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Face insect

Alberto Santos III as31909 at academia.swt.edu
Mon Jun 9 18:14:02 EST 1997

Oops wrote:
>   Can anyone out there tell me what is the "face insect"
>   DEMODEX FOLLICULORUM (follicular)?
>         What is their lifecycle ?
>         How can we get infected ?

Demodex folliculorum is, as PARIS mentioned, the human follicle mite. 
However, this mite is not limited to the eyelashes.  As a mite, it isn't
even an insect, it has four TINY pair of legs (insects have three pair),
and their legs are two small to serve much of any purpose.  Quite simply
put, these mites live in the hair follicles (and a closely related
species may live in the sebaceous glands of people as well - 
D. brevis).  Transmission is through direct contact although certain
fomites may be involved (sweaters, towels, pillows, etc).  The
prevalance of D. follicularum is just about universal with some texts
stating about 25% at age 20 but near 100% by age 60.  Symptoms aren't
generally attributed to these mites, though some people think that acne
rosacea is thought to be assocated with the mite.  Some times a person
with dermal granulomas (like a type 4 acne response) may blame the cause
of their malady on the mites, although many people with mites fail to
have such a reaction to them.

Not all Demodex fail to cause disease however, the species i ndogs, D.
canis, is responsible for demodectic mange, a type of severe skin rash
found in dogs.

I hope this answers your question.

Alberto Santos III
Graduate Student in Biology
Southwest Texas State University
email: AS31909 at swt.edu

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