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The Mites That Eat, Crawl and Have Sex on Your Face
September 5, 2012 10:21 AM   Subscribe

Demodex mites are tiny arachnids that live in hair follicles on your face. Recent research in Ireland indicates that they may also be a major contributing factor to rosacea.

From the second link:

Demodex does not have an anus and therefore cannot get rid of its faeces. "Their abdomen just gets bigger and bigger, and when they die and decompose they release their faeces all at once in the pore," says Kavanagh. When the mites are numerous, he believes that the material is enough to trigger an immune reaction, inflammation and tissue damage.
posted by infinitywaltz (114 comments total) 34 users marked this as a favorite

 
"tiny bugs closely related to spiders living in the pores of your face" - I'm going to go scrub the skin off my face now.

Spiders! *IN* my face!
posted by needlegrrl at 10:25 AM on September 5, 2012 [8 favorites]


D:

TINY FACE COOTIES POOPING IN YOUR PORES

NO
posted by elizardbits at 10:26 AM on September 5, 2012 [19 favorites]


make it stop make it stop make it stop make it stop make it stop make it stop make it stop make it stop make it stop make it stop make it stop
posted by 0xFCAF at 10:26 AM on September 5, 2012 [22 favorites]


Well, at least they'll keep the bedbugs company.
posted by user92371 at 10:26 AM on September 5, 2012 [2 favorites]


Yeah this is one dude who will not have a beard anymore after I get home tonight.
posted by Drumhellz at 10:26 AM on September 5, 2012 [3 favorites]


So the solution is to dunk my face in a barrel of DEET, right?
posted by shakespeherian at 10:27 AM on September 5, 2012


Just gotta introduce bigger predators to keep the little arachnids in check
posted by vuron at 10:27 AM on September 5, 2012 [20 favorites]


i think cheese graters need to be involved somehow
posted by elizardbits at 10:27 AM on September 5, 2012 [4 favorites]


Are there any other anus-less species?
posted by Egg Shen at 10:29 AM on September 5, 2012 [3 favorites]


Demodex does not have an anus and therefore cannot get rid of its faeces. "Their abdomen just gets bigger and bigger, and when they die and decompose they release their faeces all at once in the pore," says Kavanagh.

That guy is full of shit.
posted by theodolite at 10:31 AM on September 5, 2012 [9 favorites]


So the solution is to dunk my face in a barrel of DEET, right?

There is a science fiction story where a new strain of mites starts eating live skin cells instead of just dead ones and as I recall that is, in fact, the solution.
posted by restless_nomad at 10:32 AM on September 5, 2012 [2 favorites]


Most of you is critters of some sort. You wouldn’t be here if you weren’t covered and filled with little animals.
posted by bongo_x at 10:32 AM on September 5, 2012 [8 favorites]


So the solution is to dunk my face in a barrel of DEET, right?

And your nether regions....
posted by RolandOfEld at 10:32 AM on September 5, 2012


The good will they engendered in me by using the interstitial headline "Say Hello To My Little Friend" was negated by the follow-up "A Mite-y Existence".
posted by Curious Artificer at 10:33 AM on September 5, 2012 [3 favorites]


Demodex has been found in the hairs of the ear canal, nipple, groin, chest, forearm, penis, and butt too.

everything is bad and nothing is good
posted by elizardbits at 10:34 AM on September 5, 2012 [16 favorites]


This is the terrifying world of the Demodex mite. And by “terrifying world”, I mean your face.

Yo mama!
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 10:35 AM on September 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


there have been links that i've not clicked harder than these, but not many.
posted by facetious at 10:35 AM on September 5, 2012 [23 favorites]


Are there any other anus-less species?

The adults of several kinds of insect lack mouthparts. I presume they also lack anuses. Apparently antlion larvae also lack an anus, instead expelling all of the accumulated waste near the end of their pupal stage.
posted by jedicus at 10:35 AM on September 5, 2012 [2 favorites]


Most of you is critters of some sort. You wouldn’t be here if you weren’t covered and filled with little animals.

