Demodex is a family of eight-legged mites that live in the hair follicles and sebaceous or sebaceous glands of many mammals.
Two species are known to humans: Demodex folliculorum, which lives predominantly in facial hair follicles (especially eyelashes and eyebrows), and Demodex brevis, which lives in the sebaceous glands on the face and elsewhere.
Newborn mites do not have Demodex. In a study on adults, researchers were only able to visually detect it in 14% of people.
However, one day, using DNA analysis, they found evidence of demodex nesting in 100% of the adults they tested, which is confirmed by previous studies of corpses.
And if ticks live in all people, then the question arises – are ticks parasites or (harmless) symbionts living in harmony with their owners unwittingly? do not interfere with the survival of ticks?
A number of methods are used to directly detect ticks. The best method is a skin biopsy, which includes a small amount of cyanoacrylate (superglue) on a microscope slide. A cylindrical crust around an infected hair is characteristic of a tick in its place of residence due to its lifestyle. Ticks can also be removed from follicles with an oil extractor.
The tick feeds on skin cells and pre-digested fatty oils, releasing a group of enzymes. Since it does not have an anus, the butterfly regurgitates its waste.
The mites mate in relaxed follicles and lay eggs; After a life of about 15 days, it dies and decomposes there, in the follicle.
These disgusting habits may be one of the reasons demodex causes allergic reactions in some people and may also explain a number of associated clinical effects.
Facial mites can cause many problems. Unfortunately, recent studies report a number of cases of infestation with Demodex mites:
• Group of rashes.
• Acne and pimples on the skin.
• Meibomian gland dysfunction – blockage of the sebaceous glands in the eyelid, which can lead to the formation of cysts.
• Inflammation of the cornea itself.
• Dry eyes and pterygium, which is a fleshy growth on the eye.
However, not all of us react negatively to these creatures. Humans mate randomly, so our genes are very different – when we get infected, our genes determine our immunity and other responses. Some of us don’t react at all, some of us itch for a while, and some of us have chronic debilitating conditions.
Similarly, the number of mites varies from person to person – if they multiply to high levels, they are more likely to lead to problems.
Interestingly, the aforementioned occurrences and numbers of mites increase with age and in immunocompromised patients, suggesting an association with decreased immune function. Our immune system seems to hold the key to understanding their reproduction and clinical effects.
Is it possible to get rid of ticks on the face? Or make it less spread?
There are a number of medicinal compounds that reduce the mite population, but everyone agrees that since Demodex mites are a natural part of the skin flora, it is best not to completely eradicate them.
And when people suffer from a chronic disease, more aggressive treatment against tick populations may be needed, despite the possibility of reinfection from the person’s family members. Ticks do not live long away from their host. In addition to direct contact, personal hygiene products are likely to be the main transmission mechanism.
Sharing makeup brushes, tweezers, eyeliner, and mascara can be a bad idea, although avoiding contamination in a shared bathroom can be tricky. In one study, the average residence time of Demodex in mascara was 21 hours. Other aspects of cosmetic use, such as regular cleaning and washing of the face, can reduce mites, although other studies show that mites tolerate washing quite well.
Thus, it is not clear to what extent this may affect tick populations. However, if you experience any inflammation of the eyelids and surrounding areas, it may be best to avoid makeup and see a doctor.
In general, no matter how unpleasant it may sound, demodex is a normal part of the microflora of our skin. However, some of us react negatively to its presence and experience rashes and infections.
The paper was prepared by Mark Sandemann, Professor Emeritus, Federation University, Australia.
Source: Science Alert