Thursday, October 21, 2010

How to get rid of adult acne and rosacea (Demodex)

(last update on June 27, 2015; Since I travel a lot, I don't succeed to maintain neither treatment nor page as I'd like. I'm trying my best.)

On these pages I do not offer or sell any product and I do not promote any specific product as well. This site was created solely with intent to help. Since I'm not native speaker, please excuse my language difficulties; original (Czech) version here.

  1. Anamnesis
  3. Demodex
  4. Substances for killing Demodex
  5. Preparing medicine at home
  6. Stages of healing, progress
  7. Overview of substances used to kill Demodexes
  8. The real cause of having Demodex parasite
  9. Why you will not be helped by a doctor

1. Anamnesis
The acne I have had, unfortunately, was for many years. During adolescence, it missed me and found me after college and it annoyed me for about 10 years then. At first, I regularly attended a skin specialist for about 5 years, I have replaced several of them. Gradually I got dozens of drugs that cost thousands of dollars. Today I remember only a fraction: Zineryt, Eryfluid, Eclaran, Locacid, Roaccutane, Clotrimazol, Canesten, Skinoren, Aknefug, antibiotic pills. I remember even more, but I can not recall the names and I certainly forgot a lot. Objective improvement brought only Roaccutane, so you have also a picture that I suffered not from a mild form of acne. Roaccutane is incidentally a very expensive drug, over time my acne at some point came back, especially on face and possibly in the hardier form.

Another 5 years, I almost did not attend doctors because I had figured that their medication does not go anywhere. I began to try alternative treatment, eg herbs (aloe, thistle, mint, chamomile, burdock root, psylium, etc.), B complex, brewer's yeast, lecithin, vitamin C, tens of liver flushes, oil pulling, enemas, different diets, etc., etc. It was plenty big of approaches. Some of these methods had slightly improved my conditions.

In recent years I have struggled with acne especially in the face, including cysts. Mainly in the triangle from nose to chin, neck, around eyebrows.

More than a year ago, I had acquired MSM by reading this article. Previously, I could read that some of the victims expressed relief from symptoms if they applied aspirin mask. I've never tried it, but I prepared a solution of water with MSM and aspirin very roughly in ratio of 70:30:1 (nearly saturated solution). Both MSM and DMSO are similar substances, but much better is DMSO, which is also harder to get. The solution I prepare is always fresh, since I do not know how stable it is. Meanwhile, I bought niacinamide (niacin, nicotinamide, vitamin B3) and replaced it sometimes within the solution instead of aspirin, because both substances are known of ability to calm irritation. I'd applied 2 to 3 times a day and within weeks to months, I watched an objective improvement of acne, some areas had even cleared, which was success after years. I did use niacinamide also internally, because some cured acne by receiving it.

3. Demodex
MSM/DMSO and aspirin (green tea as well) have ability to soothe irritated/red skin, thereby greatly accelerating healing. I intensified research and moved much further with treatment. I have stumbled upon information that almost in all cases, acne and rosacea is caused by tiny mites Demodex. Its relatives cause mange in dogs. In humans usually two kinds of this parasites occure: one dwells in the sebaceous and the other in the sweat glands in the skin. It is transparent and can not be seen by naked eye, perhaps at a magnification using very strong magnifying glass (10x or more). During daylight they usually do not move. As a result of their moving one could feel crawling, tingling and sometimes even minor stinging or a feeling of burying into skin. They can cause loosing hair, eyebrow hair, eyelashes, and various skin diseases, by far not solely acne or rosacea.

Demodex according to
Demodex under microscope. Top-left look at whole mite, right three of them nesting in a hair follicle. They can also cause anterior blepharitis along the eyelash base (bottom picture). You will not be able to see Demodex by naked eye. Sources:,

Demodex according to

Demodex podle zdroje
Picture above suggests that eradicating Demodex may be matter of months rather than days. It is very difficult to get rid of parasites just because they are parasites. Study of Demodex shows, that to kill a demodex is hard even in vitro.

Skin is being composed of several layers: according to part of the body outside layer called epidermis is up to 1.5 mm thick, inside layer called dermis (containing sweat and sebaceous glands) is up to 3 mm thick. That means demodex can commonly live up to 4.5 mm under the skin surface. Rarely mites may be found in internal organs, lymph nodes and subcutaneous tissues.

