Thursday, October 9, 2008

Tiny, Magical Creatures!

Sorry for the delay, but I had to think of something wonderfully gross to blog about since it is October and I must post about Halloween-related topics all month. :-) So now, without further ado, I would like to share with you guys something that has grossed me out for years. Some of you have already heard about this, while others have not. The following information was "borrowed" from here. In any case, here goes:

Demodex folliculorum, or the demodicid, is a tiny mite, less than 0.4 mm long, that lives in your pores and hair follicles, usually on the nose, forehead, cheeks, and chin, and often in the roots of your eyelashes.

(A follicle is the pore from which a hair grows). Demodicids have a wormlike appearance, with legs that are mere stumps. People with oily skin, or those who use cosmetics heavily and don't wash thoroughly, have the heaviest infestations ... but most adults carry a few demodicids. Inflammation and infection often result when large numbers of these mites congregate in a single follicle.
The mites live head-down in a follicle, feeding on secretions and dead skin debris. At the left, you can see three demodicids buried in the follicle of a hair, and you can also see the hair's shaft. If too many mites have buried into the same follicle, it may cause the eyelash to fall out easily.


An individual female may lay up to 25 eggs in a single follicle, and as the mites grow, they become tightly packed. When mature, the mites leave the follicle, mate, and find a new follicle in which to lay their eggs. The whole cycle takes between 14 to 18 days.

Sometimes demodex is called the 'face mite', since it is often associated with blackheads, acne and other skin disorders (although it is not the cause of these). Demodex are harmless and don't transmit diseases, but large numbers of demodex mites may cause itching and skin disorders, referred to as Demodicosis.

The mites have tiny claws, and needlelike mouthparts for eating skin cells. Their bodies are layered with scales, which help them anchor themselves in the follicle. The mite's digestive system results in so little waste that the mite doesn't even have an excretory opening. So although there may be mites in your eyelashes, there isn't any mite poop! Thank goodness!

However ... did you know that you go to sleep at night on a pillow that is home to many thousands of dust mites ...which help keep our homes clean by consuming the tens of millions of skin cells we shed each day? Just pretend they're not there!

So guys, please don't try to go look in the mirror. You need a microscope and one of your eyelashes to see these little guys. Happy grooming, fright fiends! ;-)

22 comments:

Miladysa said...

There is a scientific conspiracy about without doubt! These things do not exist, nor do dust mites or other such blighters.

I refuse to believe...

I REFUSE to believe!

TravelDiva said...

Ewwww.

The Anti-Wife said...

GGGGRRRRRROOOOOOSSSSSSSSS!

Off to scrub my face with sandpaper.

laughingwolf said...

lol... i read all about them crits before ;)

Charles Gramlich said...

Cool. This is grosser than my story about bedbugs. And these are real.

Lana Gramlich said...

Oh jeeze...Aren't I glad I had a nice, big lunch before reading THIS! *blarg* Thanks for the train wreck--horrifying, yet I couldn't look away!

ChrisEldin said...

EEEEWWWWWWW!!!!
I came over from Charles' site, and now I'm wondering which post is more horrific...
:-)

Robin said...

Ugh! I'm going to shave my head, shave my eyebrows, and pluck my eyelashes. Blech.

raine said...

Just couldn't stick with the NORMAL Halloween scary stuff, huh?
Thanks for sharing, Tyhitia, lol!
ACK!!!

Carleen Brice said...

Yuckola! Read the 1st sentence and skipped the rest. How else to sleep at night?

Lana Gramlich said...

BTW, I answered your comment about that painting to your gmail address...Let me know what you think...

Torrance Stephens - All-Mi-T said...

only what we could see if we had microscopic eyes

Demon Hunter said...

Miladysa,
Don't get upset or you'll disturb the mites on your face!! LOL. ;-)

TravelDiva,
I know, right? ;-)

AW,
ROFLMAO!! Sandpaper. :-)

LaughingWolf,
I figured you did. ;-)

Charles,
I loved your story about bedbugs. It was cool. :-)

Lana,
I couldn't look away either years ago when I heard about these gross, little things. :-)

Chris,
LOL. I love Charles's story. :-)

Robin,
LOL. It makes you consider those things, I know. :-)

Raine,
Nah. I had to do something different this year. LOL. ;-)

Carleen,
LOL. I feel you. It is quite discturbing. Moreso because we can't do anything about it. Eww.:-D

Torrence,
If we had microscopic eyes, we'd all be loony, that's for sure. :-)

Darius T. Williams said...

Um, one word.

1. YUCK

that's all.

Ello said...

That's just wrong! I am so itchy now!ARGH!!!

writtenwyrdd said...

Ewwww is right. But fascinating. I can think of a couple of story ideas from this. Heh.

Kim Stagliano said...

So how come they don't chew off crows feet, dammit!

ChrisEldin said...

Hi DH, are you still checking your blog? Brandon Massey is going to be on Book Roast tomorrow... Just wanted to give you a heads up! Thanks again for the connection!!
:-)

Demon Hunter said...

Darius,
What? LOL. ;-)

Ello,
Yeah, it's creepy when you first hear about it. Okay, it's creepy when you just know about it period...lol. :-)

Written,
Happy to be of service. ;-)

Kim,
Hmm, that is something to think about. :-)

Chris,
Yeah, I still check. I just haven't really been on the blogosphere as much because this wedding planning is taking up a lot of my time. :-) I'll be back regularly after the honeymoon. :-)

writtenwyrdd said...

What I didn't mention is that my one true phobia is about parasites. All I have to do is think about face mites now and I get literal itching in my face (and it's not a hot flash). Cruel, cruel woman.

Paris said...

You are so sick. I can't believe we're friends. Face mites? Aw, c'mon. I am so exfoliating.

Gem said...

*sets hair, eyelashes, pillowcases on fire*