Hair follicle mites, or demodex mites, occur in nearly all humans. These microscopic creatures live in hair follicles, concentrating on the facial area. Normally they live in balance with their hosts, but some people develop an overpopulation and experience symptoms such as unexplained itching of the eyebrows, nose and cheeks. A connection between demodex mites and acne was discovered by Dr. Zhao Zhongzhou of China. He developed a cream that he claims is nearly 90 per cent effective. According to Rosacea-Support.org, caraway oil, dill oil, or a 50/50 solution of tea tree oil and macadamia oil are also effective against demodex.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Cream or oil
- Cotton balls
Choose one of the methods to use, whether prepared Zhong Zhou cream or one of the listed oils. Tea tree oil must be diluted 50/50 with macadamia oil before using near your eyes.
Wash your hands and face with a gentle cleanser. Saturate a cotton ball with your chosen remedy.
Apply the oil, cream or alcohol all over your face, concentrating on the eyebrows, eyelids and nose areas. Demodex overpopulation in the eyelash follicles can lead to sties (blepharitis) and other eye infections, so it is important take care of this area.
Reapply daily for at least three months. Dr. Zhongzhou recommends the treatment last 120 days due to the life cycle of the mites. They live two or three weeks, coming out of the sebaceous glands to mate.
Keep using the treatment even if you notice some worsening of your symptoms at first. When the demodex die, their bodies liquefy and are absorbed by your skin. This can cause irritation and redness, and sometimes more pimples for the first week. Continue with the treatment and these symptoms will improve.
Tips and warnings
- If your symptoms have not improved within three months, try one of the other remedies in this article.
- Be careful when using any solution near your eyes, especially tea tree oil. Do not use tea tree oil at full strength on your face. It can be quite harsh.
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- DemodexSolutions.com: Frequently Asked Questions
- "Just How Do You Kill Demodex Mites?" Digital Davo, Rosacea-Support.org, 2008
- "It's Enough to Make Your Skin Crawl: Microscopic Mites May Be Linked To Acne, Thinning Hair And Other Skin Disorders," Chuck Woods, Dept of Entomology, University of Florida Gainesville, 2003