Friday, April 26, 2013
Demodex is a genus of tiny parasitic mites that live in or near hair follicles of mammals.
Many species of Demodex are known and they are among the smallest of arthropods.
Two species living on humans have been identified: Demodex folliculorum and Demodex brevis, both frequently referred to as eyelash mites.
Both species are primarily found in the face, near the nose, the eyelashes and eyebrows, but also occur elsewhere on the body
Demodex canis lives on the domestic dog.
Infestation with Demodex is common and usually does not cause any symptoms, although occasionally some skin diseases can be caused by the mites.
The adult mites are only 0.3–0.4 millimetre long, with D. brevis slightly shorter than D. folliculorum.
Each has a semitransparent, elongated body that consists of two fused segments.
Eight short, segmented legs are attached to the first body segment.
The body is covered with scales for anchoring itself in the hair follicle, and the mite has pin-like mouth-parts for eating skin cells and oils which accumulate in the hair follicles.
The mites can leave the hair follicles and slowly walk around on the skin, at a speed of 8–16 mm per hour, especially at night, as they try to avoid light.
Older people are much more likely to carry the mites; about a third of children and young adults, half of adults, and two-thirds of elderly people are estimated to carry the mites.
The lower rate of children may be because children produce much less sebum.
It is quite easy to look for one's own Demodex mites, by carefully removing an eyelash or eyebrow hair and placing it under a microscope.
The mites are transferred between hosts through contact of hair, eyebrows and of the sebaceous glands on the nose. Different species of animals host different species of Demodex; only one zoonosis of Demodex is known.
In the vast majority of cases, the mites go unobserved, without any adverse symptoms, but in certain cases (usually related to a suppressed immune system, caused by stress or illness) mite populations can dramatically increase, resulting in a condition known as demodicosis or Demodex mite bite, characterised by itching, inflammation and other skin disorders.
Blepharitis (inflammation of the eyelids) can also be caused by Demodex mites.
Evidence of a correlation between Demodex infection and acne vulgaris exists suggesting it may play a role in promoting acne.
What is the truth?
You have them!
Yes they are all over you!
Together with the mites we live in harmony!
It is unthinkable to imagine an environment where there are no mites!
Our face may be their home.
They don't usually bother us but they frequently are there.
But sometime ignorance is bliss!