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Are we ever alone? No, we aren’t. All human beings, even healthy ones, have insects living in and out of them. An average human adult has living microscopic organisms in their genitals, guts, and elsewhere around the body. Apart from those, there is also a community of face mites that live on our faces.

Similar to spiders

These mites have eight legs, which groups them in the same category as spiders; arachnids. They come from the Demodex genus, just like the D folliculorum, which is found in hair follicles, and D. Brevis, found in sebaceous glands.

Although they live on our faces in their thousands, these arachnids are nothing to be afraid of because they seldom ever harm the human skin. They mostly live a peaceful, undisturbed life on the facial pores of most human adults. They are believed to be contracted through motherly contact, although scientists have rarely found them on babies.

A PLOS ONE published paper found that 100% of the human adults involved in their 2014 study had traces of Demodex DNA. The tiny creatures are about 0.3 a length which enables them to dig themselves into pores.

There is a face mite that lives there for every sebaceous gland or hair follicle on a human face. This means that with an average of 5 million hair follicles, there are countless face mites. However, even with their high numbers, they are still relatively harmless because the immune system stops them from overpopulating. If such a thing were to happen, the face would experience itchiness, leading to redness of the skin and inflammation.

What they feed on

Live Science reports that the mites mainly feast on sebum, the waxy oil that hydrates the face. Sebum is located at the bottom of the pores close to the follicles. Face mites, therefore, burrow through the pores in pursuit of this substance.

As we’ve seen, face mites are harmless if they overpopulate, they can cause rosacea-like symptoms. Rosacea is a facial skin condition characterized by facial flushing, dry lesions on the face, and redness.