Rosacea Review - Newsletter of the National Rosacea SocietyRosacea Review - Newsletter of the National Rosacea Society

Q&A: Ear Involvement & Intestinal Bacteria

Q. My ears have been weeping and draining for three years. I was diagnosed with ocular and regular rosacea a year ago. Is there such a thing as inner ear rosacea?

A. Rosacea is primarily a disorder of the facial skin, but it may also occur on the skin of other parts of the body such as the neck, chest, scalp or ears. However, there is not good evidence in medical literature linking rosacea to symptoms of the inner ear.

It is possible that you have another dermatologic condition in addition to your rosacea. Be sure to tell your physician about this persistent symptom so that it can be diagnosed and receive appropriate care.

Q. I read an article that says small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) may play a role in rosacea. What is your opinion on this?

A. Although a cause-and-effect relationship between SIBO and rosacea has not been established, there have been reports that patients treated for SIBO with antibiotics have also seen improvement in their rosacea.

However, in the case of rosacea, it is thought that the anti-inflammatory rather than antibacterial property produces the effectiveness, and oral therapy for rosacea is available that has no demonstrated antibacterial effect and has been shown to be safe for long-term use.