Just How do you Kill Demodex Mites ?

demodex-mite

Demodex mites and rosacea seem to be a popular, if not somewhat controversial pairing.Even though there is no proven link between rosacea symptoms and the presence of demodex mites, many rosacea sufferers are interested in eliminating demodex mites to see if their rosacea symptoms improve.

So just how can you kill them ? Demodex mites are tiny, and live naturally in everyone’s skin, but sometimes in abundance with rosacea papules and pustules. They are quite difficult to kill.

Read on if you’d like to know more about how to elminate demodex mites.

First of all, why would you want to eliminate them ?

There may be some new evidence that proteins from a bacteria that can be isolated from demodex mites cause an immune reaction in rosacea sufferers. I’m still not a believer in the involvement of these critters in the cause of rosacea.

Just in case more evidence is found in the future, though, demodex mites are worth further understanding. Indeed demodex mites might be proven to not be involved in the pathogenesis or rosacea.

Mites and Faeces

Some recent publicity related to demodex mites conjured some impressive images of what demodex mites look like and might be doing in your skin. These comments lead to lots of headlines and articles that might confuse you even more about the role of demodex in rosacea. Here are some quotes attributed to Dr. Kavanagh, one of the few researchers making actual progress in this direction.

Rosacea may be caused by mite faeces in your pores

15:57 30 August 2012 by Debora MacKenzie

Kevin Kavanagh of the National University of Ireland, in Maynooth, now thinks he has discovered the cause – and it isn’t for the faint-hearted.

Tiny mites – eight-legged arachnids related to spiders – live in the pores of our facial skin. They are particularly fond of the hair follicles of eyebrows and eyelashes, and the oily pores most common on the nose, forehead and cheeks. Called Demodex, the mites eat sebum, or facial oil, and colonise your face at puberty.

They crawl about your face in the dark to mate, then crawl back into pores to lay their eggs and die. Healthy adults have around one or two mites per square centimetre of facial skin. People with rosacea, however, can have 10 times as many, says Kavanagh. Research suggests that the stress that causes flare-ups of rosacea changes the chemicals in sebum, making it better food for mites.

Rosacea often improves with antibacterial drugs that don’t affect the mites, such as tetracyclines. Kavanagh thinks this is because rosacea is caused by a reaction to bacteria in the mite’s faeces.

Demodex does not have an anus and therefore cannot get rid of its faeces. “Their abdomen just gets bigger and bigger, and when they die and decompose they release their faeces all at once in the pore,” says Kavanagh. When the mites are numerous, he believes that the material is enough to trigger an immune reaction, inflammation and tissue damage.

Killing Demodex Invitro (in the test tube)

We know from the paper In vitro and in vivo killing of ocular Demodex by tea tree oil, that various oils and solutions can kill demodex mites quite quickly in the test tube.

Solution Demodex Kill Time
100% alcohol 4 minutes
50% tea tree oil15 minutes
100% tea tree oil4 minutes
100% carraway oil4 minutes
100% dill weed oil14 minutes

Note that carraway oil and dill weed oil are toxic to the eye.

Studies have also confirmed that ether, xylol, benzene, Danish (compound polysulfide ointment) ointment can kill demodex in a few minutes.

Note that demodex mites have a life cycle of 14-18 days.

Ivermectin

Ivermectin is used in dermatology against some parasitic infestations in humans. The drug is used in the treatment of patients with different forms of scabies, human body lice, head lice, demodecicosis, et. al. Published literature includes a case study of one patient who was treated with topical permethrin and oral Ivermectin. In another case report of one patient, the papules and pustules of rosacea were difficult to treat until oral ivermectin was included in the treatment regime.

Several rosacea sufferers on the rosacea-support email group report success in treating their rosacea with Ivermectin, but the benefits were only short lived.

Ivermectin (Stromectol, Mectizan, Ivomec, Oramec, Cardomec) has been patented as a treatment for rosacea.

I would advise extreme caution should you consider a 0.5% Topical Ivermectin prescription like Sklice, which is only for the scalp and hair.

Galderma has recently started selling Soolantra, a 1% Ivermectin Cream for the treatment of the papules and pustules of rosacea. Soolantra is showing promising results as a mainstay treatment for rosacea.

