Demodex is a family of eight-legged mites that live in the hair shafts and sebaceous skin or sebum of many mammals.
Two types are known in humans – Demodex follicleswhich is mainly in the hair follicles on our faces (especially eyebrows and eyebrows), and Demodex in briefwhich establishes a home in the oil glands on the face and elsewhere.
Newborn babies do not have Demodex mites. In studies of adults, researchers were able to identify them in only 14 percent of people.
However, when they used DNA analysis, they found Demodex symptoms on 100 percent of the adults they tested, which is supported by previous cadaver tests.
If they are living in the human world, the question arises – are these mites parasites or parasites (harmless) that interact with those they know? And what are our daily habits, such as washing our face and applying makeup, that can help or hinder the survival of mites?
This is where it gets difficult.
Your ugly friends without anus
Demodex mites are small. Many kinds of people, D. folliclesand about one-third of a millimeter in length, while D. brevis they stretch at least a quarter of a millimeter. They also have many types of bacteria in their bodies.
Several methods are used to detect mites directly. The best method is a skin biopsy with a small amount of cyanoacrylate glue (superglue) on a microscope slide.
Cylindrical dandruff around the infested hair is a characteristic of mites that are due to their behavior. Mites can also be squeezed out of the follicles with a zit extractor.
Mites feed on skin cells and sebaceous oils, which they pre-process by releasing various enzymes. Since they do not have an anus, they regurgitate their waste.
Living in good follicle homes, mites mate and lay eggs; after a lifespan of about 15 days, they die and decay inside the follicle.
These disgusting habits may be one reason why Demodex can cause allergic reactions in some people, as well as explaining many of the medical conditions associated with it.
Mold can cause a variety of problems
Unfortunately, recent research shows several things related to Demodex mites:
- various tumors
- acne and pustules on the skin
- blepharitis or inflammation of the eyelid
- Damage to the Meibomian gland – blockage of oil glands on the eyelid, which can lead to cysts.
- inflammation of the cornea itself
- dry eyes and the formation of pterygium, muscle growth of the eye.
There are other causes of these conditions, but mites are the most suspected cause.
However, not all of us hate these creatures. Humans mate randomly, and our genes are highly variable – when we have a virus, our genes determine our immunity and other responses. Some of us don’t react, some of us itch for a while, and some of us get paralyzed.
Similarly, the number of mites varies between individuals – if they reproduce too much, they can cause problems.
Interestingly, the above-mentioned mite numbers seem to increase with age and in immunocompromised patients, suggesting a link to a weakened immune system. It seems that our immune system is important in understanding the reproduction of mites and their clinical consequences.
Can you get rid of face mites? Or make them worse?
There are several treatments that reduce mite numbers, but the consensus is that Demodex is a natural part of our skin flora, so it may be best not to get rid of it completely.
When people are chronically infected, intensive treatment may be necessary to combat the mites, although transmission of the virus from members of the human family is more likely.
Lice do not live long from their hosts. Besides direct contact, hygiene products probably provide a major means of transmission.
Sharing makeup brushes, lipsticks, make-up and mascara is probably not a good idea, although preventing infections in a shared bathroom can be difficult. In one study, the average survival time of Demodex in mascara was 21 hours.
Certain cosmetics, such as washing and washing your face regularly, can reduce mites, although some studies show that mites survive regular washing.
Therefore, it is not known how much you can affect your mites. However, if you are experiencing swelling of the eyelids and surrounding areas, avoiding makeup and seeking medical advice may be best.
Overall, as unpleasant as it may sound, Demodex appears to be a natural part of our skin flora. However, some of us react negatively to their presence and develop rashes and inflammation.
Controlling such behavior can be as simple as reducing mite numbers by washing or using prescription medications – just know that getting rid of our friends is impossible.
Mark Sandeman, Distinguished Professor, Federation University Australia
This article is reprinted from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the first article.