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Some info and articles about Demodex

What are Demodex mites?

Demodex Mites, also known as face mites, are not so well known by the public, they are parasites which live on the face and in the hair follicles of humans.
Demodex folliculorum was first described by Berger in 1841 and demodex Brevis was found in the human skin in 1963.
They can badly damage the facial skin of humans, the problems start many times during puberty because of the hormone changes which triggers the sebaceous glands to produce more sebum which is perfect for the mites.
A second wave starts usually in the middle age when the immune system is changing and the demodex mites population has increased,
It happens many times that middle aged people who never had a problem before suddenly get acne and/or rosacea.
There are two existing types, the longer kind, Demodex folliculorum, which live in the hair follicles and the short ones, Demodex brevis, which live in the sebaceous glands.
This mites are invisible to the naked eye, usually measuring between 100 – 300 microns in length, there are five stages in the life cycle. In this “FAQ" section we explain how you can find them under the microscope.

 

Where do Demodex live?

Demodex mites can live on all body parts wherever there are hair roots and sebaceous glands however they are most prevalent in the facial area, especially the nose, forehead,chin, and cheeks,the back and chest are also vunerable.

These areas have the most favourable living and breedingconditions and provide an optimum temperature for them to thrive. The Demodex folliculorum mite can also live in the eye lash roots and can be the reason for blepharitis (ocular rosacea), itching and infections.
The hair folliclesfrom the scalp are also often infected with itching and hairloss as a result. The mouth of these mites is like a very sharp needle that can directly sting into the cells to absorb nutrition.
They like a humid and warm environment and become the most active in the dark, after mating on the surface of the skin, they crawl back into the skin and lay eggs, taking bacteria with them which live on the surface of the skin which is one reason from infections,
when they die they decompose in the skin and exposing their host specifick bacteria iwhich is probably the biggest reason for infections and allergic reactions.

This is how Demodex mites look like.
Demdex Brevis mite
Demodex Folliculorummite

To see movies from Demodex mites click on this link   “Movies from Demodex Mites
 

The skin problems caused by demodex mites were ignored by the Western medicine for already a long time!
Down here some older articles which shows this is in Asia already knowed for a long time.

An article from a Taiwan newspaper entitled “Recognitionof the Acnes”

Recently some newspapers in Taiwan carriedan article by Lin Xinmei entitled “Recognition of the acnes”. “Fight the acne from itspredisposing causes” .
He called on the people to fight thecauses of acne and eliminate them through the treatment and preventionof the predisposing causes.
He summed them up as originating from seven sources:
Ø Excessive endocrine hormones
Ø Too much oily food
Ø Dirty skin
Ø Physical injury
Ø Environmental humidity
Ø Cosmetic irritation
Ø Medical by-effect.
In fact, besides the above-mentionedpredisposing causes, medical textbooks and journals both at home and abroadstate further causes which may be related to genetics or due to bacterialinfection.
Doctorshave been conducting their treatment and giving instructions on the basis of so many theories.
However, there is no final conclusion thus far. Doctors have prescribed medicines whose results are not so satisfactory. Preventionis almost beneath mentioning.
The patient’s normal complexion has frequently been affected by acne attacks. Even worse, acne infections sometimes leave scars on the face, which causes much vexation.
Acne has attracted much attention inthe general population. Whether or not it can be eliminated dependsupon a new and correct interpretation of its predisposing causes.
Following the research of the medical specialists in this field for many years, and based on my clinical diagnosisfor over 30 years,
I am of the opinion that acne is a skin diseasecaused by demodex mites and that after the application of my patentednew medicine “Zhongzhou ointment”, the acnes soon vanishes.
According to an investigation of the infection of demodex mites in the human body made by scholars both athome and abroad, the total infection rate makes up 60%, and from those 60%,
some 10% are heavily infested with demodex mites, the same amountas those are suffering from acne. Some aged people also suffer from acneand rosacea,
which some would mistake as being hereditary but they are not. They are in fact, contagious diseases.
Medical science has proven that newly born babies are free of these diseases and they become infested by physicalcontact with adults suffering from these diseases by kissing, face toface hugging, towels etc.
As they grow, the babies will have more and more contact with infested people. This means a greater chance ofthe reproduction rate of the demodex.
However, as previouslystated, only 10% out of the 60% of those with infection from the miteswill grow into a disease.
People with stronger immune systems don’t have a negative reaction to the mites etc. According to the research, once thehuman body is infected, the demodex will become parasitic,
mainly in thesebum of the hair follicles of the face where body touch is frequent, the sebaceous glands are well developed and the temperature is perfect.
They absorb nourishment, excrete wastes, copulate and laying eggs. Within15 days, they give birth to a new generation, the mites die, rot and liquefying in the skin.
As the demodex complete the entirety of their life cycle in the sebum glands and hair follicles, they cause mechanical and chemical stimulation to the skin.
More and more stimulation will produce an allergic reaction that leads to inflammation such as,popular eruption, pustules etc. which we all know as acne and even erythema.
If this situation is not followed by correct diagnosis and treatment, the mites will increasingly multiply and the inflammation will get worse, leaving scars on the face,
the damaged pores accompanied with widening of the capillaries, thicker skin, hyperplasia and worse, there might be vegetation or pimples which will spoil the skin.
Starting from this new medical theory and practice, we would come to a new comprehension and explanation of the predisposing causes of acne, and open up a new path for combating it.
In order to get rid of acne, we must popularize advanced medical knowledge, cast away all the specious theories,and prevent the infection and spreading of the demodex mites.
To achieve this, the adults must take care of the younger generation.
They will have to take measures for the prevention and effective cure of the demodex mite infection themselves.
Where there are facilities, training classes should be opened and general investigation and treatment of the disease be conducted, by doing so, the acne and rosacea can definitelybe eliminated in a sweeping battle.

