One of our most popular blog post’s in 2017 was ‘Why Tea Tree Oil won’t kill Demodex populations in humans.’ and consistently get asked this question from those seeking out their own research on Demdeox overpopulations. This post is a deep-dive into this topic.
Before we dive into this issue let’s take a brief look into the microscopic parasite that is Demodex mites.
What role do Demodex mites play?
An overpopulation of Demodex is one of the most challenging problems that people may be faced with, and not even know about it. Dermatologists, GP’s, ophthalmologists, optometrists and other healthcare professionals may not be equipped with the right information when faced in the routine care of their patients.
Having these Demodex mites can be a bothersome problem in itself, let alone when combines with other factors such as bacteria. Bacteria can contribute to symptoms of Demodex mites such as blepharitis, rosacea and acne. Blepharitis makes the eyes become red, irritated, painful, and crusty debris builds up on the eyes. Rosacea and acne can be inflammatory responses to bacteria released by decomposing Demodex under the skin.
A common treatment that we have found to be prescribed for these conditions are antibiotics, however bacteria inside a mite may not be vulnerable to antibiotics as they are protected by the exterior of the mite and only be released after the Demadex liquifies inside the follicle. Many other symptoms that are listed here and outline the main consequences of the existence of these mites.
Life cycle and life span of Demodex
The typical Demodex life cycle is usually 2 to 3 weeks. A female Demodex mite lays 15 to 20 eggs inside the hair follicle near the sebaceous glands. The eggs develop into larvae, which eventually become an adult eight-legged mite, the total lifespan of a Demodex mite is several weeks.
The adult male Demodex mite will leave the follicle in search of a mate, while the adult female mite remains in the follicle. The mites are capable of walking approximately 8-10cm/h and tend to be more active in the dark or absence of UV light.
Early morning itching and irritation is common with these mites because of their aversion to UV light, most commonly exposed to the sun. They come out at night and mate, lay their eggs and then crawl back into the follicle.
those experiencing a high-population of mites may have up to 25 in one follicle alone which can in some cases cause the patient to itch or feel ‘crawling’ sensations, especially at night. What makes the diagnosis of Demodex difficult is that some patients will have a lot of symptoms and others only a few. The most accurate way we have found to test mites is not a microscopic scraping (although helpful) but the online quiz which is fast and convenient.
So, we return to question of why tea tree oil won’t kill Demodex populations in humans?
Well, because of the nature of where Demodex mites live (deep under the skin), Tea Tree Oil alone is not enough to ensure the full elimination of Demodex mites populations on human skin.
To eliminate Demodex mites fully, skin needs to be treated for a minimum of 3-4 months. This is because mites lay their eggs deep under the follicles, and it is crucial to treat for the correct amount of time and ensure all generations have been targeted so that the infestation is in fact, gone.
Tea Tree Oil is effective in theory, but when put into practice it is too harsh on skin and hair to have the desired effect for the long-term use that is needed to eliminate the mites. This also applies to other topical products such as other Essential Oils, rubbing alcohol and other ‘home remedies’.
Anyone going through this and trying to figure it out for themselves have probably found this
“Fire will kill a cockroach, but you wouldn’t set your house alight to eliminate an infestation from your home. “
Exaggeration aside, this is comparative to the effect that Tea Tree Oil has on the skin and/or hair. Even if you manage to kill the few adults on the surface (remember, they spend most of their time tucked up under your skin at any one time) there are still more ready to come, crawling out and wreak havoc on your skin again the next night.
In the long run, Tea Tree Oil can cause damage to the skin, and prove to be more harmful than helpful. Although it is not ineffective at killing mites, it is not enough alone to get to the root of the whole population.
So if tea tree oil can’t solve my Demodex issues, how can we fight these parasites?!
That’s where we come in. Ungex exists because of this lack of awareness in the role Demodex play in the health of our skin and the lack of effective treatment for curing Demodex mites on humans.
Ungex’s products and protocol were invented by our dedicated research and development team to not only have the right blend of herbal based ingredients to help kill mites, but they are also kind to your skin for the duration of treatment.
It’s not only the right product you need for killing the mites, but the right method of use as well as other lifestyle tips and tricks to make your skin a hostile place for them. We touched on an example of this in an earlier post here is that some products can actually feed mites instead of killing them.
For example, if you dilute tea tree oil with another oil or cream (as many home remedies recommend), not only may it not adequately kill the mites but instead feed them further nutrients and waste your time and heartache on the trial and error of things successfully helping ease your condition.
Ungex helps to provide the correct product and framework for you to get the support to ensure you are well on your way to becoming Demodex free. Wondering if we can help your suspected mite condition? Drop us a line, we put a high focus on education and would be more than happy to chat directly and see if we are right for you.
What do you think, have you tried TTO on Demodex, what were your results? Leave a comment below, we would love to hear your experience!