How would you feel if you found out that at least 500 of these creatures were living on you right now?

How would you feel if you found out that at least 500 of these creatures were living on you right now?
This is a Demodex mite, also known as a 'face mite'. They're microscopic, elongated creatures which have eight short and stubby legs near their heads. The two species which live off humans live in slightly different places- the one in the picture, D. folliculorum, resides in pores and hair follicles, while the shorter, less elongated D. brevis prefers to settle deeper, borrowing down in your oily sebaceous glands. Compared with other parts of your body, your face has larger pores and more numerous sebaceous glands, which may explain why the mites tend to live there. But they can be found anywhere on the body, and also congregate around the genital area and one's areolas.

And I'm sorry to break it to you, but they're literally everywhere, on everyone. On average, people have around two mites per eyelash- between 500 and 1,000 per person. Those with immune deficiencies (such as HIV) and skin conditions (such as Rosascea) can routinely have ten to twenty times more mites living on them than this, hosting colonies of over 20,000 face mites. And it looks like we all pick up Demodex mites very early in life. It's suspected that they travel from mother to baby, perhaps through breast-feeding, or even at birth due to the Demodex mite populations which congregate in the genital area. So then, how do you feel, now you know that there are several hundred or even thousands of these things crawling around in your pores and glands right this moment?


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Most Helpful Girl

Most Helpful Guy

  • Well at least I'm not alone tonight😅

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What Girls Said 12

  • Sounds interesting! I did a face swab on blood agar, I had hemolytic microbes on me! :'c But we never isolated and cultured those colonies in class, so, I have no idea if it was a big deal or not. I still felt dirty though!

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  • I'm so very glad that my face is the home to hundreds of these beautiful creatures

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  • If I've lived with them this long enough without problems, I don't see what this new info is going to do for me.
    I'm not easily scared of mites. But thanks for the FAQ. I plan o use it to scare my little brother tonight while he sleeps.

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  • I am your god demodex. Do my bidding.

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  • I watched a documentary on this on the Discovery Channel with my mom and she was grossed out. She brings it up from time to time and makes icky faces thinking about it. I just think it's funny. It's kinda cute if you look at it the right way.

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  • it's kinda cute

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    • 3mo

      if I'm sad and alone at least I know I have little friends living in my sebaceous glands

  • Welp, thank you. My day is now ruined. o_o

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    • 3mo

      Aw, sorry. :( Still, at least they're not harmful. We think. Yet...

  • what if the baby was delivered via c-sec and was never breast fed or had any contact with an adult's face?

    what do these mites do for us?

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    • 3mo

      Well, then that baby might have a chance, but it'd still be almost impossible to avoid picking them up. We pick them up from people who we are in contact with, as well as from sheets, pillows, towels. There are therapies that kill Demodex mites, but we can't get rid of them forever- they rebound after about six weeks. As for what they do for us- that's the thing. No-one knows what sort of relationship we have with them, or has a clue as to what they eat. Do they clear dead skin off our faces, or eat harmful skin bacteria? If so, then they might even be beneficial for most of us. Who knows?

    • 3mo

      tea tree oil can rid you of them

      Tea tree oil has been proven to be one of the most effective natural remedies against Demodex mites, with survival time stretching no further than 15 minutes when pure tea tree oil is applied. Tea tree oil is also one of the best remedies for eliminating scabies mites.

      To utilize the healing properties of tea tree oil to your benefit (and the Demodex mites’ detriment), add a few drops of tea tree oil to a full bottle of shampoo or liquid soap and cleanse as usual.

  • Eh, I don't really care.

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  • Why would i care now? I can't see them... They've been on me forever... So like they're apart of my body basically... so idc and I already knew

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  • I'm not disturbed, everything looks monstrous up close.

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  • Well if they are, I haven't been bothered by them so far.

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What Guys Said 6

  • Indifferent because they do live their and its normal. You have a bacteria that lives only on your eyelashes and their are more bacterial cells in and on you then you actually have of your cells. So its not really all that weird to me.

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  • Nothing to worry about. Been living with them all my life.

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  • Good thing cuz they will eat away this fuckface!

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  • At least I know i'm not alone. I have about 500-1,000 mites that need me. ^_^

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  • are these good or bad?

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    • 3mo

      No-one's sure- no-one even knows for certain what it is that they feed on. It's likely to be both- it seems that they may clear dead skin off our faces and/or eat harmful skin bacteria, so it looks like they do us some good. But it also appears that they may be responsible for triggering the majority of acne cases as well, so it looks like they do us some bad too...

    • 3mo

      Some are good some are bad justo like peopls

  • They look cool. Maybe mine helped me through high school and prevented acne.
    I was like one of the only boys who had a great looking face and never acne. Thanks Domodex

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    • 3mo

      Unlikely. Those with the worst acne are generally those with the largest populations of Demodex mites- on average, those with acne have at least two and a half times as many face mites as those who don't have acne. Indeed, there are a fair few crackpot theories out there which postulate that higher rates of infestation by Demodex mites may be what triggers acne in the first place. Mite-infested skin shows increased inflammation, and there are more immune system “killer” cells around mite-infested follicles. And by increasing inflammation in the skin, this can trigger the acne formation process.

      Demodex mites can also carry bacteria, and there’s at least one study that suggests it’s the bacteria they carry that’s responsible for psoriasis in infested patients. There’s also another way the mites cause problems in the skin- they don’t poop, but simply eat until they pop, exploding their stomachs as they die. The skin then gets inflamed, reacting badly when exposed to the mess left behind.

    • 3mo

      Mine most have been more civilized and training to live in peace with my skin. Maybe I only had very small colony? I don't know

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