Demodex Mites and Demodicosis

  • Gerd Plewig
  • Bodo Melnik
  • WenChieh Chen


Human skin provides a favorable habitat for the growth of bacteria, yeasts, and mites. These are mostly commensals; they nourish themselves on and flourish in hair follicles, but curiously not within sweat glands and their acrosyringa, where the secretion of IgA into the acrosyringium and the constitutive expression of antimicrobial peptides like dermcidin may provide protective effect. A certain kind of mutualistic interaction between human Demodex mites and humans is likely based on the speculation that Demodex mites may play a scavenger role by removing excess sebum products and proteins or by feeding on the P. acnes that inhabit the same sebaceous follicles. Our skin may be likened to a botanical and zoological garden, supporting a diversity of species.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gerd Plewig
    • 1
  • Bodo Melnik
    • 2
  • WenChieh Chen
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Dermatology and AllergyLudwig-Maximilian-University MunichMunichGermany
  2. 2.Department of Dermatology, Environmental Medicine and Health TheoryUniversity of OsnabrückOsnabrückGermany
  3. 3.Department of Dermatology and AllergyTechnical University of MunichMunichGermany

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