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Do I need to worry about spreading demodex mites?


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Kind of weird subject. Especially considering all people with rosacea seem to have demodex mites. Also considering a large percentage of the populace seem to have them. Of course they do not react like some do and it never becomes a problem. I strongly suspect I am suffering from a demodex mite infestation. My symptoms coincide with other testimonials. Also the pictures I've seen from medical papers do resemble my skin condition. Specifically the white "spikes" inside of pores. 

But here is my question

I will be staying with my out of state gf for an extended period. We will be sharing a bed etc. Do I need to be concerned in any way shape or form? The last thing I want to do is spread mites. And from what I've read something as simple as a hug can spread them. I am thinking about this like some sort of STD. And I'm not sure if that's a logical way to look at it. But again from what I've read it sure seems like one. Sexual contact was listed as one of the ways to spread it.. after a hug. Which I found to be strange. 

I am seeing my dermatologist on the 7th of this month. I will be hopefully starting soolantra and continuing with bactrim. I cannot take oracea. I found out in my teens that I am allergic to tetrocycline. So anything in the cycline family is a no go for me. Which is why I was put on bactrim (I hope I'm spelling that correctly). I am aware of the gold standard treatment. My dermatologist must be slightly out of touch. Because the first topical I was given is finacea. Which isn't doing anything for me.

Do I need to cancel this trip and warn my girlfriend? I am extremely embarrassed to tell her that I could quite possibly be covered in mites. But I would be willing to do the right thing obviously. She does know I have rosacea of course. But it just doesn't seem fair to not warn her. I know she would be really upset about me cancelling the trip. But I'd do it if it was necessary. 

Thanks in advance. If anyone is willing to answer or link me to a legitimate source of information. I would greatly appreciate it. So far I'm just finding articles that from sources I don't fully trust. This seems like a better place for this info than the search engine. 

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Yes I guess the mites can spread from the skin contact if the mites are in aggressive number on your face because as far as I know even on your face the mites will not stay at one place they tend to go from one place to another. normal skin also has demodex but in lower numbers but it has found the cause of rosacea with increased number of demodex.Don't cancel the trip. Better to consult dermatologist to find the better treatment for your rosacea.

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  • Root Admin

Just about everyone on planet earth has Demodex mites since they are part of the human microbiome. They usually pose no issues in most humans having a symbiotic relationship, but for some unknown reason in some people, the mites increase in number and are associated with rosacea. While it is true that mites can be spread by human contact, not to mention you can get mites from dogs, most contact poses no issues. Your skin also has many other microbes besides demodex, i.e., bacteria, archea, and fungi. When humans interact with each other skin contact is normal and basically no one worries about skin contact unless there is some skin disease that warrants no skin contact.  

In rosacea patients with high numbers of demodex folliculorum they become a parasite while demodex brevis is a saprophyte. 

There are no clinical papers studying whether or not a demodectic rosacea sufferer can spread this to another human, but without a doubt mites do travel to another human with skin contact so the probability is without a doubt possible. However, your girl friend may have a skin metabolism that is able to handle the demodex mites. For more information you may want to read this paper by the Russians on demodex as wells as, the update post on our understanding of demodex. For all our posts on demodectic rosacea click here

As for your contact with your girl friend, it would be prudent to let her know about all this and let her decide. 

One other point to correct is not all rosacea is demodectic. There are some who do not respond well to treatments aimed at eliminating demodex mites. In those cases these rosaceans may simply have one or more of the phenotypes of rosacea or another rosacea variant, or possibly a completely different skin disease (see this page on misdiagnosed rosacea).  

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Brady I read that dogs have a different type of mite on them. One that does not/can not live on human skin. Are you saying this is inaccurate? Or dated information? Could you please link me to some info. I cannot find anything about humans getting mites from dogs. 

Also should I be at all concerned about spreading mites to my dog? I realize I'm being a bit neurotic about all this. But I believe in being thorough.


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Quite right. There hasn't been any dog mites shown to be on human skin. Weird isn't it?  Yet, dog mites can travel on human skin. But for some reason we never find dog mites on human skin. I haven't really done any serious investigation on this because all the papers say humans only have demodex folliculorum and brevis mites. The dog mites are indeed different mites as you have pointed out.

We now have a post on this subject worth your consideration:

Can Demodex Mites Transfer From Pets to Humans?

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