Demodex and their impact on your skin

Skin and eye health often go hand in hand. The healthier our skin, the less chance of infection in our eyes and vice-versa. Demodicosis is one condition that is known to impact both of these areas in different ways. Understanding its causes, symptoms and the impact it can have on your health allows you to better understand preventative measures too. Read on to learn more about Demodex and the corresponding condition, Demodicosis.

What are Demodex?

Demodex are microscopic mites that live within human hair follicles and oil glands. They come from the arachnid family, are around -0.4mm in size and fall into two groups:

  • Demodex folliculorum – These mites live within smaller hair follicles on the face – including those near the eyelashes – and eat skin cells
  • Demodex brevis - These mites live close to oil glands within the hair follicles and eat sebum (the oily substance that prevents your skin from drying out).

In normal, healthy adults, Demodex mites are largely unnoticeable. When their numbers reach excessive heights though, this is when unwanted symptoms become more noticeable.

Demodicosis Explained

Demodex mites ‘live in balance with the human immune system’. When the immune system becomes compromised, either by illness or medication, problems may occur. A weakened defence system can allow these mites to multiply too quickly, causing symptoms such as:

  • Burning and itching sensations
  • Whitehead style clusters
  • Redness
  • Eczema-like symptoms
  • Sensitivity

These symptoms tend to arise overnight or suddenly, causing distress and discomfort for the individual. In certain instances, Demodex can also multiply excessively around the eye. This results in a worsening of vision, irritation within the eye, a loss of lashes and even a thickening of the eyelids.

You are more likely to experience Demodicosis if you are:

  • Taking immunosuppressants
  • Undergoing chemotherapy or similar treatment
  • Dealing with diseases such as HIV and AIDS
  • Treating conditions including rosacea or using itch-relieving creams such as hydrocortisone.

Treating Demodicosis

Most cases of Demodicosis are relatively easy to treat. The condition is normally diagnosed through a biopsy or dermoscopy. From there, you will be prescribed medicated products containing acaricide which reduces the multiplication of mites and lessens symptoms. If you notice any of the signs cited above, we recommend visiting your GP as soon as possible. Equally, if your concern is related to your vision, pay us a visit here at The Eye Establishment and we may recommend eyelid cleansing wipes.

If you’re searching for ‘eye opticians near me’, The Eye Establishment has a team of highly skilled and knowledgeable opticians on hand to address your requirements. Whether you’re concerned about your prescriptions or your eye health, we’re here to help. We provide fully comprehensive eye test appointments that get to the heart of any vision problem and allow you to take preventative measures for future improvement. We also stock a wide range of glasses and sunglasses from leading brands, helping you to enjoy clear vision and inimitable style. Book an eye test in London with us today or browse our online store to find a pair of glasses to suit you.