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We’ve all heard of various parasites and insects living inside our bodies, but what of insects living on us? This isn’t just a mite problem a simple pest control can deal with; it might take more than that.
Here are the insects that creep and live on the human body. Beware because after reading this you might have an urge to take a bath.
Demodex folliculorum or eyelash mites, are tiny parasitic mites living in the hair follicles of your face. These are found mostly on your eyelashes but can also in the nose and cheeks. Generally, eyelash mites are not harmful. Almost everybody probably has them and won’t notice there’s a parasite feeding off of their oils. In fact, scientists claim there is a sort of symbiotic relationship between eyelash mites and humans— we let them live on our faces, while they in turn remove the dirt and oil from our hair follicles.
While having eyelash mites has benefits, the adage too much of anything isn’t good applies to them as well. Demodicosis is the phenomenon of having so much eyelashes mites on your face that it becomes infected and your eyelashes fall off. This usually happens to people who have too much make-up or who don’t remove it before sleeping.
It’s important to keep your face clean. You may use tea tree products and no tear baby soap on your face twice a day. If you suspect you have demodicosis, avoid wearing make-up for at least two weeks. Once you’re allowed to wear make-up again, be sure to replace your old kit with a new one. Lastly, regularly change your sheets and pillow cases with clean ones.
Infestation starts when the female burrows into the skin. A male then moves into the burrow site and mates with the female. The male mite dies afterwards, and the female begins laying the eggs. After a few days the eggs hatch and move to the surface of the skin to mature, then the cycle repeats again.
Scabies are severely itchy and can be transmitted through direct contact. They are also resistant to soap and hot water. You will have skin rashes that will look like small red bumps and blisters.
You’ll need to go to the doctor once you suspect your itch is because of scabies. If the doctor confirms this, you will need immediate treatment. Medication to treat scabies is mostly for external use only might be told to apply it on your skin from the neck down.
Head louse (commonly known plural form, head lice) are wingless parasites spread through personal contact or by sharing hats, combs, and other head accessories. This is usually a common problem with children.
You may feel a tickling when you have lice because they’re moving on your head. This makes you itch until you get small red sore bumps which may lead to bacterial infection. Usually when one is infected with lice, everyone else in the family should be treated.
Doctors recommend using a medicated shampoo, lotion, or cream rinse. Depending on how dire the lice situation is, external medication may be enough but if it’s severe, you may be required to take oral medication. Expect that it will take a few days for the itching to stop.
The human botfly, also known as torsalo, is one of many fly species considered to be parasites to humans. Botflies infest the skin and live the larval stage in the subcutaneous layer of the skin. The lesion caused by the larvae will become hard and painful; sometimes people can even feel the larvae moving as they take a bath.
When infested with the botfly, your white cell count will elevate and a significant amount of macrophage will be found around the wood and this is why pus is usually secreted.
These are just some of the insects found on humans. You’ve probably heard of the more common ones like dust mites, bed bugs, and ticks; but the ones listed here are equally dangerous or vexing, surprisingly not well-known. Keep a look out for signs and symptoms so that you can keep yourself and your family from being infected.