Jun 3, 2010

Your little Eyelash Buddies!

Greetings Ugly Readers! I mean READERS of the UGLY. For my first post I'd like to introduce you to to a creature you are already likely intimate with: Demodex folliculorum

This creature is mostly benign but still prepare yourself to feel squirmy and itchy. This lil' fella lives around your eyelashes - going so far as to embed itself in the follicle as pictured here:

Photos from: Here

I've known about these guys for years and I am not the squeamish sort at all but I can tell you that I've felt itchy all morning while going over these pictures.

Really this mite just feeds off of the dead skin and such around your eye lashes. They are doing you a favor. Still, it's not pleasant to think about.

hoto thanks to Things that Scared me as a Kid

Just in case you weren't squirmy yet, here is a vid
eo of the lil' ones actually moving.

A final word: Once again, these guys are harmless. Don't go pouring acid on your eyelashes. You are part of an ecosystem, much of which lives in, on and all around you. Embrace and celebrate the fact that the world is even more diverse and amazing than you may have realized.

For more in formation about eye lash mites see:

Demonex on wikki
Parasite of the Day


Arachnophile said...

Sorry gang, I can tell it's going to take me a little while to get the hang of the formatting in here.

I hope you enjoy.

Heather said...

Yay, ugly is back!
And eww..

Raging Wombat said...

Thanks for the warning, Arachnophile. I've plucked all my eyelashes and scoured the empty follicle sockets with steel wool. Danger averted, but just barely.

Max said...

How lovely. Thanks?

Anonymous said...

Yay, I'm excited that there's finally a new post! Just one thing that's kind of bugging me, though: did you mean "Your" rather than "You're" in the title?

Anonymous said...

Oh wow, that is gross. D:

Seconding above anon, it's your. Unless you meant that we are eyelash buddies with the mites! ....and while I suppose I am intimate with mine as they are seriously up close and personal, I don't consider us buds.

Also, this is just me but I am not crazy about Comic Sans. Helvetica (or Arial, heh) is much more preferred, at least by me.

Juicy said...

Awesome !! Thanks for the new post ! I've known about these guys for a long time, but still.............and then there are dust mites !!

Nicole said...

Great pics. Makes me want to rub my eyes, though.

Anonymous said...

These guys are generally harmless, but some people develop a seriously nasty allergy to them.

On the bright side, these guys are so efficient with what they eat, they don't even poop. They have no opening for their digestive system. Yeah for demodex!

Danielle said...

No! Not comic sans! worst font EVER!

Mala said...

Does Latisse make these mites grow thicker and fuller?

And the fact they don't poop does make me feel better. Just a little.

Raging Wombat said...

I'm not sure if the idea of constipated mites living on my eyelashes is all that comforting.

Zanna said...

Mystery Science Theater 3000 once did a great skit in which nanobots went to war with the eyelash mites around Mike Nelson's lashes. The nanites won, but poor mike was left with a debris field trash littering his face as there were no more mites to clean up after him. And I'm enough of a geek to remember that!

PS there really are worse fonts than comic sans serif, at least I can read that one!

babbler said...

What a delightful creature! So handsome and sleek, looks like one of my cousins. This is my first visit to Uglyland, looks like I got an Eww ticket! This happy gathering of eyelash mites remind me of the time I flew overseas and returned home with a case of lice infestation. I had never had them before, so I did not realize what that itchy sensation on my eyelashes was. When I looked cloesly in the mirror, I could see the little buggers moving about. (Can I get an Eewwww?!) I took myself to the pharmacy, bought some lice shampoo (the checkout line could not move fast enough for me that day) and gave myself a beauty treatment. Three treatments and a couple of days later, I was finally itch free.

These eyelash mites are childs play next to a full grown lice nit placed on an eyelash. CHALLENGE: I would like to see Ugly Overload go into actual,serious code 5 Overload status by posting one of those babies! The word Lice should not rhyme with nice! Anyway, love the blog, UgO rocks. Come on over to Slugs Rest to visit and join me for a cuppa tea anytime.
Very truly yours from here on in,
Love, Mrs. Slug

Beowabbit said...

Welcome and thanks for an excellently creepy new post!

(For the record, I agree on choosing just about anything other than Comic Sans. You don’t want the ugliness of the font detracting from the ugliness of the critters! Also it’s hard to read. But that didn’t detract at my excitement about seeing a new post by any means!)

Jenny Reiswig said...

OH NO you're not going to do the whole blog in Comic Sans now? I guess it is a very ugly font, so there's that, but still... aaahhh

I'm off to go rinse my eyelids out with bleach, so I may not be able to read this blog again anyway.

Anonymous said...

I took a course in parasitology and not everyone has demodex. They can be found in your eye lashes, but usually they are all over hanging out anywhere you have hair. the nose seems to be a popular place for them. If you have a microscope you can find them if you squeeze the pores around your nose (not zits), and then look at the clear fluid that comes out. As far as parasites go they are pretty cute to watch. Ive never heard of people developing allergies to demodex, but dogs do relatively often. I would like a reference for the statement that do not poop, since Im pretty sure they do, and thats what causes the allergies (I could be wrong though). Demodex itself stays in the hair follicle and does not actually enter your body. When they get large they can break the follicle and cause a reaction.

