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Thread: Cheap and easy home test for Demodex

  1. #1
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    Default Cheap and easy home test for Demodex

    I've had a lot of experience with this. In the end I found an easy low cost way to test for Demodex, as most doctors won't have a clue what you are on about. In my own experience a mixture of tea tree and macadamia nut oil were the only things that had a big impact to kill them off. I was still finding lots of my face when using permethrin. I've been meaning to put a guide online, along with videos of the many demodex I found on my face, but never seem to get around to it. So I'll give you a quick guide below:

    WARNING: Seeing mites you've just pulled out of your face might freak you right out! Always start with low concentrations of tea tree oil otherwise it'll do more harm than good!

    1. Get yourself a USB microscope off eBay. They advertise as 20x-800x zoom, come from China and cost very little.
    2. Get yourself a peel off face mask. I'm guessing any one will do really, but I've only ever used "Himalaya Herbals Almond And Cucumber Peel-Off Mask".
    3. Have a play with the camera, get used to how it zooms and focusing on things.
    4. Apply mask.
    5. Peel off mask when ready, and place onto a flat surface skin side up.
    6. Hop from spot to spot with the camera adjusting the zoom and looking for any movement.
    7. Freak out.
    8. Calm down.
    9. Apply dilute (less than 1/8th) tea trea oil to whole head and face and leave overnight (ONLY after you've done a proper two day spot test! You may react!)
    10. Test again, they are probably all dead now and you wont find any live ones.
    11. Exfoliate regularly and keep using the peel as the dead ones are sat at the bottom of your pores, waiting to decay. If you are lucky you'll just get a few spots. If you are unlucky you could end up with folliculitis.
    12. Realise that their eggs are fine and hatching each day, and that you'll need to repeat steps 4-11 for a month or so before the situation is really under control.
    13. Realise that it's inevitable that you'll catch them again so look out for signs and scan the peels.
    14. Appreciate that your face is now not as red, you get less spots, and less spots spread.


    HM

  2. #2
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    Here is my video:


    Taken with a skin usb microscope.

    Can you post a link to the microscope you got?

    I"m also interested if you can upload a video or photo.
    (You can upload a photo to http://postimage.org/ if you reach forum image size limits.)

    In my case, I have to search thoroughly to find a single mite. But maybe your mask peel off method is more accurate.

  3. #3
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    Default Demodex home test video

    I've uploaded a video:


    Enjoy!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tso View Post
    In my case, I have to search thoroughly to find a single mite. But maybe your mask peel off method is more accurate.
    Glad I'm not the only person who's been playing with these microscopes!

    The demodex only really come out in any real numbers at night, so I can imagine finding them on the surface would take a long time and be very hard to see. I've never actually seen one looking directly at my skin surface.

    As you can see from my video, the mask pulled out the sebum from a blocked pore, and it had a family of demodex at the bottom. Quite possibly the main reason why it was blocked in the first place.

    Here is a live pair:


    Here some are clearly dead after treatment:

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    Quote Originally Posted by HunkeyMonkey View Post
    Glad I'm not the only person who's been playing with these microscopes!

    The demodex only really come out in any real numbers at night, so I can imagine finding them on the surface would take a long time and be very hard to see. I've never actually seen one looking directly at my skin surface.

    As you can see from my video, the mask pulled out the sebum from a blocked pore, and it had a family of demodex at the bottom. Quite possibly the main reason why it was blocked in the first place.
    ]
    Woah crazy! I've plucked my eyebrow hairs and looked at them under a microscope. They all had the gunky white stuff that looks exactly like the one in the bottom video.

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    Quote Originally Posted by canucks View Post
    Woah crazy! I've plucked my eyebrow hairs and looked at them under a microscope. They all had the gunky white stuff that looks exactly like the one in the bottom video.
    Most of the bottom video is just sebum (main body). But if you look closely at the parts poking out, you can pretty much make out legs than match with the shapes of moving legs in the previous videos.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Tom Busby's Avatar
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    Wow, HunkeyMonkey, excellent video. I've never previously seen anyone publish, or even discuss, your technique of peel off mask plus video-microscope. Very creative!

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    The conventional approach is to squeeze some sebum from skin by applying gentle pressure for little while. Then put that on a slide. I would think that would be easier to work with since everything is in the same plane and the focus is constant. I used that approach with success, but used a conventional microscope. I would think working with something that has more of a 3D aspect would be difficult to set the focus, unless these USB microscopes have auto focus? In that case, maybe its a toss up. Then again, it seems like a lot more effort to do a mask than just squeeze out some sebum.

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    Tom, thanks. I regret sitting on this for so long. I first did it over 2 years ago.

    wiry, I've done squeezing out some sebum before with a regular microscope. I found that harder to find the demodex as they tend to get mashed in with the sebum. Also, I didn't start using the peel off mask just for this. It's became a part of my routine as grainy wash off exfoliators were too abrasive for my skin and would make matters worse. The peel off masks not only unblock pores, but (for me at least) do it in a more gentle way. I usually see a noticeable reduction in redness soon after a peel off mask. Setting the focus takes a bit of practice, but it's not too difficult. Being able to directly look at your skin, as Tso has shown is also very useful.

    Tso, I forgot to answer your question. Mine looks like this:
    http://thumbs.ebaystatic.com/images/...c8l/s-l225.jpg

  10. #10
    Senior Member Tom Busby's Avatar
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    Do you think you could distinguish demodex folliculorum from demodex brevis? DF is about 3-4 tenths of a mm, and DB is about 1-2 tenths of a mm.

    DF lives in the follicles, with it's tail pointed out, and I'm guessing that is what you have in your videos. DB lives deep in the sebaceous gland, and I suspect would be much more difficult to pull out DB with a mask. In spite of the difficulties, this would be an interesting project.

    Have you tried a stain to color demodex, (but not the background)? You might google confocal scanning microscopy, to see how researchers stain demodex.

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