Metabolic Syndrome Increases Demodex folliculorum Mite Infestation

Facial mite
Facial mite
The association between patients who have metabolic syndrome and presence of Demodex folliculorum was investigated.

Metabolic syndrome is associated with an increased risk for Demodex folliculorum mite infestation on the skin, a risk that is possibly caused by immunological disturbances associated with impaired glucose tolerance, study findings published in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology suggests.

A total of 50 patients with metabolic syndrome (age, 40.8±6.3 years) and 50 healthy control participants without metabolic syndrome (age, 39.6±8.6 years) were included in this case-control study. The National Cholesterol Education Program Adult Treatment Panel III criteria were used to diagnose metabolic syndrome. Variables required for a metabolic syndrome classification included high waist circumference, increased triglycerides, decreased high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, increased blood pressure, and increased fasting glucose.

A standardized skin surface biopsy identified the presence of D folliculorum, with infestation defined as the presence of ≥1 mite/cm2.

Patients with metabolic syndrome had higher glucose levels compared with control participants (110±30.6 vs 90±74 mg/dL, respectively; P =.000). In participants with metabolic syndrome, there was a positive association between the number of mites and glucose concentration (r = 0.57, P =.00).

Each increase in the glucose level resulted in an increase in the concentration of D folliculorum of 0.190 (95% CI, 0.110-0.271; P =.00, t = 4.746, B = 0.190, r = 0.57, Durbin-Watson = 1.801). No association was found between the quantity of D folliculorum and body mass index, triglycerides, HDL cholesterol, or systolic and diastolic blood pressure.

Based on these findings, the investigators of this study suggest that the regulation of blood glucose “can be considered in the treatment of D folliculorum mite infestation with metabolic syndrome.”


Toka Özer T, Akyürek Ö, Durmaz S. Association between Demodex folliculorum and metabolic syndrome. Published online October 5, 2020. J Cosmet Dermatol. doi:10.1111/jocd.13721