Know Your Face Mites

Know Your Face Mites

I self-isolated last week to make sure I didn’t catch COVID on my recent trip to Portugal. It was good. I work, write, eat, watch trash TV. It’s getting a bit boring, to be honest. But it’s definitely not loneliness, now that I’ve learned that I’m never alone – I have dust mites – especially Follicular demodex-live on my face, and guess what? You also! I will never be alone again! Hooray!

Michelle Starr of ScienceAlert.com has the whole story. Here is a fascinating and rather horrifying excerpt:

Most people on Earth are habitats for dust mites, which spend the majority of their brief lives buried headfirst in our hair follicles, mostly on the face. In fact, humans are the only habitat of Demodex folliculorum. They are born on us, they feed on us, they mate on us and they die on us.

Their entire life cycle revolves around chewing up dead skin cells before kicking in the tiny bucket.

In other words, these mites gradually merge with our body so that they now live permanently in us.

D. folliculorum is actually a fascinating little creature. Human skin detritus is its only food source, and it spends the majority of its two-week lifespan foraging for it.

Individuals only emerge at night, under the cover of darkness, to crawl laboriously slowly over the skin to find a mate and hopefully mate before returning to the safe darkness of a follicle.

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