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To investigate the frequency of demodex species in the external acoustic meatus in patients with an itchy ear canal.
Patients were assigned to one of three groups. Group one consisted of 54 patients with an itchy ear canal who were using a local agent, while group two was composed of 51 patients with an itchy ear canal who were not using a local agent. Group three consisted of 50 healthy individuals without an itchy ear canal.
Demodex species test results were positive in nine (5.8 per cent) of the cases. Six of these positive cases were in group one, two in group two and one in group three. The frequency of demodex species in the external acoustic meatus was similar between those patients with an itchy ear canal who did not use a local agent and the healthy individuals (p = 0.571), but it was significantly higher in those using a local steroid compared with those not using a local agent (p = 0.046).
Although demodex species was not significantly higher in patients with an itchy ear canal compared with the control group, use of a local steroid increased the parasite frequency in the external ear canal of affected patients.
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