"Dear Savage Love..."
posted by zombieflanders at 10:37 AM on September 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


*grabs foundation, concealer, and small green tint powder*

I hate you, face spiders.
posted by The Whelk at 10:38 AM on September 5, 2012 [4 favorites]


Dude, you just missed the Best Post contest by five days!
posted by jbickers at 10:39 AM on September 5, 2012 [4 favorites]


Are there any other anus-less species?

We can rule out Republicans.
posted by HuronBob at 10:39 AM on September 5, 2012 [13 favorites]


Fuck you, nature.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 10:39 AM on September 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


Slovenliness vindicated.

Like a HOST!
posted by srboisvert at 10:43 AM on September 5, 2012


This is a great post. I love science fiction.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 10:43 AM on September 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


Big whoop. I don't care who has sex on my face anymore.
posted by Mister_A at 10:44 AM on September 5, 2012 [21 favorites]


I saw this the other day and managed to purge it from my consciousness. Until now.
posted by tommasz at 10:45 AM on September 5, 2012 [3 favorites]


i>Demodex does not have an anus and therefore cannot get rid of its faeces. "Their abdomen just gets bigger and bigger, and when they die and decompose they release their faeces all at once in the pore," says Kavanagh.

C'mon, nature. Hook a bro up with an asshole.
posted by cmoj at 10:45 AM on September 5, 2012 [9 favorites]


As someone who has been dealing with rosacea since puberty, let me just say "AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAUUGHHGHHARHRHAGHRHH!!"
posted by chowflap at 10:47 AM on September 5, 2012 [3 favorites]


motherfucker.

A can't fucking wait for the full conversion. Let's see face spiders try to live on a gleaming interstellar battle mech. Oh thats right, face spiders can't live in space. Fuck face spiders.
posted by Ad hominem at 10:51 AM on September 5, 2012 [3 favorites]


allow me to second Ad Hominem here with my loudest, most hate-filled EXTERMINATE
posted by The Whelk at 10:53 AM on September 5, 2012 [3 favorites]


Eww.. whenever you kiss someone their face spiders are crawling on you.

This sucks, I have a pretty nice beard right now but I feel the need to wash my face with a belt sander.
posted by Ad hominem at 10:56 AM on September 5, 2012


"Hey baby how about we meet each others' face spiders?"
posted by The Whelk at 10:59 AM on September 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit scrubbing my face with Brillo pads.
posted by flyingsquirrel at 11:01 AM on September 5, 2012 [3 favorites]


"Are my face spiders exploding on your cheeks, or are you just happy to see me?"

Note to self - don't show this to eldest child ...
posted by tilde at 11:02 AM on September 5, 2012


I'd be scated to get rid of them, they probably eat face roaches or something.
posted by Ad hominem at 11:03 AM on September 5, 2012 [5 favorites]


I can't wait to tell my wife that her rosacea is likely caused by TINY SPIDERS LIVING IN HER FACE!

I may be posting an AskMe asking for divorce advice tomorrow morning.
posted by asnider at 11:04 AM on September 5, 2012 [6 favorites]


Most of you is critters of some sort. You wouldn’t be here if you weren’t covered and filled with little animals.
The not-being-here option suddenly got a lot more attractive.
posted by danl at 11:08 AM on September 5, 2012 [5 favorites]


Somewhere in a laboratory, scientists and marketers are in a meeting. Before them, in the center of the conference table, is a single pump bottle of varietal face spiders. A model demonstrates.

Then it begins, the screaming.
posted by TwelveTwo at 11:09 AM on September 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


I may be posting an AskMe asking for divorce advice tomorrow morning.

FACESHARK
posted by Mister_A at 11:11 AM on September 5, 2012


Mites are living in your eyelashes.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 11:13 AM on September 5, 2012 [2 favorites]


No no no no no no no.
posted by evidenceofabsence at 11:15 AM on September 5, 2012


In a weird coincidence, demodex mites also don't have an opinion about anything.
posted by Anything at 11:16 AM on September 5, 2012 [19 favorites]


What. The. Fuck. Nature???
posted by padraigin at 11:17 AM on September 5, 2012


Mites are living in your eyelashes.