4. Substances for killing Demodex
At first I ignored this information as a fairy tale, but then I met Demodex story again when I also saw a statement that it is being destroyed by sulfur. Such note interested me because MSM/DMSO is a substance rich in sulfur. I also revealed that the destruction of Demodex is commonly done using borax (sodium borate available rather in form of decahydrate), and niacinamide (or nicotinic acid) is also effective. Suddenly I began to engage fragments from multiple information sources.

MSM/DMSO also has such an ability of being a penetrant and carrier. That means penetrant improves permeation through cells therefore using penetrant you can inject effective substances eg. niacinamide, borax, or acetylsalicylic acid (aspirin) into skin. You are expected to dilute a bit DMSO to a concentration of 80 % to avoid risk of blistering on contact. Other penetrants are used: apple cider vinegar (ACV; must be diluted for an applications on the face to 1 to 2 percent concentration), hydrogen peroxide (must be diluted to a concentration of about 1 %). Another substance that is rich in sulfur and beneficial effects on the skin were also described is epsom salt (magnesium sulphate) and also soap with ichthyol (ichtamol, tar soap or sulfur soap). Readily available oil-based penetrants (for oily substances) should be jojoba oil or lard.

5. Preparing medicine at home
Leaving to absorb, not washing away:
  1. Water + epsom salt + MSM + niacinamide/aspirin + borax: roughly in ratio of 65:20:15:1:2 (eventually without niacinamide for solution significantly calming irritated skin). DMSO instead of MSM should be prefered.
  2. Borax solution + sulfur/tar soap + cream with zinc oxide. First apply the cream, then made foam using soap and borax solution. The result is a layer which has an ability to penetrate and is not visible after it dries.
  3. Green tea + aspirin, ratio about 100:1.
  4. Cold cream, explained in dedicated article.
  5. On your hairs/head: sulfur soap + borax solution.

If you try any solution, first test outside of your face. I'm trying to use near saturated solution, because when saturated, small crystals emerge on the skin which are being absorbed too long. The second recipe is more powerfull and leads to ceasing oil from the skin quite fast (within days to weeks) while the first recipe is rather maintaining and keeps Demodex under control and also helps healing. Beware it is not a purpose to overdry your skin, use with care! Note: while the peroxide directly results into the nice appearance of skin, it is also a strong oxidizer and skin is being abraded: use hydrogen peroxide at a concentration of the resulting solution not exceeding peroxide at about 1-2 %.

6. Stages of healing, progress
If I'm to evaluate the effects of the treatments summarized in item 1 above, after about a month I was able to reduce acne to 20 %, a result completely out of expectation, and comparable only to Roaccutane. Initially, skin became rough temporarily as a result of borax. The skin is not oily now. I suspect that oily skin is a consequence of Demodexes presence, in other words it is a symptom (and reinforcement feedback). Not the cause of acne as we are repeated by doctors.

Since after several months I still could not say I'm finally healed, I left medicine 1 above and introduced medicine according to point 2, now it is around 3 months. The second recipe has been shown to be much more efficient: there are more improvements within my face. Can not say acne is over, but areas where it resists are being smaller and smaller, there are less breakouts and acne has spread to another (not treated) locations. Namely to shoulders and backs. This event ensured me that I am on the right track. After I wash my hairs, I also always apply solution 5, so Demodex can not find new home on my scalp.

So last 2 or 3 months I've applied medicine 2 also on back and shoulders and can already see diminishing acne on newly affected parts. Demodexes either die en masse or they decided to find new homes inside my body. I've concluded from the fact that sometimes my underarms' lymph nodes are being swollen. Disadvantage of method described as recipe 2 is frequent usage of sulfur soap causes skin to become overdried; highly unfavourable especially on face. So I introduced cold cream, mentioned as entry 3 above, into my regime.

Do not expect you will be clean of acne in a week or in a month. Some patients indicate that initially (even up to several months) there was a worsening of acne symptoms (breakout) through the treatment, connected to high volumes of dead Demodexes and multiplication of bacteria associated with them. Such events are considered to be unavoidable and are part of healing process. I myself did not notice such event, but I can not say that there was solely improving. In the case of an escalation of symptoms, treatment can be lead less intensive, but it is needed to be continued; deterioration is a sign that the treatment works. Another proof the treatment works is acne spreads to new locations. That is because Demodexes retreat from battle zone.

Here is a brief photo documentation during the first month of treatment using solutions with MSM. The first picture comes from a time when acne has already improved, mainly thanks to MSM/aspirin/nicotinamide cure. Red isles can be seen but almost whole area within triangle was red before.

