Skin Care

Human Demodex Mites: The Invisible Offender of Skin Problems

There are different kinds of skin mites that are known to spoil the skin for different reasons. While a few may not trigger any noticeable symptoms, some tend to cause severe signs such as inflammation. There are three common types of mites that affect the skin, scabies mites, chiggers, and human demodex. Although scabies are responsible for most severe problems, human demodex are recently found to be the cause of worsening the distressing skin conditions such as dermatitis, psoriasis, rosacea, and premature aging.

Introduction to Demodex Mites

Demodex mites, little-known parasites, tend to live in the sebaceous (oil) glands on the skin and in hair follicles. They are mainly found on the face close to eyelashes, brows, and nose due to which they are also known as face mites. However, they are also found on the scalp, around the ears, and in folds.

The mites are transferred through hair contact and by skin. They tend to feed on skin-cells, sebum (oil), and hormones. Eggs are laid deep in the oil glands or follicles, which are actually impossible to eradicate. Removing these mites is only possible once they are hatched that takes 3-4 days after laying the eggs. Only a week is required for the larvae to grow into adults. Most demodex mites tend to live for several weeks after which their remains decompose within the glands or follicles.

Tracing the Presence of Demodex

Demodex folliculorum mites reside in the follicles, where the grown-up ones are 0.3 to 0.4 mm long. Although you can see these adult worms with the naked eye, a microscope is essential for a more reliable inspection. Demodex brevis mites are present in the sebaceous glands that are linked with the follicles. The grownup ones are not more than 0.2 mm long. To examine these worms via a plucked hair or oil squeezed from the gland, a microscope is needed. Of the two, it is the Demodex folliculorum mite that is known to promote skin ailments such as acne, psoriasis, rosacea, and dermatitis. In those who are aging, the mite has been found to accelerate the signs of aging.

Upsetting Research

Demodex Folliculorum was exposed for the first time in human hair at Nioxin Research Laboratories, a chief cosmetics and hair-care manufacturer who used handheld, advanced microscope that can magnify the scalp up to 1000 times. Nioxin as well as the Tulane University found that 88% people with thin-looking hair had Demodex Folliculorum. Even Dr. William Regelson who is a dermatologist has agreed that these mites present in the follicles are contributing to hair loss. Evidently, Demodex can arrive as early as in adolescence or even by middle age. In short, it is present in all people to some degree.

As per several trials, the Demodex Folliculorum mite drains away the essential nutrients from the sebum due to which the follicles can become gradually undernourished. As a result, the follicles can eventually fall out. In aging people and in those with suppressed immune systems, the mite population increases drastically due to the lack of immune-endorsed antibodies. This infestation leads to inflammation, itching, blotches, and skin ailments.

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