about the very common connection between acne rosacea and low stomach acid has been lost. In 1948, an article about rosacea in a major medical journal stated “every dermatologist knows” about this connection. Now, it seems like hardly any dermatologists know about it!

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.

Thanks again for writing!