August 9, 2010
August 18, 2010
September 5, 2010
September 7, 2010

Therapy should be maintained for several months after symptoms disappear because of Demodexes' eggs lied anywhere. It lasts 3 to 5 days to hatch and another week to become adult, so they can lay new eggs then. They live several weeks. During the day they are resting in their homes and crawl out through the night. It is difficult to attack them in daylight and effective hit must rely on the penetrants' ability. Without penetrant effective component remains on the skin surface or within the upper layer and Demodex laughs to you.

7. Overview of substances used to kill Demodexes
The list serves to complete text above:
  • 50% to 100% tea tree oil liquidates Demodex in a few minutes, but is very aggressive especially for face skin care, therefore, use with caution. Avoid applying near your eyes, it damages cornea. Like TTO, other essential oils are effective as well: methyl salicylate (wintergreen), eucalyptus, menthol, camphor. These can be bought as pain relievers. I found best to apply them on wet skin and put a cover over for best benefit.

  • Green tea contains antioxidants able to soothe skin irritation. Applying green tea lowers amount of sebum produced. You can prepare strong solution either by boiling green tea leaves or leaving leaves in not boiled water for longer time. Avoid flavored or decaffeinated green tea since further manufacturing process destroys benefit of the tea. Antioxidants found in green tea are unstable (turning the color of tea to brown in several hours) and very unstable outside of solution. Prepare fresh if possible. Use solution with aspirin: aspirin is beneficial as well and improves stability of polyphenols since it creates acidic environment.

  • Other product that I personally had not tried, but conforming to references it is probably by far the most effective medicine against Demodex: ivermectin. This should be the oral administration, but it can be hard to acquire. The vets are having packages in the form of oily substances for external use to treat dogs/cats. Furthermore, the vets also have paste for horses for internal use (1.87%). Look well to any other active substance in the paste. The batch size is stated on the tube, it is expected at most 1 to 2 times a week dosage in several weeks (not permanently) will get rid you of the Demodex and some other parasites. The drug is very effective, which suggests that it is also toxic.

  • Also look for sea-buckthorn oil.

  • Zinc oxide is toxic for Demodex. Many cheap baby skin products are rich in this substance.

  • All parts of neem tree have calming effect on skin. Bark, leaves (only fresh according to my experience), ... For effective acne treatment you can use neem tree oil, also soap containing neem tree oil is accessible. The oil stinks similar to garlic/onion.

  • Do not drink borax solution unless you know well what are you doing. Some guides recommend drinking solution of borax so boron travels through bloodstream and reaches the Demodex from the other side. Although the use of small doses is harmless or beneficial, the excess can cause even irreversible damage eg. infertility or kidney atrophy. The safe level is very individual and is around 1,000 mg of borax per day in case of long term intake.

  • If you do not care too much about expenses, you can also use for your good internally MSM (500-5,000 mg daily) or niacinamide (100-1,000 mg daily). Some types/derivatives of vitamin B3 can cause temporary flushing of the skin (niacin flush) and hence it is good to start at smaller doses, many people rid themselves of acne only using niacinamide. You can also digest epsom salt, but I'm not sure whether with some benefit.

  • Among other supplements natural vitamin A is recommended in quantities of 3-20 thousand IU per day (Roacuttane is a derivative of vitamin A). Vitamin A is probably the only vitamin that is toxic in large doses. It has the ability to accumulate in the body and so its income/cessation is reflected in range of days or even weeks. If you get very dry skin/lips/eyes you've already exceeded a reasonable dosage.

  • Vitamin E is usually sold synthetic (dl-alpha tocopherol), which makes little beneficial effect. Search only for vitamin E derived from natural sources (d-alpha tocopherol) in quantities of 100 to 500 mg every other day.

  • As for vitamin C, in the past I have taken large doses, but I do not believe that synthetic vitamin C is something useful, I found not an independent study to confirm benefits of synthetized vitamin C, nor I did not see objective effects on myself. Studies have shown that the effects of synthetic vitamin C are at a level of placebo.

