How Humans Get Demodex

There are many names for Demodex mites, which quite often depend upon where they infest on the body. What is often misunderstood is that they come from pets. With usually the family dog or cat taking the blame, but this is simply not the case. It is just a case of the fact that family pets will be more likely to contract Demodex mite infections, though they could have caught it from one of you, or your friends, there is just no way of knowing.

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Demoex Mites inside Hair Follicle

These little critters are tiny, and do not carry around signs saying where they came from. They quite often show no physical symptoms of their presence, and so may be anywhere at any time and you do not know about it.

Demodex mites are a microscopic parasite that makes its home in hair follicles in people and animals, with things such as eyelashes and areas close by such as eyebrows which are mites known a Demodex folliculorum or in the sebaceous/oil glands which are at the base of human hair follicles; these are mites known as Demodex brevis.

They measure approx a basic maximum of 0.4mm. The mites have eight legs for movement (like spiders) and a long body used to help anchor it in the hair follicle, and needle like mouths with movable bits for digging out and eating cells of skin and oil that has gathered within human hair follicles. The digestive tracts of Demodex mites are so effective and efficient that their digestive system create no faeces need for an excretory orifice (by which I mean they have not yet found one).

demodex mites

Demodex Mite

The life span of a Demodex mite is roughly two weeks with few lasting longer than a month. The mites transfer from one person to another by contacting each others hair, or eyebrows, or even via the oil glands on other peoples noses. So before you blame the dog, consider the last person you kissed, because unless you are kissing the dog, then the blame may be on you.

It is estimated through random testing that approximately up to 98% of the people in a western hemisphere carry such Demodex mites somewhere on their skin, and that there are up to as many as twenty fiver per hair follicle. This means that given the amount of oil glands per human, that every person is a potential cityscape of tiny parasites on and in their skin, with a population of millions. This however pales in comparison with the sheer amount of skin mites that may be found on a human skin at any one time.

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98% of People Carry Mites on the Skin


Most of the time the Demodex mites are so small and inert that they go unnoticed in humans, showing no adverse symptoms or problems. There are some cases (where a person is at a disadvantage through a suppressed/disabled/weak immune system which may be brought on by illness, worry or extreme anxiety affecting the immune system) in which mite populations boom and the symptoms may increase massively. This then results in the condition called Demodicosis which is known to cause itching and inflammation as well as skin problems based on the patient themselves and their home environment.

Demodex mites are also known to cause acne in most teenagers going through puberty. Due to the excessive production of sebum, the mites become more active and this in turn causes acne. When a large amount of Demodex mites are present in a hair follicle, it can become infected area in the back and leaving pimples or bumps on the face.