Have you ever wondered why you sometimes feel a slight itchiness of your skin at night or any time of the day, despite the fact that a true skin parasite would always chose darkness instead of light? Well an itch is never an itch, according to sources that know all about who lives on our skin, how it lives there and how happy this guest is throughout his entire existence. So here you have 3 skin mites that will raise your paranoia!
Basically skin parasites drink blood or ear your skin. Thank God they cannot usually do both! They are so small that no one can see them. Some species are living under your skin, whereas many are just crawling on it. Some parasites can complete their whole life cycles in humans. But many live outside the body and return every time they are hungry. Skin parasites can live on the skin or under it as an egg, larva, nymph or plain adult stage.
Say Hello To the Dermodex Mite
Demodex mite is a human parasite found inside around the pilo-sebaceous units. Demodex folliculorum and Demodex brevis are the two types found on humans. Demodex infestation is usually asymptomatic and may cause problems only when present in high densities and because of immune imbalance as well. They usually cause a type of acne also known as Rosacea.
The most interesting thing about them is their lifestyle. These 8-legged creatures (an arachnid) ectoparasite (living on the surface of the host) crawl around the face at night, feeding from oil and skin cells. They have no anus, so they have to eventually explode inside your hair follicles, which are their home. They also reproduce on the face skin, during the night. The typical Demodex life cycle is usually 2 to 3 weeks. A female lays 15 to 20 eggs inside the hair follicle. The eggs develop into larvae, which eventually become an adult .The male Demodex mite will leave the follicle in search of a mate, while the adult female mite remains there waiting. These mites are capable of walking approximately 10 mm/h.
Human Scabies and the deadly itchiness
The Sarcoptes scabei attack the thin skin between the fingers, the bend of the elbow and knee, the penis, breasts, and the shoulder blades. The mites drill into the skin, making tunnels up to 0.1 inches long. After a while a rash appears in the area of the burrows and extremely intense itching is experienced. These mites are also small 8-legged parasites, just 1/3 millimeter long. They can only live off of a host body for 24-36 hours under most conditions. Transmission of the mites involves close person-to-person contact. Moreover sexual physical contact can also transmit the disease.
The female mite adheres to the skin using suckers on her legs and burrows into the skin, where she immediately lays her oval eggs. Afterwards they hatch into larvae and begin moving freely over the skin. Soon they turn into nymphs, reaching maturity 10 to 14 days after hatching.
The Screwworm is taking advantage of your open wounds
The Cochliomyia hominivorax is a horrible parasite. Its adult form resembles a common housefly. But the dreadful aspect of it all is the fact that the adult female fly spends her time seeking out hosts that have open wounds. The fly will lay hundreds of eggs along the edge of the wound. After several hours, the eggs hatch and larvae, called maggots, emerge. The maggots initially feed in the wounds but then invade healthy tissue, too. Screwworm maggots have toxic saliva, which promotes infection of wounds and production of foul-smelling pus. This attracts other species of flies that normally feed only on dead animals. The host animal becomes sick, stops eating, and dies unless treated.
These are just 3 of them. I’ll stop here, as sometimes it’s better to know less in order to avoid sheer paranoia. As far as mites and parasites are concerned, paranoia is likely to develop. They are just disgusting, aren’t they? So, ladies and gentlemen, start itching!