A Decade After The Year of the Mite

This year marks a decade since my Year of the Mite. Although it certainly did not seem like it in 2009, I was one of the lucky ones: My infestation with Dermanyssus gallinae only lasted a year. Only a year of being bitten by things I could not see, up to three times a minute at the height of the infestation. Only a year of trying everything I could think of to reclaim my own skin. Many people with parasitic mites have suffered far longer, and many continue to suffer.

I am glad that the book brings solace to people dealing with parasitic mites, and helps them to feel less alone. Although I am neither a physician nor an entomologist, and anyone who uses my protocols does so at their own risk with no guarantees, I am glad that some people have found ideas that helped them. My methods were completely unscientific; out of desperation, I tried multiple remedies at a time, so looking back it is not possible to say exactly how effective any one treatment was.

While some people have reached out to me for advice, I only know what worked for me at the time, with the particular mites I had. All I can offer is anecdotal, and all of that is captured in the book.

While a few folks have found it helpful to show the book to an open-minded physician, The Year of the Mite did not turn the tide in any meaningful way regarding the opinions of professionals in the field. That will require a different approach than a scientific memoir. It will require challenging professionals to approach this problem scientifically, with open minds. How do they know what they think they know, and what it would take to find out more? I have ideas about how to begin that process, but that work will not be under the pseudonym I used for this book.

After ten years I still have the same piece of advice that I offered when I had mites: Own the problem. While there are some scientific advocates for people with parasitic mites, such as Dr. Olivier Sparagano in the UK, such professionals are currently rare. And so it is essential to learn everything you can about this condition. The more you learn about mites, how they behave, what conditions support and do not support their growth, the better able you will be to manage your own recovery. Until attitudes change, until there is more research, people with mites must be their own best advocates. Wishing all the best to everyone affected by this condition.

How Researchers Find Symbiotic Mite DNA on our Faces
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About Jane

Jane Ishka is a biotechnology professional living in Berkeley, California. Her work is typically read by FDA reviewers, who have approved everything from prostate cancer assays to an implantable glucose monitor based on her regulatory filings. She plays the steel drum and is a collage artist.