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Teenage acne and demodex

Almost all teens get acne during teenage years. According to some studies, 90% of teenage acne is caused by Demodex mites (so called “face mites”) and that only 10% is caused by bacteria. It can be explained by increased production of sebum by sebaceous glands during teenage years (between 13 and 19) when sebum clogs pores. During this period of life teenagers experience dramatic hormonal fluctuations which make face skin ideal breeding ground for Demodex mites and teenage acne.

Demodex mites are tiny microbial insects that live in the skin (in the hair follicles) of nearly every person. Demodex mites can live on any body parts wherever there are hair roots and sebaceous glands. They are most prevalent in the facial area (nose, forehead, chin and cheeks) – facial area has the most favorable living and breeding conditions and provides the optimum temperature for mites to thrive. Often Demodex mites become more aggressive when the immune system is weakened (stress, diseases, infections). Usually face mites are deep-seated long-term problem associated with facial acne (pimples), rosacea-like skin and scarring.

Demodex mite dermatitis, demodex acne and symptoms of rosacea during teenage years are often misdiagnosed as adolescent acne. If teenage acne treated wrongly, then skin destruction becomes more severe and persistent, leaving the facial skin rough and ugly.

Teenage acne

Teenage acne

Teenage acne usually appeared on the face, neck, back, chest and shoulders – this acne could cause unpleasant scars and damage teenagers’ self-esteem. If you have persistent, unresponsive acne combined with rosacea, blotchy skin, itchiness and tickling sensation, then the cause could be facial mites (Demodex folliculorum or Demodex brevis).

Demodex folliculorum usually live in hair follicles and Demodex brevis live in the sebaceous glands. Demodex folliculorum mite can also live in the eye lash roots, triggering blepharitis, itching and infections. Scalp hair follicles are also often infected by mites. Demodex mites like wet and warm environment and become the most active in the dark (at night).

Demodex mites inside the sebaceous glands and hair follicles suck nutrients from the hair roots and damage cell walls. After mating they burrow into the skin, laying eggs, introducing bacteria and infection to the skin. Demodex mites destroy the skin by excreting wastes and secretions, laying eggs and dying within its layers. After death, their corpses become liquid and decompose inside the skin. Damaging the immune system, mites trigger local allergic inflammation, erythema, papules and pustules.

Oily skin is the perfect environment for face mites to feast and hence expand massively. Demodex mites live for just 13-15 days, and then dead bodies fall into skin pores and block them. Clogged face pores make teenage acne worse.

According to some experts, dead Demodex mites become a perfect ground for several bacteria which trigger inflammation and make teenage acne look like big red pimple. There is also the opinion that Demodex mites carry bacteria while they’re living in sebaceous glands and deposit them in skin pores.

Dead face mites spill toxic proteins on the surface of skin triggering skin inflammation and shiny redness (rosacea-like skin). Several studies confirm that Demodex mite infested pores have higher levels of inflammatory chemicals which worsen the appearance of teenage pimples.

Demodex mites are contagious and could be transmitted through skin-to-skin contacts, through kissing, hugging, using the same towels, but these parasites prefer weakened immune system. Infected people (even without any visible signs) can also transmit the mites to other people – once infected, it can take months or even years before the signs of infection become visible.

Demodex teenage acne – symptoms

  • Excess facial oils;
  • Widened (larger) visible pores (often on the nose, forehead, chin and cheeks);
  • Acne or pimples, pustules, papules and eruptions;
  • Red rosacea-like skin (often appeared on the lower sides of the nose, forehead and cheeks);
  • Tickling sensation on the face (more often on the lower nose, forehead and cheeks, especially in the evening and night);
  • Itching and crawling sensation on the face or in the scalp;
  • Thickened nose (so called “brandy nose”);
  • Tickling sensation on the scalp;
  • Itching eye lashes combined with thinning and falling out eyelashes;
  • Itching eye brows;
  • Premature hair loss.

Demodex mites die fast in the dry environment – they can only live for a couple of hours away from the host. In wet environment they can survive longer and in the drop of oil they can live about 50-60 hours.


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