Tea Tree Oil

Tea Tree Oil (TTO) is sourced from the Melaluca tree which is native to Eastern Australia. Tea Tree Oil has been shown to kill demodex mites in as little as 4 minutes. External application of undiluted tea tree oil and/or at inappropriate high doses has been associated with toxicity, including death, in cats and other animals.

There is so much interest in the properties of tea tree oil that a research group has been created within the School of Biomedical, Biomolecular and Chemical Sciences at The University of Western Australia.

In a recent study, TTO was used to eliminate demodex mites living in the eyelashes of ocular rosacea sufferers. Study participants were given weekly lid scrubs with 50% tea tree oil and a daily lid scrub with a tea tree shampoo. After six weeks all 6 participants showed improvement in conjuctival irritation and inflammation.

TTO is not soluble in water, but is soluble in alcohol, but sadly that would be unsuitable for use around the eye. Tea Tree Oil can be diluted 50% in Macadamia nut oil for use around the eyes. Lid scrubs with 50% Tea Tree Oil did produce irritation in the participants but the effect was found to be minimised if care was used to avoid spilling it into the eye.

Full strength tea tree oil should never be used anywhere on the face.

Kwellada/Elimite (Permethrin)

Back in 2000, Annette Anderson advocated using Permethrin 5% on the face to eliminate the mites. Permethrin was originally used to treat scabies. She warned that getting it in your eyes burns terribly and that the instructions mention that you should not use it on your face. A few members of rosacea-support had bad reactions to using permethrin on their face, so use Permethrin with extreme care. In the U.S., 5% Permethrin (Elimite Cream) is only available by prescription.

If you are considering Permethrin in any form it would be wise to consider Dr. Linda Sy’s advice to “solicit the cooperation and supervision of their respective dermatologists, get a KOH skin scraping to establish the presence of florid demodex population … Participants try the Permethrin on a small area of face first, to determine if any immediate severe problem exists”.

Seabuckthorn Oil

Despite claims on various internet sites, I have not been able to find any published evidence that Seabuckthorn oil kills demodex mites. If you know of some evidence, please post in the comments below. In the meantime, please disregard any claims that you find that Seabuckthorn Oil kills demodex mites.

A natural approach

For those interested in a more natural approach to treating rosacea including using Olive Leaf Extract and Tea Tree Oil see Rachelle’s Alternative Treatments for Demodex Mites.

Selenium Sufide

Note that despite some media coverage relating to Selenium Sufide (the active ingredient in Selsun shampoo);

Your Health:

The active ingredient in the shampoo, selenium sulfide, might help control the Demodex skin mite population that triggers the inflammation associated with rosacea. People use the shampoo to wash their faces gently.

(Joe Graedon is a pharmacologist, and Dr. Teresa Graedon is a medical anthropologist and nutrition expert.)

Selenium Sulfide has not been found to kill demodex mites.

Over to You

Have you tried any treatments to eliminate demodex mites ? Did you have a bad reaction them ? any suceess ? Feel free to leave a comment below.

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About the Author: David Pascoe started the Rosacea Support Group in October 1998. .

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2,161 Reader Comments

  1. Mike Marca says:

    I am not telling you what you should do, but I will tell you what I would try. I noticed with myself that one teaspoon of Borax in four onces of boiled water (then cooled) and applied to the eyes via an eye cup works to keep them out of my eyes. I also noticed that my formula used on my face and especially the eyelids does work itself down gradually to my eyelids to where it does not get into the eyes. It is not a cure for all but it does seem to work. I would use this with Ivermectin (RX). Mike

  2. Mike Marca says:

    Did I say Borax. NO! I would use one teaspoon of Boric Acid to four onces of water. This is a mixture that my mother gave me years ago for eye infections, and it does work for mites as well. At least for me. Sorry, Mike