This is an actual thing that happens.
posted by zombieflanders at 11:18 AM on September 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


I spent the past two hours researching the skeevy stretch of middle-brow made-for-tv/direct-to-video serial-killer movies*, and I know that we're generally crawling with unseeable little critters, inside and out, but this:
they feast on the cells that line the follicle, sucking out their innards with a retractable needle in the middle of a round mouth. On either side of the mouth, D.folliculorum has a seven-clawed organ (a “palpus”) for securing itself to what it’s eating.
is by far the worst thing I've seen today.

*Hey, you guys, I'm kinda worried about Cary Elwes. He keeps showing up as the sneering, loser-y serial killer in these cheapie flicks.
posted by Elsa at 11:19 AM on September 5, 2012 [5 favorites]


...can't fucking wait for the full conversion...

Right there with you. After my innards have been suitably bathed in disinfectant, sterilized, augmented with tiny relentless nano-horrors, I ... wait. No, OK, that went in the wrong direction.

So, as I was saying, after my skeleton has been replaced by crystalline lattices that constantly deform and reform in response to external inputs, rendering me invulnerable to ballistic impacts, I will deploy whole fleets of nanoprobes to exterminate any local threat to.... no, wait, went in the wrong direction again.

Goddammit.
posted by aramaic at 11:22 AM on September 5, 2012 [3 favorites]


aramaic: NanoMITE!
posted by tilde at 11:24 AM on September 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


there have been links that i've not clicked harder than these, but not many.
posted by facetious


lol
posted by resurrexit at 11:27 AM on September 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


ohgodohgodohgodohgod
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 11:30 AM on September 5, 2012


I'm glad they're arachnids because insects are so common.
posted by Mister_A at 11:36 AM on September 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


Look, she's so cute!
posted by Mister_A at 11:41 AM on September 5, 2012 [3 favorites]


Oh Demodex, you creepy little thing, stop, you're making me blush. Permanently.
posted by maryr at 11:45 AM on September 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


When I was in my twenties, I couldn't figure out why the skin on my face seemed to be getting redder and rougher, so I asked my doctor about it. He explained that I had a relatively mild case of a skin condition called rosacea and gave me some Metrogel to try out.

Despite knowing better, I stopped at the library on my way home and looked up "rosacea" in the giant multi-volume encyclopedia of dermatology (complete with colour photos). Tip: If you have rosacea, don't do that. The next time I went to the doctor he had to reassure me several times that I wasn't going to end up looking like W.C. Fields.

Now I find that even though the doctor was right and I have not turned into W.C. Fields, it turns out that this whole time there has been a lurking pooping spider horror beneath my skin?!? WTF nature indeed.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 11:46 AM on September 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


I had pretty bad rosacea for a while in my 20s. I'm talking bleeding after wiping my face with a towel bad. Metrogel got rid of it, for me. Looking back, the picture of this topical gel like some kind of weapon of mass destruction, causing painful death to spiders in my pores... It's very soothing.
posted by Splunge at 11:46 AM on September 5, 2012 [6 favorites]


Metrogel is also a handy adhesive! And a delightful alternative to non-dairy coffee creamer! That's Metrogel®, folks! Ask for it by name!
posted by Mister_A at 11:54 AM on September 5, 2012 [3 favorites]


Hopefully, scientists will invent tiny cybernetic space marines that will wield microscopic flamethrowers and minuscule pulse rifles to defend our pores.
posted by Apocryphon at 12:00 PM on September 5, 2012 [2 favorites]


Kill it with fire tea tree oil?
posted by amber_dale at 12:00 PM on September 5, 2012 [3 favorites]


Where are these tiny army guys going to crap and leave their MRE wrappers, Apocryphon? IN YOUR FACE!!
posted by Mister_A at 12:28 PM on September 5, 2012


Demodex mites also cause a type of mange in dogs, mainly in puppies and immunosupressed adults. I wonder if the treatments for demodectic mange would work on humans - benzoyl peroxide shampoo and a dip containing a parasiticide such as amitraz.
posted by gagoumot at 12:28 PM on September 5, 2012


Benzoyl peroxide is certainly used in treatment of acne, so if the rosacea is actually caused by a reaction to the bacteria from the gut of the bugs, it might help here too.
posted by maryr at 12:31 PM on September 5, 2012


Stop freaking out and accept your place as a communal organism. The more we look, the more we realize that we have an entire ecosystem within us. There are more bacterial cells in the human body, than there are human cells.