Demodicosis and associattive diseases

Translation of a article published in "Bulletin of the academy ofSciences of the Republic of Kazakhstan", 1992, No. 4, pp.84-88
(NOTE: We made some slight changes in an attempt to make this article more readable, you can see a copy of the original (Russian) article with this link: Demodicosis Russian Translation)
Demodicosis as an independent disease has not yet well investigated. However, in the past decades the interest in this and other mites diseases has considerably grown (A.A.Antonyev et al.., 1988; R.D.Zhaxylykova, 1990)
The clinical picture of the demodicosis from the moment of infestation to development of various complications has not been adequately described.
Moreover, up to now, the issue of pathogenic role of Demodex mites upon the human beings remains disputable.
Using investigation methods In the laboratories, the Demodex mites were detected in almost all 6547patients examined. In the investigation, we used the methods developedby our team (R.D.Zhaxylykova, 1990)
1: Direct micro scoping of the skin and mucous membrane surfaces magnifying at least 50 times.
2: Rubbing in the pores of the skin with a rapidly penetrating anti parasitic that cause killing of the Demodex mites in the place of their habitat, and thereby release the allergenic components on which the local allergic reaction is being developed
in the form of an edema of the connective tissue capsule, this leads to appearance of a visible papule - demodicosisfocus.
Moreover, we applied the universally known methods of scraping(B.P.Baksht,1966) and epilation (M.M.Mukhina, V.E.Yevseeva, 1980).
The 790 patients infected with Demodex were examined by the provocative method of detection of the Demodex colonies (R.D.Zhaxylykova, M.K.Kenenbayeva,1990)
The papules detected in all the patients were examined by subsequentmicro scoping. In 93% of them were Demodex mites detected, in 0,4%- Sarcoptes scabie, in 6,6% - colonies unidentified mites.
Moreover, 10 persons with healthy skin were examined by, for us, accessible methods and in which the mites and their colonies not have been found.
A long-term dynamic observation was conducted over 342 patients infected by Demodex, infestation of these patients occurred through natural conditions more then 15 years ago till they became the sick persons with the laboratorial confirmed demodicosis.
Besides that, demodicosis was also produced experimentally on a volunteer who had a healthy skin and on two cats which preliminary were thoroughly prepared for the experiment in which the cats,
during a period of tree months where bathed every day with soap and brush. Infestation of the volunteer was taken from the "butterfly"region from the face, so we could confirm demodicosis on the face.
By use of anti parasitics, there were 151 patients successfully cured who had various clinical manifestations and complications (so called clinicalmasks) /R.D.Zhaxylykova, 1990/ of the demodicosis (see Table).
Results of the investigations and discussion from several investigators (A.K.Akbulatova, 1966; T.Rufli, G.Mumcuoglu, 1981/marked in their papers at the high percentage of the Demodex infestation of the skin of the dermatologic patients and of "practically healthy"persons.) 
We have a different point of view upon this fact. Among the infected by Demodex, in 62% of the examined persons there were clearly found expressed subjective sensations from the part of the skin.
At the purposing questioning this percentage increased up to 84%. Periodical slight stroking’s, mainly of the face skin, scratching which was observed in almost all examined patients
allow us to speak about availability of the subjective symptoms in 100% of the patients under observation.
Upon examining the subclinical and clinical manifestations of the demodicosis, complications were found in all persons infested by Demodex.
Absence of the mites in the skin of the examined persons with healthy skin testifies correctness of the clinical observations being carried out.
Also this is confirmed by effective anti parasitic treatment of the patients, to which the specialists of different profiles gave different diagnosis.
Absence or sharp decrease in percentage of detection of the mites in the skin of the treated patients (see Table) together with the positive dynamics of the clinical picture allow us to conclude their involvement in developing the indicated diseases.
However we consider necessary to continue investigations in this aspect with the acarological observation of the affected ("shock") organs and tissues.