  3. Maureen says:

    Mike
    Thanks for all the help.I was just reading Rosas comments about our immune systems. I was told by a Dr. that people with cancer and major illnesses like that have weak immune systems, and people with Rosacea have super hyper ones that is why our skin reacts to everthing that normal people don’t. just like the spring time and trees and grasses are budding I especially have a system that is over reacting,our bodies are in over drive. This is where we need to calm the body, maybe for example strecthing, light excerise,both of these to relieve stress, eating healthing, take good supplements etc. Yes I do agree we need to keep our immune systems strong or calmed. Maybe partners should be treated also even if they don’t react It is a little scary when you think about all of this.And I do like the tea tree oil mixture much better than Permethrin, but then again, I didn’t use that cream every night only tried it once for the 24hrs.
    ~Maureen

  4. Mike Marca says:

    Hello again. Over the last five years I have tried everything out there, and what I am doing seems to be working now. I notice that the mite levels are droping with what I am doing, and that is without the laser. Every now and then I have to treat my hair as well with my formula, because they retreat there to get out of my mixture. I do use SnoSeal at night on my face to keep their activity down while I sleep. My eyebrows are now growing back, and my nose is not disfigured. I no longer have rosacea sores on my cheeks. I am now giving them the one-two punch. I want to see if I can control the mites now without using the Ivermectin (RX). Over the years I have learned not to over-react. It all so draining emotionally, and it keeps going on, and on, and on, all over again and again. I inherited something that keeps fighting, and fighting, and fighting, again and again. Hopefully I can get this thing down to maintenance, to where it will not take much effort to keep this under control. Mike

  5. Mike Marca says:

    Hello again. I had to use 99% alcohol for 15 minutes on my eyebrows to kill the entrenched mites that accumulated within the last few weeks. I quess they dug very deep into the skin. That is why I use “Bestyet” in my mixture. I has a skin penetrant, but sometimes not enough, I guess. I am, though, controlling the situation without Ivermectin. Mike

  6. grace says:

    Mike can you please tell us or give links to the exact snoseal product you use (on your face this is ok?) and which best yet (small/large size?). you put these both on your face with no irritation?

    thanks

  7. Mike Marca says:

    Hello Grace. First, I want to say that I still have problems with demonex mites associated with Rosacea, but as of now I can control them to a certain degree. Normally I buy Snoseal from a shoe store, leather shop, or even a sports store. You can call them before you go there to see if they carry it. I have bought it on ebay. Snoseal is used for leather. It is made of beeswax and a petroleum product to soften it. I use it at night to keep the mite activity down. Nothing else that I have used works as good. None of the products that I use irritates my face with the right mixture. PineSol will burn my face if I use too much, and Treetea Oil will irritate my face some if I use too much. I just add a little more BestYet to the mixture to tone it down. BestYet has a 10% Cedar oil and a 90% penetrant to soak the mixture deep into the skin where it will reach the mites and drive them out, hopefully with my mixture. You can get BestYet at http://www.cedarcide.com or 1-800-842-1464. I bought a whole gallon of it, but you can just buy a few oz. of it to see how it works for you. They sell it in a spray that doesn’t cost too much. Just unscrew the top and pour it out. My formula is: 43% Teatree Oil, 40% BestYet, 5% Sublimed Sulfur, 5% Zinc Oxide, 5 % PineSol, 2% Lavender Oil. It doesn’t have to be exact. All of the rest of these ingredents can be bought on ebay. If the mites entrench themselves in an area where the mixture does not work as good as other times I take 91% alcohol (drug store) on some tissue paper and soak the area for 15 minutes. Any longer and it can lift up the skin! If the mites get into the eyes I mix up one teaspoon of Boric Acid to 4 ounces of boiling water, let it cool, and apply it to the eyes. It works. Also, I am now starting to use Ivermectin (RX) Stromectrol (in US)every six months. Stromectrol is “only” short lived, but it sure does feel good not to have them for a short while! My mixture also works on Rosacea. I really have not had any sores on my cheeks ever since I started using it, and my nose is good as well. I now have full hair on my eyebrows. The doctors do not have it together on this one. Good luck. Mike

  8. grace says:

    Dear Mike,

    thanks so much for your generous reply. I’ve seen 10 derms in the states and NON will prescribe the Ivermectin/Stromectol–how did you get it?