Some of them actually influence our behavior. Such as some of the gut bacteria and the toxoplasma gondii.

The one thing to remember is that we have evolved together for a long time and what is on us is now, is not as bad as what would take the nitch if we expelled it.

I suspect that there are various sub-species of demodex and some are worse than others. What I find really interesting is the idea that perhaps the bacteria within the demodex are the problem for rosacea sufferers and not the mite itself. Is there a way to establish the right bacteria in the mites and fix the problem? So instead of trying to kill all those things, we could encourage the right ones to take up residence?
posted by psycho-alchemy at 12:31 PM on September 5, 2012 [6 favorites]


THIS IS SO COOL.
posted by whimsicalnymph at 12:34 PM on September 5, 2012 [2 favorites]


@Mister_A - to avoid catastrophic injuries caused by shrink ray reversion, they'd be purely mechanical space marines built from nanotech, not shrunken full-sized humans. Of course, that just means when the androids get damaged by the demodex arachnids, they'd leave tiny blotches of unsightly white fluid all over your skin. Side effects may include being drawn into corporate intrigue with a faustian company.
posted by Apocryphon at 12:39 PM on September 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


On one hand, okay, I accept that I am part of a cycle of life etc. blahblahblahblah.

On the other...spiders dying of poopsplosions are behind my embarrassing, expensive skin condition, and while I have previously accepted that some of the things I enjoy most in life (chocolate, caffeine, cheese, alcohol, and exercise) cause what I have heretofore believed to be "flares", I now understand these are actually mass crapastrophic die-offs of these unfailingly selective arachnids.

After I go wash both hands (one a bit more than the other), I'm going to spend a little while staring into inner-space to discover what specific horrible act I committed in my past lives to earn this little fillip from the Universe.
posted by batmonkey at 12:55 PM on September 5, 2012 [2 favorites]


The solution is obvious, and was pointed out by MST3K a full decade ago: Have your tiny robots kill them.

(Disclaimer: You may end up with trash under your eyes.)
posted by gern at 1:13 PM on September 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


Are there critters living in our eyebrows? (The Straight Dope, 2004)
posted by tykky at 1:15 PM on September 5, 2012


psycho-alchemy: "Stop freaking out and accept your place as a communal organism."

Said the guy who obviously did NOT click on zombieflanders' link.
posted by danny the boy at 1:27 PM on September 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


Are there any other anus-less species?

We can rule out Republicans.


Is there any other species which is all asshole?
posted by ennui.bz at 1:46 PM on September 5, 2012 [2 favorites]


The more we look, the more we realize that we have an entire ecosystem within us.


"I am large, I contain multitudes"
posted by srboisvert at 1:49 PM on September 5, 2012 [4 favorites]


My current dermatologist suspected demodex mites behind my latest rosacea flareup and prescribed Eurax. It turns out it's typically used to treat scabies, another skin disease caused by mites.
posted by needled at 2:16 PM on September 5, 2012


This thread finally made me go to the damned barber .

I don;t mind being a communal organism, I'm on very good terms with my intestinal flora ever since we agreed that I keep it fed with yogurt and it won't try to kill me if I accidentally eat dairy. I just don't want them on my face ruining photos with poo-related splotchy red wrongness.
posted by The Whelk at 2:20 PM on September 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


Well, it is interesting...
posted by cool breeze at 2:42 PM on September 5, 2012


Previously.
posted by Brian B. at 2:56 PM on September 5, 2012


Is there anything symbiotic and good provided by Demodex or are these nasty fuckers just freeloading? This is important because after my successful coup d'état I'm going to have a very intensive program that involves annihilating mosquitos and mandatory vaccines for every human on Earth against every disease we have a vaccine for. I intend to tack on eradicating anything that creeps me out at the same time, like Toxoplasmosis and any good-for-nothing mites/face-spiders. I will unite the world with a common purpose and shared hatred of these vile creatures.
posted by floam at 2:57 PM on September 5, 2012 [2 favorites]


And people are worried about bedbugs.
posted by koeselitz at 3:00 PM on September 5, 2012


So now my partner is going to see this on Metafilter--this story that I have been studiously avoiding and trying NOT TO THINK ABOUT for a week--and is going to want to talk to me, the Rosacea sufferer, about it. "So, did you see the thing about the mites on Metafilter." And I'll be THINKING ABOUT IT again.

