The Demodex mite is an eight-legged (an arachnid) ectoparasite (living on the surface of the host) that can reside in our hair follicles and oil glands. Of the 65 described Demodex species, only Demodex brevis and Demodex folliculorum are found on humans. Demodex is contracted and spread by either direct contact or dust containing eggs. It is associated with Excema if on the scalp or face.
The typical Demodex life cycle is usually 2 to 3 weeks. A female Demodex mite lays 15 to 20 eggs inside the hair follicle, such as an eyelash, near the sebaceous, oil, glands. The eggs develop into larvae, which eventually become an adult eight-legged mite. The adult male Demodex mite will leave the follicle in search of a mate, while the adult female mite remains in the follicle. The mites are capable of walking approximately 10 mm/h and tend to be more active in the dark.
Patients who suffer from Demodex infestation may complain of eyelid and eyebrow itching (especially in the morning), madarosis, a burning sensation and a foreign body sensation that seems to originate beneath their lids. Demodex blepharitis is observed equally in males and females and is age related. A study by Junemann showed that Demodex is found in 25% of 20-year-olds, 30% of 50-year-olds and 100% in patients older than 90 years.
Our office will send patients home with specific at-home lid and hair treatment instructions. They should immediately wash sheets and pillow cases in hot water and dry with the "high" dryer setting and discard their pillows. They should not use makeup for at least 1 week and discard all old makeup. Recommend using tea tree soap on their face and consider tea tree hair shampoo as well. Make an appointment for the patient's spouse to have an evaluation, as they are frequently also infested.
Thanks for this information: http://www.healio.com/optometry
For your interest in seeing the Demodex: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KfLIn_X1Xx0