  9. Mike Marca says:

    Hello Grace. I received my RX prescription through my local doctor. I had to convince him for him to OK it. Mike

  10. Mike Marca says:

    Hello all. I found out something last night that really works for those times when we have an “extreme” rosacea outbreak. I don’t know if I should be telling you this since the regimen is very agressive! You see, I had one of those times where for some reason my rosacea desided to go berzerk, I mean like a rocket ship. My face swelled up, my face got very red, and I had pimples all over my face. Even my formula was not working well that day. So I decided to try something new and very agressive that I had never tried before. But I had to think up something before the mites turned those pimples into sores (at least that is what I believe happens). I tried just about everything out there, but there had to be something more. All of a sudden I came up with a brain storm! I never tried Nair hair removal. If it burns up hair it may well burn up mites. I had to be careful not to go crazy with it, because it is agressive and it will remove hair in places where I do not want hair removed. So I did it. I want to say first that it stinks. I tried a little area first, and waited for four minutes. I then washed it off. After that I appled 91% alcohol with boric acid mixed therein to the area. It burns. I mean it really burns! I then did it to the rest of my face. I did a five minute dance after applying the alcohol mixture, but then everything felt good, real good. When I got up in the morning my face was almost back to normal. I don’t advise this for anyone, but I will be aggressive for aggressive onslaughts. It is interesting to note that when I applied the nair I felt nothing, no bitting or movement of the mites. They just died!!! yea. Mike

  11. Mike Marca says:

    I did have a slight chemical burn, though. Mike

  12. ann says:

    Mike why don’t you just use ZZ cream, tea tree oil, Borax + peroxide or Permethrin, all well known and effective treatments, to kill demodex?

  13. Mike Marca says:

    I have tried all of those things. What I am doing is what works for me. Mike

  14. Cindy says:

    Hi there,

    I have been diagnosed by a dermatologist with servere rosacea. Im 36 years old, female, and never before 34 had any acne / skin problems at all. But the past 2 years of my life have been “hell”.

    I have deep red cheecks with red bumps as well as chin area and little on forehead. My right ear is also effected (dry/itchy). I have an extreme dry right eye most days of the week, although only from noon each day. My face is overall very very dry, flaky itchy and in the mornings quite red.

    I have tried so many things over the past two years, except for accutane altough I had the script in my hands, I just couldnt take something that is known to dry you out, and Im already sooo dry.

    Im tired of docters, homeopaths, optomologist etc experimenting on me.

    My journey begins now with all your advice from the previous posts (Ive read them all). Thank you all, especially Mike Marca.

    My one hiccup though is my location, South Africa. Most online sites do not want to ship this far, and PayPal is not supported at local banks yet. Amazon.com stopped all shipment to South Africa due to postal theft… sigh… Thus I need to find products that will work the same way for instance BestYet and SnoSeal from Mike’s recipe. This is not an easy task. But so far Ive got 100% Tea Tree Oil (will dilute). And will try with normal Vaseline for a start until I can get around my battle for products.

    I have fixed up my right ear I would say 99% with the use of a locally produced lip balm out of pure frustration. Ingredients is Oil of Eucalyptus, camphor, oil of thyme and oil of sassfras. Lip Balm is called Zam-Buk. I have triend this on my cheecks as well, and although it gives me slight relief from the itching and flakiness it doesnt do much for the bumps and redness unfortunately.

    Thank you all!
    Cindy

  15. Cindy says:

    One other bad symptom, loss of vision when dry eye sets in around noon each day. But vision will be fine in the morning. And only right eye.

    Cindy

  16. Janice says:

    I realized a few weeks ago that my loss of eyelashes and my dry eyes were the result of a mite infestation. I had taken a combined antibiotic protocol with Flagyl for something else. When I first started that, for about a week, I smelled bad. I had to change the sheets on my bed daily, or I would itch all night. At the time I didn’t know what caused this.

    I still take 3,000 mg of niacin some days to burst infected white blood cells (from the original intracellular infection). I get a miserable niacin flush that is worse on my face, shoulders, and neck, but not under my bra strap. I think the niacin is doing something to the mites. Does anyone have any ideas here?

    When I wake up in the night, I don’t turn on a light. I rinse my face with borax water, using my hands as eyecups. I got some melaleuca ericifolia, a milder tea tree oil, and use a Qtip to run it along my eyelids. I didn’t expect this, but I haven’t needed my reading glasses since beginning this.

