I've seen this circulating on social networks:

enter image description here

I was wondering to what extent is it true. Do skin mites really get on the skin surface to reproduce? Why is it so?


1 Answer 1


Yes, it is true that these mites exist on healthy human skin, on >98% of people, no matter the country or hygiene.

However, I'm sorry to say that this photograph is not the follicle mite Demodex folliculorum. This image has been widely circulated around the internet as Demodex, but it is actually the head of a silkworm, Bombyx mori. The above version has been modified slightly from the original, but you can see the original here: https://www.sciencephoto.com/media/720736/view/silkworm-head-sem

And here is a zoomed out version of a silkworm: https://macrocritters.wordpress.com/2012/11/26/photographing-down-the-food-web-silkworms-bombyx-mori/

You can find a real close-up of Demodex here: https://www.sciencesource.com/archive/Demodex-folliculorum-(SEM)-SS2367855.html

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Is there a reference on the Demodex population spread? Also the last link is behind paywall. $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 30, 2019 at 11:57
  • $\begingroup$ Doesn't answer the main question about mite reproduction, but it does address the "is it true?" portion of the OP's post. Good on you for catching it. +1 $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 30, 2019 at 15:37

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .