A small study in Russia recently examined the effects of different species of Demodex mites in rosacea. Researchers examined 212 patients in three groups: healthy controls, rosacea patients without mites, and rosacea patients with mites. They found that Demodex folliculorum mites were more commonly present in severe cases of papulopustular rosacea,while the other species that affects humans, Demodex brevis, was found to be more common on the skin of people with milder rosacea or healthy skin. In many of the severe rosacea cases, both mite species were found on the skin together. The researchers reported that they found evidence of parasitism in D folliculorum cases, but not in cases with D brevis alone.
The researchers also found that quality of life was significantly lower among rosacea patients with mites, and Demodex infestation increased the duration of symptoms and the probability of recurrence. The good news is that the investigators found topical ivermectin was an effective treatment.
Kubanov A, Gallyamova Y, Kravchenko A. Clinical picture, diagnosis and treatment of rosacea, complicated by Demodex mites. Dermatol Reports 2019 Mar 28;11(1):7675. doi: 10.4081/dr.2019.7675.