    The past year my scalp was itchy, and at times I could feel the hair move. I have a red rash down my neck. I started using pyrithione shampoo. That stirs up little red bumps along my hairline.

    I take Pinesol and borax baths. Who would have thought that would be a beauty treatment? For my all-over moisturizer I use BestYet.

    Thanks for the great information.

  17. Janice says:

    Also, I have mild rosacea. I put a little green eyeshadow in my mineral foundation. I apply the powder with a cotton ball on my nose and chin. I don’t double dip the cotton ball. I hope with this treatment I will no longer need greenish makeup.

  18. grace says:

    Cindy have you tried antibiotics? (at least to get a grip on the problem)

    you could also try demodexsolutions ZZ Cream. it’s helped many

  19. Cindy says:

    Grace, I have been on antibiotics for 6 months yes. Didnt make any noticable difference. What did help was going for an IPL, but now 8 months since my last one I desparetly need another, so that will be something I need to do every 6 months or so for the rest of my life?

  20. Cindy says:

    Grace, sorry, also, I would love to try ZZ cream, but are unable to find an online site to purchase it from that will ship to South Africa and not use PayPal as method of purchase…

    any ideas on how I could get my hands on ZZ cream anyone?

  21. Wistar says:

    I would not bother with ZZ cream, it irritates and dries the skin and is not effective enough.

    In my experience the most effective medication is Ivermectin 1% (used about once every 3-4 weeks) combined with Benzyl Benzoate 25% (used daily). I like Ivermectin and BB because they do not cause redness or make the skin dry. Not only do you clear very quickly, but you have nice normal skin too.

    Another treatment I find very effective is ultraviolet light. Strong summer sun works the best. A UV face tanning lamp is a reasonable backup.

    If you want to tell the difference between someone with rosacea and someone with papulopustular rosacea (demodex folliculitis)? Put them in the sun. Rosacea sufferers go red and worsen, papulopustular rosacea sufferers love it and improve == Two different diseases.

  22. grace says:

    Wistar,

    After trying the ZZ cream i completely agree–tho’ glad i tried, at least. tell me where do you get the
    Benzyl Benzoate 25% ?

    thank you.

  23. Cindy says:

    I have started my own mix of a treatment, based on all the comments above:

    I have mixed Tea Tree Oil 100% with C-Ester serum. My mix is not too drying and applies easily without any burning sensation. This I apply every night, leave it on for 10min and then cover it with a locally made Daiper Cream which is made up of Vaseline, Water and Zinc Oxide. (This makes me look like a ghost, but it feels very calming on my skin.)

    I have only done this twice now, so its still early days. Maybe I so desperatly want to see this working… but I think I can already see a difference. Especialy re all the little red bumps on my cheeks and chin, they seem a lot less this morning. Just one new big and red pastule on my forehead since yesterday.

    I have also applied the TTO and C mix this morning, and covered it with my normal foundation from Dermalogica.

    Tomorrow I have an IPL session, have booked this about 3 months ago. I am actually sad about this now, as I would have loved to see the affect of the TTO first, now it will be a combination of the two.

    I am also treating myself starting today with Apple Cider Vinegar, a little mixed with water before every meal. Ive “Googled” it, and it just seems like a very good idea for over all health and mostly for me a good ph balance and healthy intestinal bacteria.

    I will try to get some Ivermectin from a pharmacy near our home, else if it needs to be on a prescription, it will have to wait for my next Homeopath appointment in July.

    Thanks to everybody out there sharing their stories. It really feels like I have been handed a life line again.

