At AllThingsNature, we're committed to delivering accurate, trustworthy information. Our expert-authored content is rigorously fact-checked and sourced from credible authorities. Discover how we uphold the highest standards in providing you with reliable knowledge.
There are several different kinds of skin mites that can attack humans for different reasons. Some cause severe symptoms including itching and inflammation, while others may not cause any noticeable symptoms at all. The three most common types of skin mites that affect people include the scabies mites, human demodex mites, and chiggers. Out of the three, scabies generally cause the most severe problems, while demodex mites are typically the most harmless. There are also other mites that can attack people more rarely, and many of them are often transferred to people's skin from their pets.
Mites are actually from the arachnid family, which means they are closely related to spiders, ticks, and scorpions. For the most part, mites are generally smaller than other members of the arachnid family. Some of them are actually too small to be easily seen with the naked eye. Most mites are generally harmless or only cause very minor problems for people. In a few cases, people may have an allergy to the presence of certain mites, and there are a few species that actively seek to prey on people.
Many experts suggest that the most severe kind of skin mites that attack people are scabies mites. These mites burrow into a person’s skin and lay eggs inside the tunnel. Most people have an allergic reaction to the mite’s presence inside their skin, which is why they begin to itch and suffer inflammation in the areas where the burrows exist. Scabies skin mites are considered extremely contagious and can be passed by touching someone else or even through contact with bedclothes.
Chiggers aren’t considered quite as severe as scabies, and they are generally easier to deal with. These mites simply feed on people’s skin while they are walking around in the grass or in the forest. In order to feed on the skin, they use an acidic substance that causes severe itching and inflammation. Chiggers don’t generally linger for very long, so they aren’t that hard to get rid of, unlike scabies.
Human demodex mites live in the skin around people's eyebrows and eyelashes. For most people, these mites don’t actually cause any noticeable symptoms. When people have an allergy to the mites, they may have itching around their eyelids or eyebrows. People often get rid of these by washing their eyelids with substances that kill the mites, such as baby shampoo or special medications. Many people have these skin mites without even being aware that they are present.