A recent study reports that pretty much all adults have tiny arachnids eating, walking, and multiplying on their faces.
Yes, this means that Demodex mites, a relative to spiders and scorpions, have made homes of your pores and walk around on your face at night while you sleep. The study, titled “Ubiquity and Diversity of Human-Associated DemodexMites,” was published August 27th.
According to Tech Times, scientists have found these little guys on all of the mammals that were tested, with the exception of those that lay eggs, like the platypus.
Rather than excavating participants’ pores for the mites themselves, the scientists rather scraped their faces and tested for mite DNA. Anywhere their DNA is found, mites are sure to be close by.
Though the thought of having tiny critters living on your face can be alarming, if not a little itchy, the fact that they live on everyone’s faces and that most of us had no idea until now is comforting.
According to NPR, researcher and graduate student at North Carolina State University Megan Thoemmes says, “”It’s like having friends with you all the time. Realizing that everyone has them and they’re likely not causing any problems, it’s pretty reassuring.”
Though Demodex mites are a rather benign passenger, there are another type of mites that are beginning to cause discomfort for many Americans.
We’re all familiar with dust mites, the tiny allergy-inducing creatures that we share our homes with. They live in our dust, but they are probably far greater in number that you might think. In fact, 2,000 dust mites can live comfortably in one ounce of carpet dust.
According to News4Jax, because people are spending more time indoors as fall weather sweeps the country, dust mites allergies are becoming a common health complaint these days.
Since these critters live in dust in our carpets, on our furniture, and in our bedding, one of the most effective measures you can take is to remove as much dust from your home as possible. Vacuum regularly and dust surfaces with a microfiber or wet cloth to capture the dirt rather than displace it. Wash bedding often and vacuum your mattress and other furniture.
There are apparently mites all around us. In our homes, under our feet, in our beds, and yes, on our faces. The thought is disturbing, but since they rarely cause more than the occasional sneeze or moment of disgust, we can rest assured that at the very least, we’re never alone.