  24. Mike Marca says:

    Injested oils! Injested oils! Injested oils! I have just found out something that is helping me out considerabily! I noticed it first with frying in olive oil a pound of salmon fillet, and I saw it again days ago when I increased my intake of micro-wave popcorn. What I noticed was an extreme flash-up of Rosacea and demonex mites. On this second flare-up from oils I observed scabs that were impregnated with oils. It is my conclusion now that my body excretes excess oils to my skin, and that it is these oils that produce the bacteria and food that the mites feed upon as well as conditions favorable for more extreme Rosacea. I just stopped eating mocrowave popcorn and have noticed a decrease in both Demonex and Rosacea. I also remember that I started eating micro-wave popcorn around the time my wife and I divorced. That was also the time I started having extreme conditions of Rosacea and started having problems with demonex mites (of which I had isolated in my microscope). Also, years ago my doctor put me on O-Mega fish oil pills. I had problems with this oil as well. I am going to start cutting down my intake of oils (especially palm oil). I will still take my formula which works for me, and put SnoSeal on my face at night. Hopefully, this will take care of my condition before my wife of now comes over here to the US from the Philippines.

  25. Mike Marca says:

    Hello again. I must add that I will also use Ivermectin Rx (also called Stromectol) every six months. To get mites out of my eyes when it does happen I use 1 teaspoon Boric Acid to 4 ounces of water. I apply the solution with an eyeglass. My topical mixture can be found in these comments at #289. I use SnoSeal, which is a sticky beeswax mixture, on my face at night to keep the mite activity down when I sleep. If you cannot get SnoSeal try using lipbalm or something sticky like it. Hopefully now I will have this condition under control. Mike

  26. Roger Goerke says:

    It has been a long time since I posted but I have some rather surprising discoveries to share and am right now feeling the best I have felt in a year!
    1) the mites burrow under the first layer of skin leaving ridges that are visible, very similar to the way the ants build ant holes. (A little salt at the openings can be very effective).
    2) Windex kills them (ala My Big Fat Greek Wedding) Gus was on to something. I have been adding a little to my Epsom salt baths with very positive results.
    3) Xin fumanling creme!! I think this may be the best thing ever but I have not tried everything yet. It is a little pricey, but I think it is worth the cost at twice the price. This creme has surpassed Ivermectum in it’s mite killing effectiveness and it doesn’t smell bad or require a prescription!!

  27. grace says:

    Roger do you bathe in the windex?

    have you tried the ZZ cream? it helped me more than any rx. not a cure but certainly a good product. one must find their own “method” of using it though. and stick with it.

  28. JO says:

    Has anyone with Rosasea been tested for any type of Lupus?
    I have 5 family members that have been diagnosed with Rosacea with broken veins, redness and tiny bumps on face.
    One sister was diagnosed with Lupus and I have Lupus Anticoagulants in my blood. The other 3 refuse to be tested as they say they don’t won’t to know.
    I am the only one that has acne like outbreaks but only on the lower sides of my face. My chin has the tiny, tiny bumps on the skin and is covered with broken veins but no broken veins or tiny bumps any other place.
    My brother had Rosacea with the red nose which was getting larger, with very heavy broken veins all over his nose and when he had a heart attack and was put on medication he no longer has the redness or broken veins and his skin and nose are normal.
    Anyone know why our case is different than most people on this site?

  29. grace says:

    what medication did your brother go on? please share!
    it might help others here (and myself).

    i tested negative for lupus but have many lupus symptoms. it can take years for a positive ANA test though, which means little in my book if one is suffering from many lupus related diseases regardless.

  30. DavidM says:

    Hello all. I’m new to this site, and am particularly interested in the demodex theory. I hope the reason for this will become clear as I tell my story…..

    I’m 29. As a teenager I suffered with moderate acne (severe enough to require several courses of antibiotics), which often centred on my nose, causing the huge red spots/pustules/papules that would come back to haunt me so terribly years later….

    As for many people, my teenage symptoms eased with the passing of time. Although I never had perfect skin and was prone to occasional breakouts, through my late teens & early-mid twenties acne did not play a significant role in my life. How blissful those days were with hindsight!

    Then at 26, all of a sudden, literally overnight, I had major skin problems again. Just as when I was a teenager, it was centred on my nose – huge, terrible, sore red spots, pustules and papules, one after another, just days apart. At first I hoped it was a temporary problem – no such luck! To cut a long story short, it’s been three years of misery so far! I’ve taken several courses of doxycycline with some limited success, but it’s far from a full solution, and the doctors I’ve spoken to can’t seem to offer anything any more effective – there’s no way to get rid of it. I won’t elaborate too much on the depression it has caused me as I’m sure any fellow sufferer will be all too familiar with the problems, but in brief I split up with my long term partner and have felt too handicapped by this skin condition to consider finding another. The ‘hopeless’ nature of the problem has even led me to consider taking my own life – I hasten to add that I have never come close to attempting this, nor do I intend to, but the thought has occurred on numerous occasions.