My skin is so sensitive I can't even use cleanser on it, just rinse and put on my homemade moisturizer. WHAT THE FUCK MAY BE LIVING ON ME.
posted by WorkingMyWayHome at 3:00 PM on September 5, 2012


For what it's worth, there's a lot of talk on dermatology and beauty forums about the ability of Sea Buckthorn oil/soap/lotion/supplements to kill Demodex mites, with at least anecdotal praise for its ability to alleviate both rosacea and keratosis pilaris (KP).

I fully acknowledge the likelihood of at least some placebo effect and/or woo here, but thought I should at least mention it for those who might otherwise have a hard time sleeping or kissing the faces of their loved ones because of, you know, the whole POOP-FILLED EXPLODING SPIDER COLONIES thing. (And hey, even if it's just the illusion of control over our pore-dwelling overlords, the sea buckthorn oil is a nice moisturizer! I get mine on Amazon.)
posted by argonauta at 3:02 PM on September 5, 2012 [3 favorites]


WorkingMyWayHome: “My skin is so sensitive I can't even use cleanser on it, just rinse and put on my homemade moisturizer. WHAT THE FUCK MAY BE LIVING ON ME.”

I have really sensitive skin too, and cleansers (especially anything that has alcohol) makes me red and raw. But a dermatologist I went to taught me a neat thing that works well: soaking in a very light bleach solution. You might not think it, but a 10:1 water:bleach solution is much, much gentler on skin than most cleansers – and also more effective at attacking bacteria, fungus, and bugs. Just a thought, not sure if it'd work for everybody but it worked wonders for me: one and a half cups of bleach dissolved in a full bathtub, and a ten-minute soak.
posted by koeselitz at 3:05 PM on September 5, 2012 [7 favorites]


If you’re under 20, good news! A French study from 1972 says that you’ve only got a 4 percent chance of carrying Demodex. If you’re old, bad news! You’ve almost certainly got Demodex somewhere.

Holy crap so it is perfectly plausible that you can actually manage to not have these for lengths of time even without my taking over the planet and instituting some kind of scorched Earth campaign?

* sticks head in vat of acid *
posted by floam at 3:09 PM on September 5, 2012


Demodex is a nasty, nasty bug. Luckily it's usually relatively harmless in humans.

This is what untreated demodex looks like in a dog.

That's a 10-month old doberman puppy, by the way.
posted by tryniti at 3:16 PM on September 5, 2012


Demodectic mange in dogs is caused by a different species (Demodex canis) than the variety believed to play a role in rosacea (actually two species, Demodex folliculorum and Demodex brevis).
posted by infinitywaltz at 3:50 PM on September 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


So the solution is to dunk my face in a barrel of DEET, right?
posted by shakespeherian


I just dunked mine in a barrel of fire.
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 3:59 PM on September 5, 2012


I'm totally going to start using my downtime at work to look under the microscope for demodex from my own personal supply.
posted by troublewithwolves at 4:16 PM on September 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


I have always wondered if the dog's ivermectin chews tasted good.....
posted by Uniformitarianism Now! at 4:24 PM on September 5, 2012


Mister_A: "Big whoop. I don't care who has sex on my face anymore."

I'd just be happy to have ANYONE having sex on my face. AT ALL.
posted by Samizdata at 5:09 PM on September 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


Anything: "In a weird coincidence, demodex mites also don't have an opinion about anything."

Ummmm, they do. Your skin is too dry.
posted by Samizdata at 5:15 PM on September 5, 2012


I've been aware that humans have facial and eyebrow mites for some time. Previously, I have looked at pictures of them, therefore I feel no need to click on the link. Consequently, my dinner will not be coming up.

Thank you.
posted by BlueHorse at 5:28 PM on September 5, 2012


This has taken me on one of the best google forays in ages!

