We are very fortunate to have had the chance to speak with Dr. Debbie Whittington about a possible cause of Rosacea. Based in Seattle, Dr. Whittington is a Naturopathic Doctor who counts chronic skin conditions among her areas of focus.
Could Rosacea actually be caused by an overgrowth of bacteria in the gut?
The common symptoms of Rosacea include redness, flushing, irritation and pimples. We know that Rosacea has many triggers, such as sun exposure, heat, stress and certain foods. Knowing the triggers is very helpful, but wouldn't it be amazing if we actually knew the cause? Dr. Whittington is here to provide us with her expertise on this subject. She shares details of some exciting new research linking a bacterial infection to this common skin condition.
"The root causes of Rosacea are still being figured out but newer research shows that a bacterial infection in the small intestine can be a culprit for many Rosacea sufferers. The infection is known as small intestinal bacterial overgrowth or SIBO," explains Dr. Whittington.
There are symptoms of SIBO to look out for, such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), bloating, gas, constipation or burping. Symptoms experienced outside of the digestive tract such as Rosacea are also possible. How do you find out if you have SIBO or something else? Dr. Whittington tells us that "you can ask your doctor about the SIBO breath test, which is the best way to test for SIBO. If the results come back positive for SIBO, it is typically treated with a specialized antibiotic."
If you have ever struggled to manage the symptoms of Rosacea, this may be just what the doctor ordered. There is hope says Dr. Whittington. "In one study, 71% of treated patients had their Rosacea clear completely! Even people who just have Rosacea symptoms; it is worth it to test for SIBO.” This sounds like such a promising development and we will let you know if there is further research or news to share on SIBO and its link to Rosacea.
More help for Rosacea
While it is going to be amazing when we know a certain cause, it is important to note that there are gentle skincare products for Rosacea available. Having a proper Rosacea skincare routine may help reduce the appearance of skin flushing, redness, bumps and inflammation. Be sure to stick with it, as it may take a bit of time for visible results.
About Dr. Whittington
Dr. Debbie Whittington practices naturopathic family medicine with a focus on digestive issues, hormone balancing, naturopathic dermatology, and fatigue. Dr. Whittington is a graduate of Bastyr University and practices in Seattle. Currently, Dr. Whittington is having fun developing a plant-derived skin care line. She believes that by helping patients find the cause of a disease or symptom patients attain and maintain optimal and vibrant living.