These 'Face Mites' Live in Your Pores and Mate on Your Face

While you sleep 'face mites' are busy feeding off your grease and procreating on your face.
Fabienne Lang

No, thanks! 

Most of us have no choice in the matter, though. We can't escape these microscopic arachnids, or 'face mites," known as Demodex from living in our facial pores, feasting off of our hair grease and coupling up right in front of our eyes.

What a grim thought.


Luckily for us, we're fast asleep when this all happens.

Not that we would notice even if we were awake. Demodex sleep in our pores during the day, and only at night do they feed off our natural sebum, the waxy oil our faces create to keep our skin hydrated, and breed (mate, procreate, get intimate - whichever option helps you to sleep better at night...or in this instance, not) on our faces. 

Face mites that feed off our sebum

Their favorite burrowing spots? Near our nose, eyes, and mouth. These particular sections of our bodies offer higher amounts of oil and grease. How tasteful.

A fully-grown adult typically boasts a dozen of these pore-living mites, who shack up in the greasiest shafts of hair lodged in our faces. Living off of our sebum, these eight-legged, 0.3 millimeters long, transparent creepy-crawlies, likened to worms, live up to two weeks amidst our facial features before dying.

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A manageable amount of time, right?

Does everyone have them?

Everyone has them, so there's no need to feel in any way repulsed or singled out.


Are they harmful?

These arachnids generally pose no threats to us or our health, unless they amass in truly large numbers.

The disease known as demodicosis, or demodic mange, creates a red or sometimes white sheen over a human's facial skin. According to Kanade Shinkai, a dermatologist at The University of California, San Francisco, this is usually in response to low immune system response.

Luckily demodicosis is rare, says Shinkai, and most of us carry on to live long and happy lives hosting our night-dwelling arachnid friends without any issues.

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