    Currently, I’m diagnosed with a mixture of adult acne vulgaris, and acne rosacea, but it’s the rosacea (the terrible reddening of my nose) that is by far the bigger issue to me psychologically. I’ve never suffered with the ‘flushing’ associated with rosacea, just the spots and more recently thread veins, which are only adding to the problem. On a bad day, which can be often, my nose looks so hideous I won’t leave the house. Most other days I require some amount of ‘concealer’ make-up in order to feel able to go out.

    Anyway, back to this topic! I discovered this website, and the demodex theory, which immediately interested me. I looked into ways of eliminating the mites from my skin, but was disappointed to find that the options were quite limited – only a few substances are known to kill demodex, some of them not feasible options for use due to toxicity.

    Now to backtrack a little. When the problem first started, I racked my brain to think of what might have triggered it off – it started up so suddenly I figured there MUST have been a cause. I cut certain things out of my diet, but nothing had more than limited success. I always had a gut feeling that the fact that I had given up smoking (a ten year, 40 a day habit) was somehow involved. I gave up just a few months before my skin problems started up. I know that sounds a little crazy, and I had no basis for believing that except for this wierd gut feeling. I even considered starting up smoking again just to see! But I never did!

    The link came when I found reference to the substances that can kill demodex – one of them was benzene. The same benzene that was present in the smoke of all of those cigarettes I consumed for years – years in which I had no issues with acne rosacea. Is it just a co-incidence that, just a few months after I stopped smoking, and exposing myself to benzene, these symptoms flared? Now, of course I hope it goes without saying, I’m not suggesting smoking or benzene to anyone as a solution! What I’m doing is highlighting the fact that my problems started shortly after I stopped my exposure to a substance proven to kill demodex mites. I know that this is only circumstantial evidence, but to me it reinforces the theory of demodex involvement in my condition. I’d love to hear any comments or advice that anybody could offer.

  31. Shannon says:

    David M,

    You can try Ivermectin paste – 1.87% rubbed on your face. The first time I tried it, I had immediate relief from my ocular symptoms. I kept it up and then phased it out. Then I had another bad eye flare up and ivermectin did nothing. I figured it must not be the mites for me. I went to Super Supplements and bought raw organic honey. I rubbed it all over my eyes making sure to get it into the lashes and margins. I also started washing my face twice to 3 times a day with the honey. No other soaps. I keep putting honey on my eyes and sleeping with it on my eye. I rub it into the rosacea areas of my face and leave it on for a couple hours then rinse it off. My eyes cleared up in 2 days and my face is gradually looking better and better. I also eat a teaspoon or 2 of the honey. Some people swear by manuka honey but I have had good luck with Garden of Life’s raw honey. I recently found a good website called Dancing Bee Acres and they have a combo product I just ordered with raw honey, bee pollen, propinol and royal jelly. All are supposed to be wonderful immunity boosters as well as some sort of natural antibiotics. I also put on an oil of oregano cream called Oreganol that I noticed later has honey in it as well as many soothing ingredients. But be careful, it can sting badly if you are flaring or sensitive. But after the pain subsides, it feels really good.

    I would not try a bunch at once. Start with washing with honey and the honey mask. Then add oil of oregano cream. You can also buy oregano pills by the same manufacturer. Also, make sure you use a sunscreen with no chemicals and that has a high zinc level.

    Good luck.

  32. Mike Marca says:

    Hello David M. At times I have demonex mites get into my eyes. What works for me is a mixture put into the eyes consisting of one teaspoon Boric Acid into four ounces of boiling water (let cool to lukewarm before applying). Hey guys, I found something that works better at night for me on my face! I first put down ZZ cream, and then I put SnoSeal over on top of it. During the day I use my other mixture (#289 this page). I have been putting off using Ivermectin (Rx), because this is working well for now. Actually, since ZZ cream costs so much I mix up my own batch. I found out the ingredents and cooked up some. It works the same. I now have enough to last for many many years. ZZ cream doesn’t work so well otherwise for me (just at night under SnoSeal (especially for the eyebrows). Mike

  33. Grace says:

    Tamara, how are you doing now? what products are you using?

    and Marc what is the exact sno-seal product you use?

