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Rosacea and the Demodex Mite

Demodex mites are a normal inhabitant of human skin and feed off sebum and dead skin cells found in and around sebaceous glands. It isn’t certain the role the demodex plays in the development of rosacea but people with rosacea generally have 10x more demodex mites present than those with no rosacea.


Apr 1, 2020 1:56:49 PM / by The Institute of Skin Science


Demodex mites are parasites that are found living in and around the sebaceous glands and follicles. The name Demodex comes from the Greek words, "Demo" meaning Lard, and "Dex" which means boring worm. There are 65 species of Demodex, but only 2 live on humans—Demodex Brevis and Demodex Folliculorum. These mites are microscopic, averaging between 0.15-0.4 mm. The human face is the most heavily infested area of the body. They are most active at night, receding into the follicle during daylight or bright light. The lifespan of a demodex mite is several weeks.

Demodex mites are a normal inhabitant of human skin and feed off sebum and dead skin cells found in and around sebaceous glands. The demodex mite produces an immune-active enzyme called lipase. Lipase breaks down the sebum in the skin so the mite can digest it. In large numbers the demodex may cause an immune response creating inflammation. When activated, lipase can heat the skin to 99° Fahrenheit causing vascular damage. Vascular damage happens when the capillaries are repeatedly distended. It isn’t certain the role the demodex plays in the development of rosacea but people with rosacea generally have 10x more demodex mites present than those with no rosacea.

When kept under control, the demodex mite causes no problems. It is important that preventative measures are followed to help eliminate the food source for this mite. Here are two ways to do this:

  1. Cleanse the face twice a day, morning and night.

  2. Gently exfoliate to remove any build-up of dead skin cell

If you have any questions and would like to speak to one of our friendly Master Aestheticians in your area please email support@glymedplusaustralia.com.au

Written by The Institute of Skin Science

Rosacea and the Demodex Mite
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