Tag Archives: face

How Clean is “Clean?”

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What tiny creatures lurk on your face? Even your cleanly washed face?

Demodex Mites!

According to Lucy Jones with BBC, “They are microscopic mites, eight-legged creatures rather like spiders. Almost every human being has them. They spend their entire lives on our faces, where they eat, mate and finally die.”

Want to see more pics? I thought you might. Here are the arthropods:

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Cute little guys, eh? (shiver!)

These mites live in your pores, hair follicles, and sebaceous glands. What’s even more exciting to learn is that they also may live in out genital areas and on our breasts. I’ll never feel clean again.

There are about two mites per eyelash on your lovely eyes. Want to see another pic? I knew you would.

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So, what do these crab-like critters actually “do?”

Ms. Jones suggests, “Some people think they eat the bacteria that are associated with the skin . . . Some think they eat the dead skin cells. Some think they’re eating the oil from the sebaceous gland.”

Nice, any one of these gives me the creeps but it’s nature. It’s our miraculous bodies.

How do the mites reproduce? We aren’t sure of that, either. Other types of mites even resort to cannibalism but it’s not been shown in the Demodex.

Lucy Jones also states, “They’ve never been known to eat one another,” says Thoemmes. “It appears that they come out at night to mate and then go back to their pores.”

Ugh.

The mites lay a few large eggs around the base of a pore – but these guys don’t “go to the bathroom.” They have no anuses. So, it’s thought that they save it all up in their bodies until they die or explode on our faces.

(Don’t you just love this blog?)

It has been stated that there is a link between Rosacea and the Demodex Mite. People with Rosacea have more mites per square centimeter than people without Rosacea. But rather than causing the skin condition, it’s thought that it’s not the Demodex who start the process but are merely present in skin that is of older adults or that has been exposed to extreme weather. Less oil means easier skin irritation.

See photo of a more severe case of Rosacea below:

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Demodex have also been shown to be more prevalent in people with compromised immune systems, as in AIDS or cancer patients.

Can you get rid of these mites? Would you want to? They actually may be eating bacteria and dead skin cells, which isn’t a negative. Even if you did rid your face of these, Jones says, “It looks as if there is something special on our faces that they need. Even if you kill them off, you’re going to get them again, because they’re everywhere and they want to be on your face.”

Our bodies are teeming with microorganisms. 90% of our cells are made up of them. So, Ms. Jones is accurate in saying, “There is a simple lesson here. You are not just you; you are a walking, talking community, an entire ecosystem held within one body.”

Now, how clean is “clean?”

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