    I would like to try the snoseal over the ZZ cream but (given what i’ve read of the ingredients) not sure the sno-seal is safe (unless you use the protech cream?)

    thank you both,

    Grace

  34. Grace says:

    Tamara, how are you doing now? what products are you using?

    and Mike what is the exact sno-seal product you use?

    I would like to try the snoseal over the ZZ cream but (given what i’ve read of the ingredients) not sure the sno-seal is safe (unless you use the protech cream?)

    thank you both,

    Grace

  35. DavidM says:

    Since my last post I’ve seen another dermatologist. He looked at me as if I was mental when I talked about demodex….!

    He refused to prescribe me Ivermectin, but he did very reluctantly give me topical permethrin. I haven’t yet used it, as I’m cautious about reacting to it – I’m fearful of making my skin worse with a reaction rather than better. He made it clear that his number one recommendation for me was roaccutane, something else which has potential downsides that scare me.

    Can anyone share their experience of topical permethrin, including any reactions? Or roaccutane for that matter?

    Also, does ‘UK ANON’ still use this site? I was very interested in your posts from this time last year. I also live in the UK, and have been using the same teatree ointment that you spoke of – I’d love to here how you’re doing now.

    Best wishes to everyone here. This is an absolute b*stard of a condition, it’s been life changing for me, and obviously not in a positive way! Any sufferer has my sympathy.

  36. alexandra says:

    do yourself a favor and try the ZZ Cream by Demodexsolutions. Give it 3 months and don’t stop no matter what. Also read the site’s forums to learn how others have used successfully (what they moisturize with, etc).

    I don’t think you’ll be sorry. just don’t quit if it gets bad awhile first. not a cure but helps.

    that’s all i’ll say about it.

  37. Maureen says:

    Hi Janice,
    I have heard from some of my neighbors who use niacin for their Cholesterol, but I think he uses the non-flush form which is niacinamide. Also read that high doeses of niacin can damage your liver.
    Be careful.
    ~Maureen

  38. Maureen says:

    Hi David,
    Your story is amazing. Smoking is harmful to us all but how weird is that relationship with Benzene in regards to Rosacea.
    Thanks for sharing your story
    Maureen

  39. Janice says:

    Thanks, Maureen, I’ll be careful. I was taking the high dose niacin on the advice of my doctor for another problem. I would hope a much lower dose of niacin would be effective against mites.

  40. Dex says:

    I think I was one of the first to realize that I was infected by mites n the summer of 2004.

    I saw a picture and knew right away this was my problem.

    Six years or continual treatment has been very positive.

    I think, with my method, I kill them on mass with a full assault and then paid a price for them dying in my skin.

    Anyway, it depends on how long you have had them and what damage have they caused.

    Just previous to my sudden outbreak I looked pretty normal, although my face and hair were changing.

    Anyway I lot of dead mite and shit has to come out if they have been there long. I was 38 when I found out and had been probably had them since I was a kid.

    All my old scars really flared and a tone of shit came out.

    Bottom line:

    I no long itch, anywhere,

    I no longer has red, runny, watery eyes full of grit (know what the sandman is?),

    my face has thinned, I have my cheekbones back,

    I have a much thicker and fuller beard. After the dead mites came out it really filled in.

    my eyelashes don’t fall out all the time,

    my hair is growing back (slowly but it is).

    So I say kill em’

    Use whatever you can, but know it will be a long time to see good improvement. I struggled for years and only in the past year can I really see the very end of the recovery (remember: the worse you are the more you can recover).

    I now use seabuckthorn soap and a tea tree oil creme overnight. SBT oil does work, all you have to do is try it when you are bad with itch (leave for a full 2 minutes and gently scrub with a defoliator) and you can feel that the itch is gone. I will be back when the next ones pop out to mate, but it did kill some.

    Anyway, that’s my story.

    Dex

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