Highlights were cheese mites, their contribution with other mites to Grocer's Itch, and even to the ominous-sounding but unverified "Ham Itch", the mite-caused "walking dandruff" that people can get sometimes from hairy pets, and then this discovery [pdf - text only, but not for the squeamish]:

"Since 1981, many more detailed descriptions of the mites in domestic situations have been published, for example, those on bed linen, curtains, window sills, clothes, pets and in other indoor microhabitats. The work has clearly established that mite species on our bed linen are very different from the mite species below our beds. Mites on our clothes and the living room couch are different from the mites on our skin. Moving from habitat to habitat and room to room, mites inhabit an incredible variety of microhabitats, and exhibit specialisation and spatial resolution in diversity (Frost et al. 2009). Also, almost every detritivorous mite will attract its own predatory mite species, which in part explains the high diversity of the indoor mite fauna."

and a casual mention that "in a survey of 36 indoor swimming pools in Japan, 53% were positive for mites."

Sleep well, folks.
posted by cromagnon at 5:33 PM on September 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


Haha cromagnon, your search travels remind me of my recent youtube vortex starting with 'earwax impaction removal'.

I would like to thank this post for making me feel itchy all day and making me spend ten bucks on a bottle of tea tree oil. I'm now irrationally convinced they are the cause of my lifetime of acne annoyances.
mmm, tea tree. feels good, maaaan.
posted by ghostbikes at 6:06 PM on September 5, 2012


Infinitywaltz is watching this thread with a shit-eating grin.
posted by vitabellosi at 6:39 PM on September 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


Most of you is critters of some sort. You wouldn’t be here if you weren’t covered and filled with little animals.

YOU'RE NOT HELPING
posted by Rangeboy at 6:45 PM on September 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


Gee thanks everyone for making fun of a serious medical condition that many people have (including me). If you don't think this is serious, do a google image search for "rhynophyma." Maybe next time everyone can ridicule some other disease like CF or ALS.

And what is this crap about "recent research?" Demodex has been known to be associated with rosacea for a long, long time.
posted by charlie don't surf at 7:57 PM on September 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


The one thing to remember is that we have evolved together for a long time
We also evolved together with smallpox, for something like ten thousand years. Yay for symbiosis when it happens, but not every bit of foreign DNA coevolving with humans is guaranteed to be producing some of our bestest buddies. Some double helices just need to be ripped to shreds and take their awful phenotypes with them.
posted by roystgnr at 8:59 PM on September 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


I don't know you, infinitywaltz. I'm not even sure I've engaged in conversation with you on the blue. But know this, I hate you now and should you ever have the misfortune to meet me in the street, it will herald the last breaths you'll take in this life. All because you've gone and convinced me that there's tons of tiny spiders crawling all over my face. I hope you're happy.
posted by Purposeful Grimace at 10:15 PM on September 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


So, you know that "phantom feeling" of feeling like bugs are crawling on you or that a tiny drop of water just hit your skin?

Now I'm going to think that:
phantom bugs = demodex
tiny drop of water = demodex explosion

This makes me feel both itchier and justified.
posted by DisreputableDog at 10:28 PM on September 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


And what is this crap about "recent research?" Demodex has been known to be associated with rosacea for a long, long time.

Associated, yes, but Kavanaugh's research actually gets down to the exact mechanism, which is an immune reaction to Bacillus oleronius (a bacterium carried by the mites). Here are a couple of links to abstracts on PubMed:

Positive correlation between serum immuno-reactivity to Demodex-associated Bacillus proteins and Erythematotelangiectic Rosacea

The potential role of Demodex folliculorum mites and bacteria in the induction of rosacea

And while I know that this information does provoke a visceral reaction of disgust and laughter in some, I in no way meant to mock individuals with rosacea; I actually find this information legitimately fascinating in a medical and biological sense and hope it eventually helps out people with the condition.
posted by infinitywaltz at 10:38 PM on September 5, 2012 [2 favorites]


Now I find that even though the doctor was right and I have not turned into W.C. Fields, it turns out that this whole time there has been a lurking pooping spider horror beneath my skin?!?

Not pooping.

Not until the end.
posted by krinklyfig at 11:47 PM on September 5, 2012


I'm okay with reading this thread and nervously laughing at some of the comments. But I am NOT going to click on any link. Nuh uh, no way, ain't gonna happen!
posted by deborah at 1:27 AM on September 6, 2012


This is actually serious research. The "bugs on your face" thing is just to make the articles more interesting.

