Demodex mites are tiny parasitic creatures present on skin surface and in hair follicles of animals and human beings. This mite can live in the hair follicle of all warm blooded animals. Normally they do not cause any symptoms, but when immune system is suppressed they produce rash, itching and other symptoms on skin surface.
Among the 65 species of demodex, only two are found in human hair follicle and skin. They are demodex folliculorum and demodex brevis. Demodex mites generally habitat on face and near the eye lashes. Therefore they are also referred as facial mites.
Person having healthy immune system may not know about presence of demodex mites in his body. Demodex mites can live in any condition and in any climate. They are therefore found throughout the world where mammals reside.
What Causes Demodex Mites In Humans?
As mentioned earlier, this tiny parasitic mite lives even in normal humans. It does not produce any symptoms. However, with low immunity, demodex mites may multiply fast and give rise to many annoying symptoms. Demodex mites live in the hair follicles and inside the sebaceous glands. Demodex brevis generally resides in oil gland while demodex folliculorum is present in the hair follicle.Its small elongated body and tiny scales allows the mites to anchor itself in human hair shaft.
Demodex mite lives by sucking nutrients from hair follicles and skin. They are common in old and aged individual, people suffering from chronic illness, or following unhealthy practices. Reproduction of demodex mites is fast. It takes the mite to mature within two weeks and thus the infestation is rapid and quick.
Demodex Mites Symptoms In Humans
Usually demodex mites do not produce any symptoms in a healthy individual. His healthy immune system does not allow the mites to reproduce quickly. But the mite reproduces and grows fast at suitable opportunity such as old age, illness etc. Demodicosis is a name given to condition where there is unrestricted growth of mites.
- Demodex mites cause itchy, red irritation on skin surface. The follicles become enlarged due to irritation and many people may have loss of hair in that region.
- It can also lead to secondary infection in the hair follicle.
- The mites can crawl. As they are photosensitive, they become active at night.
- When demodex mites infest eyelashes it gives rise to blepheritis.
- Certain cases of acne rosacea are blamed to be due to demodex mites.
- Children are less affected with demodex mites, probably because there is less oil secretion in the oil glands.
- Transmission of demodex mites in most cases is through direct contact.
Natural Remedies For Demodex Mites In Humans
Heavy infestation of demodex mites may require treatment. The primary aim is to make the immune system healthy. Conventional treatment includes application of medicated creams and ointments along with oral antibiotics. Antibiotics are necessary to prevent secondary infection. The prescribed medicated creams penetrate deep inside the hair follicles and sebaceous glands and kill the parasites.
Few home remedies are also useful to eradicate demodex menace with safety and without any side effects.
- Fish oil is considered effective in killing the parasite. Apply fish oil on the affected area.
- Vitamin E oil is also found useful in killing the germs and reducing their population.
- Garlic contains sulfur in its natural form. Demodex mites are destroyed by applying garlic oil on the skin surface.
- Eat healthy food and follow healthy hygienic practices to boost the immune system.