If you wonder if you have Demodex mites infection or are seeking a precise explanation of how the Demodex test performs, this article is probably what you need. After a short introduction about Demodex parasites and the issues they can develop, this article thoroughly discusses the methods to diagnose these pests.
About Demodex Mite and Its Symptoms
Demodex is a kind of skin mite that resides mostly near all mammals’ pilosebaceous units. To date, scientists have recognized 65 species, among which D.folliculorum and D.Brevis are the only types that can live on humans. They constantly move between the skin’s surface and its deep layers. Demodex parasites creep with eight segmented legs located in the front part of their bodies, spread through the skin’s tiny holes, and fit deep into the follicles and oil glands. These mites tend to avoid the sunlight, spend most of the day under the skin, and only climb to the skin surface when you are sleeping.
Although mild Demodex infection usually stays asymptomatic, they may be the main culprit in worsening skin issues when they increase in number. The symptoms typically reveal when more than five mites exist per square centimetre of your skin.
Demodex mites can exacerbate, mimic or even start the following health issues:
Diagnosis of Demodex Mites on the Skin
Because they are only 0.1 – 0.4 mm in length, finding and counting Demodex parasites is impossible with the naked eye. That’s why scientists have developed indirect techniques to track down and count them on the surface. Sampling and evaluating parasites under a lens is the typical method that many dermatology clinics use. On the other hand, there is an online test that investigates the severity of the symptoms and the mites’ growth aiding elements using a questionnaire.
Each of these techniques (microscopic Demodex diagnostic test and online test) has its advantages and disadvantages, which we will discuss.
Demodex Microscopic Tests
There are two techniques to evaluate Demodex mites infection under a lens:
Standardized Skin Surface Biopsy (SSSB)
SSSD is the gold standard method for determining Demodex infection, which is conducted in the following stages:
- Clients are advised not to wash the affected zone for at least 12 hours.
- The practitioner draws a surface area of 1 cm2 on a glass slide with a waterproof pen.
- Then puts a drop of cyanoacrylate adhesive on the glass inside the 1 cm2 area.
- In the next step, they place the adhesive holding surface is to the affected area of the skin.
- Then removes it gently after allowing it to dry (about 1 min).
- After removing the side, the practitioner clarifies the sample using a drop of immersion oil and then covers it with a coverslip.
- In the last step, Demodex parasites are counted under a microscope with a magnification of × 40, × 100.
Direct Microscopic Examination (DME)
DME is another functional microscopic examination to detect Demodex on the skin:
- The operator places a drop of paraffin on the slide and another drop on the client’s skin. (Potassium hydroxide may be employed on the slide instead.)
- Then spreads paraffin on the skin surface to prevent the collected sample from slipping.
- The operator squeezes an area of 1 cm2 of problem skin between the thumb and index finger.
- Then, fresh secretions of sebaceous glands are collected from skin scrapings using the blunt end of a clean scalpel.
- The operator transmits the sample to a clean slide, mixes it with a drop of glycerine, and then covers it with a coverslip.
- Demodex parasites are counted under a microscope with a magnification of × 40, × 100.
Your doctor diagnoses Demodex infection in both microscopic techniques if parasites exceed 5 per square centimeter.
Demodex Online Quiz
Demodex Online Diagnostic Test is a questionnaire that contains several multiple-choice questions. These inquiries track down the Demodex infestations as well as the factors that help these mites grow. For instance, itching, rosacea, blepharitis, and dermatitis are Demodex mites infection manifestations that the online quiz assesses. Moreover, things such as weak immunity, advanced age, poor state-of-mind, etc., greatly affect the Demodex mites’ density. By analysing all these factors and assigning different weights to each answer, this quiz explores the people’s status in terms of Demodex infection. It provides the results in four tiers instantly after completing the test. The green light, which shows the low population of Demodex, is the most favourable state, while yellow, red and purple lights show moderate, high and very high-density of Demodex mites, respectively. People with a high Demodex population should control the mites population as soon as possible.
PROCUTiN, a unique product of OZiDEX, is specifically manufactured to solve the Demodex-related skin concerns, and moreover, can prevent them. People with a medium density of mites would better prevent Demodex from increasing by applying a small amount of PROCUTiN once a week.
Microscopic Test vs. Demodex Online Diagnostic Test
Although counting Demodex mites under a lens sounds ultimately practical and convincing, the Demodex microscopic test has its drawbacks, like other types of procedures. Some of the microscopic test challenges are as follows:
- Requires great precision; the results may vary depending on technician skill.
- Results vary based on light changes over the day.
- The result of the microscopic test can change in different types of skin (Oily skins carry more Demodex on the surface while in dry kinds, Demodex mites tend to hide in depth.)
In contrast, online testing does not have the shortcomings of microscopic testing, but it may seem unreliable because it is not based on observation. However, our studies in recent years have revealed that online testing accurately estimates the density of Demodex. This test is available anywhere in the world for free and helps all those who suffer from skin problems to evaluate their Demodex mite’s density.
Comparison of the two techniques for measurement of the density of Demodex folliculorum: standardized skin surface biopsy and direct microscopic examination
Demodex Mite Density Determinations by Standardized Skin Surface Biopsy and Direct Microscopic Examination and Their Relations with Clinical Types and Distribution Patterns