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Facial Demodicidosis - Signs You Just Cannot Ignore!

Written and reviewed by
MD, Ex Sr Dermatologist AIIMS New Delhi
Dermatologist, Delhi  •  10 years experience
Facial Demodicidosis - Signs You Just Cannot Ignore!

Facial demodicosis is not a condition in itself-it is more like a preceding cause of a skin problem. Demodicosis occurs due to tiny mites, called demodex, living in the follicles, especially on the anterior ear canals, eyelashes, around the nose, cheeks and foreheads.

Primarily, two types of mites are responsible for a range of skin diseases: Demodex brevis and Demodex folliculorum. D. brevis lives in the sebum (oil) glands that are attached to tiny hair follicles, and get their sustenance from the oil glands whereas D. folliculorum is mostly found in the eyelashes. Adults and children above 5 years of age are commonly affected by demodex mites.

Signs & Symptoms 
If you have facial demodicosis, you may display the following symptoms:

  • Itching and irritation in the eye.
  • Eyelid dermatitis (The skin over the eyelid scales over).
  • Thickening of lid.
  • Lack of lashes.
  • Conjunctival inflammation (conjunctivitis).
  • Decreased vision.
  • Usually, certain diseases can be caused by these microscopic mites. Some common examples of skin diseases include:
  • Rosacea (Skin condition characterized by redness and pus-filled bumps)
  • Perioral dermatitis (Skin inflammation around the mouth)
  • Blepharitis (Eyelid inflammation)

Treatment
The demodex mites can only survive in hair follicles. So the main treatment is to stop their proliferation. For this, your doctor will use a scrub to remove dead cells from the lashes, and then spread macadamia nut oil or tea tree oil to destroy any egg. Alternatively, rubbing alcohol, baby shampoo or mercury oxide ointment may be used. Using mild shampoos, cleansing face with non-soap cleanser, avoiding greasy makeup and exfoliation are some home prevention strategies for facial demodicosis.

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