As per mechanisms in development of allergic complications due to demodicosis,our points of view completely coincide with points of view and conclusions of the allergologists /V.I.Pytsky, et al.,1984/.
Long-term, let it be even symbiotic (as the dermatologists and some other specialists consider) presence of Demodex in the human being skin pores in considerable amounts(from 1 sq. cm of the skin there were picked out up to 500 specimen ofthe Demodex /Yu.S.Balashov, 1982/) may cause sensibilization of the host`sorganism.
Effectiveness of the antiparasitic therapy makes it possibleto conclude that over 151 years from the moment of detection in the glandsof the skin of the human being in 100% of the examined persons the Demodexcould transfer from the symbiotic to the parasitic mode of life.
Asimilar phenomenon can be observed in the microcosm not infrequently /K.I.Skryabinet al., 1934/. This fact can explain the infectious nature, being foundby the epidemiological investigators, of growth and dissemination of allergyand other, so called non-infectious, diseases /A.M.Vikhert, A.V.Chaklin,1990/, some of which are listed in the Table given in this paper.
The demodicosis in 100% cases are inherited from the mother /Yu.S.Balashov,1982/.Our clinical observations have also shown 100% infestation by Demodexof the children of all ages beginning from the first days of their life.
Therefore we consider that demodicosis and the associative diseases with participation of the Demodex began to affect the younger persons than it was earlier /K.S.Ternovoi et al., 1990/.
Our investigations show that majority of the famous allergenes destroy the microscopic mites presentin the organism of the patient with allergy.
In this case a great amount of allergene components of the mites are being released, to which the host organism has been sensibilized.
This fact was considered by us during treatment of the allergologic patients.
For complete deliverance of the patients organism from the mites we used the "allergenic" for them earlier factors (food, medical preparations, pollen, etc.), whichgave us possibility to reach complete liquidation of allergy in 91% ofthe allergologic patients.
Diversity of clinical manifestations and complications of the demodicosis, from one part, may be the result of high self-organization of such microscopic organism as the mites Demodex /V.I.Zakharov, 1972/.
From the other part, as it is known from literature, the mites can transfer on their bodies the smaller organisms: viruses, bacteria, fungi,etc. /Yu.S.Balashov,1982/.
This may be the reason of development of the associative diseases, being caused, for example, by the Demodex and by the definite virus (including AIDS), by the Demodex and by the definitebacterium, etc.
There may be very many such combinations, therefore clinical manifestations of the associative disease may be very different.
Availability of the pricking-sucking-cutting mouth apparatus in the Demodex /Yu.S.Balashov,1982/ promotes the appearance of the above-listed combinations of various associations (bacteria, viruses, etc.).
Detection in one and the same patient of three varieties of the mites allows to speak about existence of the diseases caused by association of different mites with different microorganisms.
The afore said may be added with information about high invasiveness of people to helmiths /N.N.Glamazanova, 1987/.
Taking intoconsideration the above-mentioned data there may be supposed a possibility of wide spread of associative diseases, in which the Demodex may be an active etiological component.
The high percentage of invasiveness of the skin and mucous membranes by the Demodex together with the available information in the literature gives us possibility to a scertain the availability of the demodicosis pandemic.
It would be more correct to say about the pandemic of the associative diseases, in which the Demodex is the etiologic connectingbase.
The demodicosis, that is not taken into consideration in the medicalpractice, considerably complicate the cause of famous infectious and noninfectiousdiseases.
Availability of pandemic of the demodicosis and the associative diseases requires consolidation of the efforts of biologists, parasitologists,veterinary and medical specialists for liquidation of all manifestations and complications of these diseases.

This paper was published in the journal "Bulletinof the Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Kazakhstan", 1992,No 4, pp.84-88.

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