What Is the Human Demodex Parasite?


Quick Answer

The human demodex parasite is a mite that infests and lives near the hair follicles of mammals, as an article in the Indian Journal of Dermatology explains. An infestation of the parasite does not typically cause symptoms, but it can cause humans to develop an imbalance in the immune system, which can lead to other skin conditions and infections.

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Full Answer

The human demodex parasite is often invisible to the eye, but it is viewable under a microscope, according to an article in the Indian Journal of Dermatology. The elongated body is semi-transparent and consists of eight, short legs attached to the first segment of the mite's body. The body of a human demodex parasite consists of scales that enable the mites to anchor themselves in their host's hair follicles and eat skin cells, oils and hormones found in the hair.

Human demodex parasites commonly attach themselves to hair follicles, but a hosts can also find them on the nose, chin, forehead, neck, face and eye lashes, as reported in an article in the Indian Journal of Dermatology. Some people may have human demodex parasites embedded in a balding scalp, the eye brows, forehead, chest and cheeks. Less common areas of the body that these mites infest include the buttocks and the area around the genitals. An infestation can trigger inflammation in the affected area of the body.

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