Bacteria-laden mites may cause rosacea

September 5, 2012

Bacteria carried by mites on the skin may be the cause of rosacea, according to results of a new study.

Galway, Ireland - Bacteria carried by mites on the skin may be the cause of rosacea, according to results of a new study.

If the new theory is true, it could fundamentally change the way clinicians treat the condition, researchers noted.

Investigators with University of Medical Sciences, Poznan, Poland, and the National University of Ireland, Maynooth, presented evidence supporting the theory that bacteria living in the Demodex folliculorum mite, which is found in 20 to 80 percent of humans, could be the cause of rosacea. The mite lives near facial hair follicles and is usually harmless.

According to the study, rosacea patients harbor more of the mites than people without the condition. In addition, Bacillus oleronius, bacteria that has been isolated from a Demodex mite from a patient with papulopustular rosacea, is known to be sensitive to the antibiotics used to treat the disease. And Staphylococcus epidermidis has been isolated from pustules of rosacea patients, but not from unaffected skin, leading researchers to believe it may be transported around the face by mites.

The study was published in the August issue of Journal of Medical Microbiology.

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