Science That Rosacea Skin Problem You Have - It Could Be Caused By Mite Poop

Published on August 30th, 2012 | by Steven Hodson


That Rosacea Skin Problem You Have – It Could Be Caused By Mite Poop

That Rosacea Skin Problem You Have - It Could Be Caused By Mite Poop

What a better way to end off your day than reading that headline eh, but the fact is that National University of Ireland researcher Kevin Kavanagh believes that usually harmless bugs, which are closely related to spiders, that live off of your facial oils may be the cause of a skin condition called Rosacea.

While these bugs are typically harmless in small numbers when they start reaching larger numbers and then die off they release their faeces within your pores.

From New Scientist’s Debora Mackenzie:

Tiny mites – eight-legged arachnids related to spiders – live in the pores of our facial skin. They are particularly fond of the hair follicles of eyebrows and eyelashes, and the oily pores most common on the nose, forehead and cheeks. Called Demodex, the mites eat sebum, or facial oil, and colonise your face at puberty.

They crawl about your face in the dark to mate, then crawl back into pores to lay their eggs and die. Healthy adults have around one or two mites per square centimetre of facial skin. People with rosacea, however, can have 10 times as many, says Kavanagh. Research suggests that the stress that causes flare-ups of rosacea changes the chemicals in sebum, making it better food for mites.

Demodex does not have an anus and therefore cannot get rid of its faeces. “Their abdomen just gets bigger and bigger, and when they die and decompose they release their faeces all at once in the pore,” says Kavanagh. When the mites are numerous, he believes that the material is enough to trigger an immune reaction, inflammation and tissue damage.

The things I have to suffer through in order to keep our faithful readers abreast of the important stuff in life.

Now if you’ll excuse me I have to go and be sick.

via io9 / image courtesy of Buzzfeed




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About the Author

Steven has been around the tech world long enough to see most of the stuff we think of cool happen before which leads to a certain bit of cynicism that has contributed to him being known as the cranky old fart of the Internet. Besides sharing some of the goodness that he finds with you here at 42x you can also find him curating some digital goodness at Winextra (tech type stuff) and Rotten Gumdrops (for your daily dose of WTF).

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