What Else is Living in your Facial Hair?

mites

Face Mite

Red skin?

If you are suffering from redness of the skin on your face or other skin complaints, your face and facial hair might be host to Demodex Folliculorum.

Another type of face mite

These microscopic animals are usually found near the eyebrows and nose, but can also inhabit hair follicles and sebaceous glands. When there are large numbers of the Demodex Follicorum on your skin, the infestation is called demodicosis. Sometimes these infestations can cause inflammation of the skin, which results in red patches on your face.

About Demodex Folliculorum

The mite is a small animal between 0.1 and 0.4 mm long, and has four pairs of short legs. It lives with its head inwards, and its tail sometimes is visible between the hair follicles. Up to 25 mites can live in one follicle. The life span of the Demodex is about two weeks, and it feeds on the content of the sebaceous glands and dead skin cells. They are most active at night, because they do not like the light. When you sleep, the mites travel over your face.

Quite harmless?

Though these hair follicle mites have been associated with hair loss, and in particular the loss of eyelashes, it has not been proven that hair loss is caused by mites. They have als been associated with skin complaints like acne rosacea and inflammation of the eyelids (blepharitis). In general infestations have been found in all types of skins, and are considered to be part of the normal skin fauna. About 80% of the adult population has these mites.

Diagnosis

To determine whether you are infested with the Demodex Folliculorum, the content of sebaceous glands can be examined under a microscope. What you would see would be similar to this video:

Treatment

With most skin problems it is not clear if the Demodex folliculorum is of any influence. A good skin care can limit the amount of mites on the skin. An overproduction of sebum causes a faster growth in mites, and should be avoided. So be gentle with your skin and make sure you only use natural products without preservatives and other additives.

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