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These Face Mites Really Grow on You | Deep Look

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 Biology   |   Environmental   |   Science
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Yep, you probably have Demodex mites living on your face. These tiny arachnids feast on sebum, the greasy oil in your pores. But should you be worried about your eight-legged guests?

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DEEP LOOK is a ultra-HD (4K) short video series created by KQED San Francisco and presented by PBS Digital Studios. See the unseen at the very edge of our visible world. Explore big scientific mysteries by going incredibly small.

Pretty much every adult human alive has a population of these mites living on them.

Also called eyelash mites, theyre too small to see with the naked eye. Theyre mostly transparent, and at about .3 millimeters long, it would take about five face adult mites laid end to end to stretch across the head of a pin.

Face mites spend their days face-down inside your hair follicles nestled up against the hair shaft.
They eat sebum, that greasy oil your skin makes to protect itself and keep it from drying out. Thats why the greasiest parts of your body like around the eyes, nose and mouth likely harbor a higher concentration of mites than other areas.

They live about two weeks. They spend most of their time tucked inside our pores. But while were sleeping, they crawl out onto the surface of our skin to mate before crawling back into our pores to lay their eggs. Fun!

--- How common are face mites?
Pretty much everyone has some face mites on them. Babies are born without them but quickly receive them from their parents through direct contact. The amount of mites may increase during puberty when the skin starts to produce more oil.

--- How do you get rid of face mites?
Theres usually no need to try to rid yourself of face mites as they typically dont cause any symptoms and are nearly impossible to fully eradicate. Since female face mites can also reproduce asexually, it only takes one mite to repopulate your skin. Some people experience an overpopulation of face mites resulting in an inflammatory disease called demodicosis which is easy to recognize sue to the many small evenly-sized pimples that appear quickly. Consult a dermatologist if you think you may have symptoms.

--- What do face mites eat?

Face mites consume the greasy oil that you skin produces to protect itself.

---+ Read the entire article on KQED

https://www.kqed.org/science/1941506/these-face-mites-really-grow-on-you

---+ More Great Deep Look episodes:
How Lice Turn Your Hair Into Their Jungle Gym | Deep Look
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yb26BBvAAWU&t=1s

How Ticks Dig In With a Mouth Full of Hooks | Deep Look
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_IoOJu2_FKE

---+ Shoutout!

Congratulations to jac lyn, Vanessa C u later, aspireme_95, mile Julien, and Nono Chan who correctly identified the part of this animal that is, well missing. Demodex lack an anus! Se the Community Tab post here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC-3SbfTPJsL8fJAPKiVqBLg/community?lb=UgwjkBkGKXBPBVHEJRh4AaABCQ

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---+ About KQED

KQED, an NPR and PBS affiliate in San Francisco, CA, serves Northern California and beyond with a public-supported alternative to commercial TV, Radio and web media.

Funding for Deep Look is provided in part by PBS Digital Studios. Deep Look is a project of KQED Science, which is also supported by the National Science Foundation, the Templeton Religion Trust, the Templeton World Charity Foundation, the S. D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation, the Dirk and Charlene Kabcenell Foundation, the Vadasz Family Foundation, the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, the Fuhs Family Foundation and the members of KQED.

#facemites #demodex #deeplook

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