Skin Care

The Life Cycle of Human Demodex Parasite

Human Demodex, a least-known mite, has been recognized as the commonly thriving parasite in the skin, right since the evolution of life. Interestingly, this is something that the researchers were able to find just a few years ago. According to them, the human Demodex parasite is present where there are humans. Dwelling in the hair follicles as well as in the sebaceous glands, these mites can pass through follicle pores easily. They tend to feed on endoplasm in the follicles as well as on the sebum in the glands. The mites do not have an intermediate host and spend the entire life in follicles and sebaceous glands. They reproduce very swiftly such that one generation comes to life in just 14 days. Being bisexual by nature, the reproduction occurs via the intercourse at the cavity of follicles after which the female mite returns to the flanking follicles and glands to lay eggs.

There are five stages in the life cycle of human Demodex parasite. It has been predicted that after around 12 hours of mating, the mite lays its eggs that are hatched 60 hours later. Nearly after 36 hours of nourishing, the larva will moult into immature protonymphs, which travel along with sebum. Post 72 hours of this moulting, they tend to moult once more into stronger nymphs. Now, they climb out of follicles and glands to reach the skin surface. Some 60 hours later, moulting takes place once more to evolve into adult Demodex. In this way, it takes some 14 days to pass through a whole life cycle.

During these five stages, the Human Demodex parasite tends to molt its skin thrice but shell only once. It stabs into the human host’s histolytic with its tongs for absorbing nutrients from follicles and glands. The excretion, secretion, and dead bodies gather in follicles and glands. The lifespan of a female mite is longer with some 30-60 days.

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