8. The real cause of having Demodex parasite
I would like to mention that the treatment described does not affect root cause, which is very difficult to find. Still the question remains, why the body does not cope with the parasite Demodex itself or what is the cause creating a suitable environment for the parasite. It has a deeper reason in our body, probably in the gastrointestinal tract or within liver. Can be caused by lack of sleep, H. pylori, gluten intolerance, food allergies, candida, intestinal parasites, leaky gut, thyroid (iodine, selenium), hormones, etc. Most of diseases come from the intestines. Liver is one of the most important organs, has a lot of functions involved in metabolism, break down toxins and hormones and is thus part of the immune system. Under adverse circumstances, liver can not cope with everything and toxins/hormones travel throughout the body and penetrate through pores of the skin, among other things, creating an environment wishing to various parasites. Therefore, there are so many disparate reports of the ways in which the disease was cured. I recommend at least once a year to do liver flush and enema.

Move to the low-glycemic index food. That means: reduce fast sugars (cakes, sugar, white flour, white and soft rice, potatoes, beer, softdrinks) and add more whole grain flour, whole grain rice, beans, proteins (meet, eggs), raw vegetables and fat. In general, the more is food processed and soft, the faster it is being absorbed withing intestines and that leads to abundant peaks in blood sugar, which the body has difficulties to cope with.

Parasites in our intestines are much more common than we generally admit. As for myself I can say that when tried to get rid of potential parasites I found in the toilet at least 2 completely different types. Parasites are the individual stories, in brief: candida, various worms and flukes are not only taking nutrients, but also leaving us their toxic secretions, which the body must eliminate. These parasites can break the wall of the intestine, so it leaks into our organism something that should not, which is another significant burden on the immune system. Ie. around here may come overloading the immune system, which is then restrained by not dealing with Demodex. Restoring the intestinal wall can sometimes cure allergies, allergies to foods or gluten intolerance. Symptom of systematic candida is usually white patches on tongue. If tongue has only a coating which is more intense towards the back and with a little effort can be cleaned using a brush, so probably it is not candida. From some parasites milk kefir can be a help. I mean not pasteurized products, which are subsequently enriched by several bacteria. Kefir can be easily made by yourself at home, you can get kefir grains and (preferably raw) milk. Such kefir contains a much more beneficial bacteria and beneficial fungi compared to the best of Danone. If you leave kefir for several days at room temperature, bacteria metabolises lactose to lactic acid, kefir is more acidic, but tolerated also by persons allergic to dairy products.

9. Why you will not be helped by a doctor
Today I can say that I wish I had not attended a skin doctor and applied their drugs. Many of these creams or ointments contain strong oxidizing agents and free radicals wearing the skin. Eclaran containing benzoyl peroxide can be named. I got even oral antibiotics, which are medications that may indirectly cause acne.

Probably you wonder why, if this is the miracle cure for acne, it is not advised by doctors. Medical studies is one of the toughest. I can not imagine how much the student has to absorb and memorize. But what: students are given textbooks, learning procedures, diagnostics, drugs, names, etc. He is learning what he is requested to learn. Pharma industry is one of the most profitable ever. Of course it is, if in country like mine 20 % of all collected taxes are dedicated to health care system expenses, and consider how many drugs people buy also on their own. Patented drugs bring billions, often not because they are so great, but because the "free" health care is throwing them handfuls. How many of those great drugs you would buy, if you buy directly using your wallet?

Pharma industry is not interested to cure you. But they want you to heal, possibly against your will until they receive money from insurance/taxes. Some of the drugs cause other diseases or even syndromes. Notice how I get rid of acne: MSM, apple cider vinegar, vitamin B3, borax, tar soap, hydrogen peroxide, epsom salt. All are unpatented, readily available and inexpensive substances that can be made quite by anybody. Not one of them can make pharma industry rich. Although the East cures successfully acne by eliminating Demodex over 20 years, the West will need several more years before MDs at least will be aware of its existence. Doctors in general just look up the "official" answer in their books and prescribe. And because acne and
rosacea are not life threatening there is not a great incentive to do much beyond that.

Modern medicine often fails, or treats mere symptoms at huge expenses while alternative treatments are known. The level of corruption in health care is absolutely unimaginable. It is a narrow circle of people who have control over what to publish in scientific medical journals and what will doctors think. It has leaked how they routinely falsify tests of ineffective medications just to be able to sell them. And you can be absolutely sure that it is a mere tip of the iceberg. First, it is only about money. The doctors themselves would not be blamed, they do what they have learned in school and in many cases they are under self-censorship (I mean such as vaccines, which are among many doctors in resistance, but they do not dare to speak publicly, because it automatically puts their career into risk).

Before I got the information I have summarized in this article, I spent weeks researching the Internet and I've read thousands of articles and papers about acne. Because I wanted to cure myself. Do you think any of the doctors you have visited also did a very intensive research on acne?