What are Face Mites (Demodex Folliculorum), Know its Causes and Treatment

What Are Face Mites?

Face mites are the creepy-crawlies tiny mites that live in the pores of the face. They can even be living on your face right now and you not being aware of the same.

Face mite is known as Demodex folliculorum. The size of the mite is so small that it cannot be seen with the naked eyes.

It lives within the hair follicles of human skin and feeds on the dead skin cells. It is found mostly on the face. Another type of Demodex mite i.e. Demodex Brevis can exist in any part of the body.

It is common to have mites on the skin. The condition of face mite becomes problematic only when they exacerbate skin conditions.

What Causes Face Mites (Demodex Folliculorum)?

Face mites normally occur on the skin. They can spread through contact with someone suffering from them.

Face mites increase the number of skin cells in the hair follicles and can lead to scales on the face.

Demodex folliculorum or face mite can be a potential cause of rosacea. The numbers of these face mites increase in those with rosacea. It was estimated in a study that rosacea patients had 18 times more Demodex mites than the patients without rosacea.(1)

Risk of suffering from face mite increase in those with:

Symptoms Of Face Mites (Demodex Folliculorum)

The symptoms of face mites include:

  • An increase in roughness of the face
  • Itchy and scaly skin
  • Redness
  • Burning sensation
  • A sandpaper-like feeling of the skin
  • Eczema
  • Most of the people with face mites do not even know that they exist on their skin.

People with a large number of mites on their face may be diagnosed with demodicosis and present the following symptoms:

  • Itchy skin
  • Scales around the hair follicles
  • Red skin
  • Sensitive skin

Face mites can also complicate the pre-existing skin conditions such as rosacea rashes, dermatitis, and acne outbreaks.

How Is Face Mite Treated?

  • Face mites are not visible to naked eyes which are why a doctor’s help is needed to diagnose it.
  • The doctor would take a scrap of follicular tissues and oils from the face and view it microscopically.
  • There are a few home solutions that can help get rid of face mites. They can also prevent them from spreading.

Tea Tree Oil

  • Tea tree oil can be scrubbed gently on the eyelashes. Make sure the solution you use for scrubbing has 50 percent of tea tree oil.
  • After scrubbing that tea tree oil is applied onto the skin to kill any eggs left behind.
  • Tea tree oil helps in getting rid of eggs and mites.

Medical Treatments for Face Mites (Demodex Folliculorum)?

If there are large numbers of mites on the face, medical treatment is required.

The ointments used help trap mites and prevent them from laying eggs in other hair follicles.

The creams, gels and face washes used contain benzyl benzoate, salicylic acid, selenium sulfide or sulfur as active ingredients.

The mites may have a different outlook depending on the underlying cause. In some, they may lead to complications while in a few it would not show any symptoms.

These mites in a small amount might actually benefit the skin as they can remove excess dead skin cells. Face mites can live for several weeks and decompose on their own.

There is not much to worry about if they are not present in excess. Do visit a doctor to get treated if their presence causes any discomfort.

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