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Posted on Sep 23, 2012 in Blepharitis | 0 comments

Can Demodex Folliculorum Affect Eyelashes and Eyebrows, Causing Blepharitis and Loss of Eyelashes

To determine what the impact of the mite Demodex in the eyelashes of healthy individuals, a recent study selected a control group of 105 people from 20 to 90 years, of both sexes, with no signs or symptoms of blepharitis. The patient group consisted of 20 people who (over a period of 6 months) were diagnosed with chronic blepharitis with an evolution longer than 6 months, according to medical history and ophthalmic examination under slit lamp. In these patients they studied the population of Demodex mites of the genus present in your eyelashes.

To determine the presence of these mites in both patients and controls, they were extracted in 10 frames per individual, 5 of each eye alternating between upper and lower eyelid. Once extracted, the tabs were introduced in small tubes with saline. In the laboratory, with a wet saline set up, they made a count of the mites population, under microscopic observation at 100 and 400 increases (zoom). When the index of mites / tab (a / p) in a patient was equal to or greater than 0.5, this was interpreted as an overpopulation of mites. The identification of different mites was made on the basis of their morphological characteristics. In other words, they made some poor scientists count the mites and then identify them by their shape.

Patients presenting with blepharitis overpopulation of mites were treated as follows:

Eyelid and eyelash cleaning with solution-based lid hygiene 1.5% boric acid, sodium borate 0.3%, disodium EDTA 0.1% to 2% polysorbate, propylene glycol 1.9% (Cilclar ® Novartis), twice a day. With an application of ether on the lid margins once a week. Ointment with mercury oxide ointment 2% prepared with Vaseline / lanolin every day at night the first two weeks, and every other day four weeks to decrease or disappearance of mites and symptoms. The application of ether once a week in some patients continued up to 2 months after application of the ointment of yellow oxide of mercury. To test the efficacy of treatment choice were examined tabs once concluded.

Patients with blepharitis who had no overpopulation of mites were prescribed various treatments according to their particular clinical picture. Patients were scheduled at 2, 4 and 6 weeks to assess the progress of treatment and potential adverse effects and 6 months to assess their overall clinical picture.

Their statistical analysis showed that the indices of mites per eyelash from patients and controls were analyzed with the Wilcoxon test. It was considered a significant difference if p less than 0.05. The results were thus: The control group was formed with 62 women and 43 men, which examined a total of 941 lashes with an average of 9 tabs per person. This difference between the observed number of lashes and was removed because the recovery of the tabs of saline was 90%.

Demodex folliculorum was found in only 18% of control subjects, with an average of 0.08 a / p. Demodex brevis was not found in any member of this group. In 82% of this group found no mite. Women had a higher rate of infestation tab (0.12) than men (0.03) did but the observed difference was not statistically significant (p = 0.674). The number of parasites was higher in people with diabetes and oily skin. There were no significant differences with respect to age in this group (p = 0.125) although the rate was higher in people over 70 years (0.38).

Patients (9 women and 11 men) had symptoms of blepharitis from a minimum of 6 months to a maximum of 28 years with a mean duration of symptoms of 8.4 years. In 75% of patients with chronic blepharitis found Demodex in eyelashes and the incidence was 0.69 a / p. In men with an average age of 62 years, the rate was 0.53 a/p in women with a mean age of 56 years, the rate was 0.89 a / p. Between men and women did not show a significant difference (p = 0.438).

When comparing the rate of infection of patients with blepharitis with that observed in the control group of similar age, they observed a statistically significant difference (p = 0.006) between both groups.

Demodex folliculorum was found in all stages of development being the most common adult stage. Demodex brevis was only found in the adult form, in one patient with chronic blepharitis. When mites are overpopulation of these are often forming a cluster within the hair follicle.

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