Don't be freaked out by this. It's a really interesting entry point to the fact that we're part of a larger ecosystem, and in fact have ecosystems within ourselves.

Everything sounds gross or horrible if you spin it that way.

1. Meat is gross because it's dead animals.
2. Vegetables are gross because they live in dirt.
3. Fruits are gross because they're the plant's sexual organs.
4. Mushrooms are gross because they're dirt-loving fungi.

The best example of the innocuous becoming gross is from Calvin & Hobbes:
CALVIN: "Who was the first guy to say, "I think I'll squeeze these things on this cow and drink whatever comes out?"
posted by Sleeper at 1:43 AM on September 6, 2012


Oh yeah, and also: You're gross because you are what you eat.
posted by Sleeper at 1:44 AM on September 6, 2012


WHY AM I STILL READING THIS THREAD AND NOT EXFOLIATING RIGHT NOW?
posted by like_neon at 1:45 AM on September 6, 2012


BASED ON A TRUE STORY
posted by Rhaomi at 1:48 AM on September 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Day 2 after reading this article: still feeling itchy.
Was inspired to change my pillowcase.
Currently shopping for a microscope.
posted by ghostbikes at 6:05 AM on September 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


I hate all of you people.
posted by Kimberly at 9:31 AM on September 6, 2012


OK, I'm back from the store with a vial of tea tree oil. Exactly how often do I apply it and when can I expect the mini death-pooping arachnids gone?
posted by spacewaitress at 11:16 AM on September 6, 2012


We also evolved together with smallpox, for something like ten thousand years. Yay for symbiosis when it happens,

Symbiosis? I am happy settling for harmless parasitism. I just want the niche filled with something microscopic and harmless. If I can see it, then it has to die.
posted by psycho-alchemy at 12:40 PM on September 6, 2012


1. Meat is gross because it's dead animals.
2. Vegetables are gross because they live in dirt.
3. Fruits are gross because they're the plant's sexual organs.
4. Mushrooms are gross because they're dirt-loving fungi.


None of these come after me, suck my blood, and have sex on my face!
posted by BlueHorse at 1:27 PM on September 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Did you ever think when you bat your eye
that some fat mite is about to die?
He’s all plugged up and full of poo
And when he goes, it’s all on you.
You wash your hair, you scrub your face
You boil your towels and your pillowcase
But they live on and eat your skin
Have lots of nookie, spawn lots of kin
Don’t dwell upon the demodex
Its poo, its gnoshing, its constant sex
You can’t do squat, you just abide
So keep your head otherwise occupied

posted by bigskyguy at 2:08 PM on September 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


I bet some other Demodex from cats or dogs or rats or mice would move in if we didn't have these guys-- and make a lot more trouble because we aren't adapted to them.

There is a human flea, but the fleas we have in our houses are almost always cat fleas (even the fleas on your dog are probably cat fleas), but I've never heard whether human fleas are more or less troublesome than the cat fleas, or even the provenance of the fleas which were supposedly transmitting the Black Plague (Google says rat fleas).

People with rosacea are more likely to need corneal transplants, unsurprisingly.
posted by jamjam at 4:16 PM on September 6, 2012


None of these come after me, suck my blood, and have sex on my face!

DTMFA
posted by cmoj at 8:29 PM on September 6, 2012 [4 favorites]


People with rosacea are more likely to need corneal transplants, unsurprisingly.

Yes, you can get Ocular Rosacea, which inflames the capillaries of the eye, just like it inflames the capillaries in the skin. It can cause ulcerative blepharitis, keratitis, iritis, etc. and can cause significant vision impairment.

So once again, I would like to impress upon people that this is not a situation that deserves to be made into a comedy about ooh gross things living in your skin. This is an incurable medical condition that is slowly making millions of people lose their vision.
posted by charlie don't surf at 4:59 PM on September 7, 2012


I have sometimes-severe rosacea and am okay with joking about it.

Not sure what that makes me.
posted by batmonkey at 1:30 PM on September 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


A bit red in the face.
posted by maryr at 8:24 PM on September 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


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