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Demodex folliculorum: its association with oily skin surface rather than rosacea lesions.

Int J Dermatol. 2014 Jun 5;

Authors: Porta Guardia CA

Abstract
BACKGROUND: Despite the predilection of Demodex folliculorum (DF) for human sebum, observational studies addressing a relationship between this agent and rosacea paid no attention to the effect of a potentially acting confounder, the oily nature of the skin.
OBJECTIVES: To analyze whether a relationship exists between the presence of the mite in rosacea and oily cutis.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: An observational study on 63 rosacea cases and 61 healthy controls, both discriminated according to their predominance of oily or dry cutis, was carried out to investigate demodectic density by the skin surface biopsy.
RESULTS: While comparisons on the density of DF revealed no differences between patients and controls (Mann-Whitney U-test, P = 0.35), persons with an oily cutis had increased amounts of this mite on the skin surface (Mann-Whitney U-test, P < 0.05), irrespective of whether they had rosacea or not.
CONCLUSIONS: The association between DF and oily skin rather than rosacea lesions gives no support for this agent being implied in disease pathogenesis.

PMID: 24898344 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24898344?dopt=Abstract = URL to article

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The study concluded:
"The association between DF and oily skin rather than rosacea lesions gives no support for this agent being implied in disease pathogenesis."

Why this is interesting is that for years, it has been reported that rosacea patients have a higher demodex density count than those without rosacea. However, there have been no real studies that prove this.

The recent study was trying to determine "whether a relationship exists between the presence of the mite in rosacea and oily cutis." RESULTS: "While comparisons on the density of DF revealed no differences between patients and controls (Mann-Whitney U-test, P = 0.35), persons with an oily cutis had increased amounts of this mite on the skin surface (Mann-Whitney U-test, P < 0.05), irrespective of whether they had rosacea or not."

What this paper shows is that we need more data on this subject. Especially we need more rosacea patients obtaining demodex density counts to compare the results with the general population demodex density count. There really are not any papers published on this. It may be possible that the demodex density count may have no relationship with a rosacea flareup. It may be possible that a normal demodex density count is found in many rosacea patients. And if it is true that a higher demodex density count is found in rosacea patients there should be proof to confirm the higher numbers that are proposed. And what is a normal demodex density count on average in the general population that has no rosacea signs/symptoms?

Since this subject is one of the more researched papers published in the rosacea field, hopefully more papers will give us information on this.

For more clinical papers on demodex and rosacea click here.

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