Last updated: 26 July 2012
Essentially, demodicosis is caused by an immune system disorder. Please realise that even people with healthy immune systems harbour demodex mites in their eye areas, particularly the eyelashes, eyelids, and eyebrows.
So the first and most important thing you should do as soon as possible is to see your doctor to arrange for immune system tests so you can find out what’s wrong and how to fix it. Because at present, a normally functioning immune system is the single BEST way we have to prevent systemic reinfestation from ocular areas after you’ve cleared the demodex mites from the rest of your body.
However, we now have additional strategies and information that will help to prevent reinfestation and assist your immune system to recover.
At present, virtually all the remedies offered here use mustard (for topical use only), or borax (either in water for internal use or in hydrogren peroxide for topical use). So that you can better understand the problems (and the solutions), you need to know how these treatments work:
Mustard (topical only)
This kills mites on contact. So any Demodex folliculorum or Demodex brevis present on the surface of your skin, or Demodex folliculorum protruding from hair follicles, will die. Demodex brevis are more difficult to kill because they live deeper in the skin inside sebaceous and other glands and don’t emerge to the skin surface as often as Demodex folliculorum. However, over time, consistent and daily applications of Toni’s mustard preparations will eventually be absorbed into the skin and penetrate down to them.
How it works: if you apply excess mustard to your skin, you will blister and burn, leaving scabs that take quite a while to heal. So while mustard may also work chemically, we believe its main mode of action is mechanical - that is, small amounts which won’t harm you will essentially burn these physically delicate mites to death. This is something they can never adapt to or evolve to cope with, unlike pesticides such as Permethrin, Ivermectin, or Malathion.
This takes somewhat longer to kill and involves a two-pronged approach - mite reproduction and digestion.
How it works: first, borax in your bloodstream prevents the mites from laying eggs. Second, when mites ingest borax, it prevents them from properly digesting food. It does this by killing a fungus they carry in their gut which they require for proper digestion. Consequently, it kills ALL mites, even those in the ocular regions. However, since demodex are carried by virtually everyone, you will inevitably pick them up again through normal human contact.
Borax in 1% hydrogen peroxide
This treatment also delivers borax into the bloodstream.
How it works: exactly as outlined above. Additionally, when combined with hydrogen peroxide, borax will help to kill any of the mites’ digestive fungus that has transferred into your bloodstream. Hydrogen peroxide also has a drying effect on demodex eggs. So this remedy kills all mites, but also carries the caveat about inevitable reinfestation from others.
To enable it to work most efficiently, it’s a good idea to help boost your circulation and capillary flow by taking a daily Vitamin E supplement. However, since the treatment needs to be done several times a day, each time followed by an oil application, it may prove too onerous for the disabled, the elderly, and the infirm. (It certainly does for me).
The Immune System Question: Ted’s Answers
Problem 1: the most important problem is that, when present in the bloodstream, the mites’ digestive fungus directly attacks the human immune system.
Solution: Add 1-2 capfuls (1/2-1 tablespoons) of 3% food-grade hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) to every litre (34 US or 35 UK fluid ounces) of water you drink. DON’T use pharmacy or store grade H2O2 because it contains harmful shelf-life stabilisers and preservatives. You must supplement this using MSM for total fungal eradication (MSM is used “off-label” here mainly for its high sulphur content).
Note 1: distilled water is highly recommended for this because the H2O2 reacts with minerals in tap, bottled, or purified water to lose most of its effectiveness.
Note 2: the web is filled with misinformation about the dangers of drinking only distilled water. The scientific truth is that there are no nutrients whatsoever in tap or mineral water, and the minerals they contain are inorganic (meaning they come from things that were never alive, like rocks). Inorganic minerals cannot be absorbed by human cells and either remain in the body like junk or are excreted. All the nutrients and minerals your body can successfully use come only from organic sources - in other words, food or organic supplements.
Personal note 1: since I suffer from osteopososis, I drink only distilled water to eliminate the fluoride and chlorine that can interfere with bone-building.
Personal note 2: a zinc supplement will also help to normalise your immune system.
Problem 2: demodex infestation also elevates your blood sugar levels - this will acidify your body to provide a more comfortable environment for the mites.
Solution: take 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda (NOT baking powder - sodium bicarbonate is what you need) in half a glass of water 30 minutes after a meal twice a day. You will also need to reduce your carbohydrate intake.
1. If you’ve used the daily mustard body wash and dual mustard lotion application regimen, the best maintenance is simply to continue doing the daily mustard shower for all-over protection. This is what Toni herself does. Besides killing mites, mustard also acts as a powerful fungicide and bactericide. It will keep your skin healthy, supple, and soft. On a personal note, it’s the ONLY thing I’ve ever been able to use to shower daily because of my super-sensitive skin.
After research, Toni now recommends that you DO NOT USE MUSTARD AT ALL ON EYELIDS OR EYELASHES - AND ONLY SPARINGLY ON EYEBROWS - see 1(a) below.
1(a). I’ve written this elsewhere but it bears repeating here - when I do my own mustard shower, I leave my eyebrows and eye areas till last. I dip a finger in the mix, scrape off any excess drops until my finger is just dampened, then bend forward from the waist so any accidental drops or runoff will fall into the shower pan and not roll down into my eyes.
With my eyes closed, I massage this into my eyebrows well, using as many dampened fingerfuls as necessary to ensure full coverage. I then very carefully do the same with the UPPER PART of my eyelids only, staying well away from my eyelashes. I keep my eyes closed for five minutes, then turn on the shower again, turn my face up to the nozzle, and rinse it off thoroughly, still with my eyes closed.
Please note that I’m not recommending this - you do it entirely at your own risk. My own personal mustard wash mix is 1/4 teaspoon of mustard to two US fluid ounces of body wash - you may have to adjust your own mix to be able to try this safely.
2. For daily eye area maintenance only, you can use any over-the-counter eyewash that contains boric acid (recommended by both Toni and Ted). Toni has used this one with good results, but any of them should be fine as long as they contain boric acid. You can use a cotton bud to apply this to eyelids and to ensure thorough eyelash roots coverage.
3. To clean gunk and crusts from your lashes, or remove any mites that have fallen into your eyes, make a sudsy lather in your hands using a tearless shampoo, then bend forward to dip your eyes into both hands, and keep blinking into the bubbles for a few moments. This will also remove any mites that may be present on eyelashes and eyelids.
4. Petroleum jelly can be applied with a cotton bud to the roots of the eyelashes and even the eyelids and eyebrows before bed. This will trap any mites that may emerge during the night with ambitions to go travelling.
5. Always remember that while you’re asleep, your own hands can transport demodex mites from one part of your body to another. So until you’re 100% certain that you’ve got things fully under control, it’s a good idea to make your hands as inhospitable as possible by applying a lotion mixed with mustard (proportions as per the body lotion regimen) just before you get into bed.
But please remember to have your immune system tested if possible - not all doctors are ineffectual, and even the bad ones can be useful for stuff like this.
This page will be updated as and when I receive new information.
LATEST INFORMATION (26 July 2012): Because of the discovery that bioengineered organisms are present in a demodex infestation (almost identical to those found in Morgellons), ALL topical treatment users should augment by adding 16 drops of 35% FOOD-GRADE hydrogen peroxide to every gallon of DISTILLED drinking water. They should drink at least 4-5 pints of this through the day, preferably up to a gallon, and supplement it by taking MSM (used “off-label” for its very high sulphur content).
Now you’ll need to know how to get your hands on all this stuff.
Here’s some information that will help...