Demodex Mites Symptoms and Treatments

Demodex mites symptoms: For the majority of people, mites cause no symptoms. It seems that in older people, and for those with suppressed immune systems (caused by stress or illness), the mite population can dramatically increase. The infestation causes a condition known as demodicosis, characterized by itching, inflammation and other skin disorders.

  • Rosacea
  • Blepharitis (inflammation of the edge of eyelids)
  • Large pores
  • Dilated veins
  • Red patches of skin
  • Thin hair
  • Adult acne
  • Blackheads
  • Crawling feeling, especially on face, mostly at night
  • Bite patterns (small pin prick like bites, usually in a series of 2 or 3, with each bite smaller...dermatoligists call this the "breakfast, lunch and dinner" pattern.)
  • bumps on the surface of the skin that itch and bleed when scratched

If you read too many of the posts you will start to become OCD. Just the thought of things crawling on the skin makes me want to scrub till my skin is raw. If you are exhibiting an overpopulation of demodex mites symptoms, the first thing to do is to stop panicking, stop grossing out and start to make an action plan.

Step One: Identify practices that could have exposed you

1. Failure to wash face daily, using a soap that is effective at removing excess dead skin and sebaceous oils. I find that face washing has been given a bad rap. There were commercials a few years ago that discouraged women from using soap on their face, claiming it dries the skin and causes premature aging. To this I say, hogwash. Washing your face twice daily, morning and evening, will be the number one practice that will help prevent and/or alleviate an overpopulation of demodex mites symptoms. They prefer the face to any other area of the body, and this is where they most often live, especially in the eyelashes.

2. Exposure to persons who do not wash or bathe regularly, especially regarding the person you sleep with. Mites burrow in the hair follicles during the day and come out at night to mate...I'm getting that creepy feeling again... If you sleep with someone who has not bathed before bed, you are being exposed to all the mites they naturally carry, and if they don't bathe daily, this population increases exponentially. Let's just put it this way, you're only as clean as the dirtiest person you live with and have skin to skin contact with. INSIST that all members of your family practice personal cleanliness in order to prevent demodex mites symptoms.

3. Going to bed dirty and showering in the mornings: If you are in the habit, and those of your household, of showering in the morning instead of the night, this is the first habit you ALL need to change. Waiting til morning means all the dirt, and micro-organisms you've picked up throughout the day are sticking around on your skin all night long, giving them a chance to get comfortable and reproduce! Take your bath/shower at night to wash off and prevent demodex mites symptoms.

4. Failure to regularly wash sheets and towels: The thing about the organisms that are causing the demodex mite symptoms, they have to have something living to live upon. They don't last long off your body, with the exception of damp towels, and soiled bed sheets (ones with your body oils on them). Washing sheets regularly in detergent and borax and drying them on high will insure the pests are all killed. Placing damp towels in the dryer on high for 15 minutes after use will insure they are dead. While working on decreasing the population of mites in your bed at night, you will want to either change the sheets daily or sleep inside one flat sheet and remove it daily. It doesn't need to be washed everyday, but placing it in the dryer each morning for 15 minutes will insure there are no live organisms left in your sheets. Either change or place the pillow cases in the dryer also. Do this daily until your demodex mites symptoms have disappeared, then be sure to keep sheets and towels laundered weekly.

Step two: Begin to Treat the Symptoms Topically

1. Mustard Soaps and creams: Make a paste of mustard powder and water, about one teaspoon with an equal amount of water. Stir this into an anti-bacterial soap such as Defense Soap. Scrub your entire body, EXCEPT your face, with this and let it sit on your skin for at least 1-2 minutes. Avoid contact with your face and eyes, as this will burn. Wash your face with Defense Soap, with no mustard added. Leave this on for several minutes.  Mustard creams will actually be an even more effective treatment, as it can be left on your skin.  Mix one tablespoon of hydrogen peroxide and one teaspoon (no more) together. It will make a creamy paste that will thicken as the peroxide bubbles. Then mix it with 1-2 tablespoons of one or more of the following creams:  Trader Joes Coconut oil body butter,  Crabtree and evelyn Citron Body Souffle, and/or Tea Tree & E Antiseptic Creme.  Mix thoroughly and cover entire body, EXCEPT your face.  You cannot use mustard cream on your face. Use only Tea Tree Oil or Neem Oil cream on your face. 

2. Tea Tree Oil Shampoo: There are a lot of varieties on the market. You've got to use this shampoo every time you shampoo your hair. Let it soak for several minutes, and then follow up with tea tree oil conditioner and let it soak for several minutes.

Eden Body Works Peppermint Tea Tree Shampoo

Here's are two great scalp conditioners with tea tree oil. It's important to use both shampoo and a good conditioner with this oil in it.

Hair One Tea Tree Oil Cleansing Conditioner for Dry Scalp Organic Root Stimulator Tea Tree Oil

3. Hot baths with borax. Add about 1 cup of borax to a very hot bath and soak for as long as you can. You might not have time to soak every night but you should never go to bed without at least showering and soaping up with a soap containing tea tree oil.

4. There are a number of products made by Ovante which can be used for your eyes, hair and skin. You can find these at

Step Three: Consistency

In order to see a permanent improvement in your symptoms, you will need to treat the infestation topically everyday for at least 120 days, because eggs will continue to hatch for this long. You will need to continue to practice daily face washing and nightly baths for life. This is a practice that will insure that you are not reinfected. You should also insure that everyone in your household is practicing basic cleanliness. You should also make a regular practice of using soaps like Defense Soap or tea tree oil soaps, and regularly use the creams just to protect you from further exposure. Lastly, read up on improving your immune system by taking daily supplements. All taken together and done consistently, this multi-pronged approach should bring you relief from your demodex mites symptoms.

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