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Are Demodex Mites Contagious?


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Image of Demodex Folliculorum courtesy of National Geographic - by Darlyne A. Murawski

Are Demodex Mites Contagious?
The consensus is yes. For example, under the subheading, Mode of Transmission, is this statement about an article on demodex: 

"The mites are transferred between hosts through contact of hair, eyebrows, and sebaceous glands on the nose." [1]

"Makeup cosmetics used by different individuals at short intervals (from several hours to several days) can be a source of transmission of Demodex sp. mites." [2]

While many 'authorities' state that mites are not transferred from pets to humans, this has been debunked. [3]

"Demodex is contracted and spread by either direct contact or dust containing eggs." [4]

"The mode of transmission of Demodex has been suggested to be from mother to child after birth. However, considering prevalence increases with age, it is possible some individuals acquire Demodex later through other skin contact." [5]

End Notes

[1]  Indian J Dermatol. 2014 Jan-Feb; 59(1): 60–66.
Human Demodex Mite: The Versatile Mite of Dermatological Importance
Parvaiz Anwar Rather and Iffat Hassan

[2] Acta Parasitol. 2021; 66(2): 631–637.
Shared Makeup Cosmetics as a Route of Demodex folliculorum Infections
Aleksandra Sędzikowska, Katarzyna Bartosik, Renata Przydatek-Tyrajska, Monika Dybicz

[3] Can Mites Transfer From Pets to Humans?

[4] Demodex infestation requires immediate, aggressive treatment by doctor, patient
Mario Gutierrez, OD, FAAO, Healio

[5] Journal of European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology [Full Text]
Demodex: a skin resident in man and his best friend
R. Foley, P. Kelly, S. Gatault, F. Powell

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