Robin said...

I'd rather unsubscribe to this blog than read updates littered with spelling and grammar errors. Also, I never thought that "Ugly Overload" applied to the font as well.

Arachnophile said...

Thanks for all the comments gang, ESPECIALLY the ones critiquing the spelling/formatting issues. It is my first post so this all helps me do better next time. :)

Just note that I'm a graduate-level educated dyslexic so while I can get by and communicate I will have things that slip through my own editing.

Given that we are just trying to work up some momentum with new writers I ask you to be patient until I can get some editing help. I certainly don't want to foist that onto the Wombat. ;)

I apologize if any of the more grammatically intense of you were tempted to gouge out your own eyeballs.

If you understood what I meant then I figure we've done alright. :)

Other than the "your, you're" issue feel free to email me any specifics.

I'll change the font asap. I'm sorry I had to whip this off just before I was out of town for work for a few days.

You input helps and I welcome it from those of you who are skilled in areas I am weak.

Arachnophile said...

@ Wombat - Thanks Sensei. As you can see I've a lot to learn and I warned you about my spelling/grammar issues. ;) I also warned you to not go overboard with the mite-fear. They still aren't nearly as gross or scary as a typical primate.

@ Juciey - It could be fun to do a whole article on what lives in our beds and carpets. ;-p

@ Danielle - VERY sorry. It kind of slipped in from a cut/paste. wont happen again. I also work with youth a lot so I'm afraid I see that font A LOT!

@ Mala - LOL, most make-up does help the infestation grow but not enough to give you run-way ready eye-lash mites. :)

@ Zanna - I MUST find this skit PRONTO! :D

@ babbler - THANKS SO MUCH. I'd only gotten over feeling itchy from the eyelash mites. Your story makes me want to shower with NIX and bleach. I LOVE the ugly code warning idea. I'll see if we can make this happen. You can bet I will be checking out your slug site. I love me all of the invertebrates and have been known to lick slugs in field school (as well as anemones, nematodes and other marine creatures - long story).

@ Jenny - Nope the Comic Sans has been dealt with. My bad. Erm... I do hope that the bleached eyelash look is working for you.

@ person after Jenny - sorry I don't have that script enabled. I do think that statement could be the beginning of a great poem about benign parasites in general.

@ Anonymous - I am jealous. I've taken a few invertebrate courses and I'm working through a parasitology course on iTunes but wish I'd been able to take it for real. Perhaps some day. Parasite Rex by Carl Zimmer is one of my all time favorite reads.

I did learn a lot more about the other Demondex species for this article. I opted not to go into much more detail because I have trouble being succinct as it is.

@ Robin. I am sorry. I have been plagued with writing issues my whole life despite being quite intelligent in other areas. I'd invite you to be my editor but you would probably want to kill me. X-p Please be patient and try to enjoy the content despite me. I'll strive to do better.

Jessica Olin said...

Yay for a new post but boo for itchy eyes for the next couple of days.

LisaL said...

YAY for UO coming back! Oh how I've missed my ugly!
EW though... this is one thing I could've lived without knowing lol.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for fixing the "your/you're" problem! I feel so much better. And I feel like I have to apologize for this Robin person. That was harsh... uncalled for. Great post and keep it up!

Arachnophile said...

;) It's all good. I just hope some other writers come online soon.

Abelian said...

I learned about these happy guys from a wonderful book called Grossology by Sylvia Branzei, back in the 4th or 5th grade.

also, mega-lol that the post was originally written in Comic Sans.

Arachnophile said...

Yes you lucked out reading it in version 2.0. ;-p

AnaDrea said...

This is one of the few lessons that I remember vividly from Bio 101! Thanks for the pictures, as if hearing about them wasn't creepy enough, now I can see them in my mind!

Nice post, by the way, thanks for your help in keeping the site going!

LuckyTiger said...

Good to see a new post on UO!

Arachnophile said...

Thanks for reading AND commenting - spread the word - UgO lives! ;)

W. A. Whipple said...

HUZZAH! (also "ick" - but I'm glad to see UO back)

Danielle said...

AHH! I wasn't trying to be mean at all! Eek, some of the comments were super harsh and I hope I didn't come off that way!

I work with kids (I'm a teacher) and I just hate hate hate comic sans! hahaha, glad the blog is back!

(People can be brave and mean over the internet because they're not face to face with someone...in person, I doubt people would be this critical. Picking out flaws in someone else via the internet is usually a surefire sign of insecurity!)


Anonymous said...

I'm so scared about them!!!!!!! A while back ago, I used to not wash it off every night for about ummm a week (='.'=), but then a person told me about eye mites, so I have been taking it off..... but can I just leave it on tonight so I don't have to waste time in the morning putting it on? P.S. I'M REALLY SCARED ABOUT THOSE CREATURES!!!!!

Anonymous said...

.........How Kewl is that :).......I don't mind these lil mites on my face, just as long as they are doing the right thing and not doing anything they were'nt suppose to!!!!....I was soooooo curious to know what they do and now I am satisfied :)

Thanx for the lil clip :)

Anonymous said...

I'm freaked out now, I seriously could've lived without this info. :(