5 Mites Parasites That Live In Your Hair & Cause Balding Hair Loss Thinning & Alopecia


When it comes to hair loss, thinning, and balding, the leading culprits are parasitic mites. Mites are spreading very easily, and they are hard to get rid of because their eggs get all over your body, and then they end up all over your home. They are in your bed, your brushes and combs 💇, towels, rags, clothing 👕, and furniture. Anyone who comes in contact with you or your home, can easily get them and then share them with those they live with in their own home. So it is important that we understand mites and recognize when we have them so that we can treat ourselves and get rid of them. 

In general, mites feed on you, drink your blood, and steal your nourishment. This is what can stop your hair from growing and cause thinning, balding, and hair fall out. If the mites are allowed to continue reproducing, they can make you feel anemic and tired, so for optimum health, you must be mite free.


Here are 5 of the most common mites that are found in or around hair. 


Crabs


These are most commonly known as pubic lice or crab lice. They are tiny parasites that live on our bodies, but what is unknown to most people is that they are not limited to the pubic area. Crabs can actually live in any area with hair, which includes your underarmseyelashes, beard, or skin, especially the chest and abdomen. This is because we tend to have hair all over our bodies. 

Crabs live and feed on you; they are bloodsuckers, literally. They drink your blood, and they are spread easily from person-to-person. Crabs are spread through physical contact, so you can get them:

  • By putting your face next to someone who has them
  • Through contact with a contaminated person's chest and abdomen
  • Through sexual contact, kissing, hugging, and contact with the pubic area

"Image from page 24 of "Control of household insects and related pests" (1961)", Internet Archive Book Images, Flickr.


"Around 3 million cases of crabs are reported in the United States each year, mostly spread through sexual contact" ("Pubic Lice and How To Get Rid of Them", 2017, Daniel Murrell, MedicalNewsToday).

Having crabs can cause itching, sores, rashes, and bacterial infections. Crabs bite you in order to feed on your blood, so spots will appear in the areas where they are feeding.


Ringworm


"Image from page 5 of "Ringworm in the light of recent research : pathology, treatment, prophylaxis" (1898)", Internet Archive Book Images, Flickr.

Ringworm is very easy to spot. It is caused by a fungal parasite that causes a red rash to form in the shape of a ring at the site of infection. Ringworm also causes balding in a ring formation on top of the head. The parasite that causes ringworm, tinea, also causes athlete's foot and jock itch. Unfortunately, ringworm is very common and pet owners are constantly getting it.



"Ringworm", Lisa Zins, Flickr.

"Ringworm from animals may account for 20-50% of fungal skin infections in humans. One study showed that 50% of people who had contact with infected cats developed infection with M. canis...The percentage of dogs and cats suspected of having ringworm that actually test positive for the fungus varies widely, from 14-92%. From 3-30% of normal animals may be positive. The percentage is consistently higher in cats"
("Ringworm", Worms & Germs Blog).



Ringworm is often given to people by their dogs. When their dog goes outside and comes in contact with this parasite from the ground or something they ate or killed, they then come into the house and have contact with you, and that is how you can get it. So if your dog has excessive shedding and starts balding, you need to take it seriously because your health will also be affected. It is very important that you regularly give your dog parasite medications, and wash them each time they go outside with lice and parasite soaps and solutions, such as the Natural Herbal Lotion.



"Different dermatophytes are more common in certain species, such as Microsporum canis and Trichophyton mentagrophytes in dogs and cats. Dermatophytes that are adapted to humans do not normally infect animals, but can contaminate their fur. Dermatophytes, specifically M. canis, are very commonly found on cats, Signs of infection in animals are not always apparent. Cats are considered the primary zoonotic source of dermatomycosis in humans" ("Ringworm", Worms & Germs Blog). 

Something that may surprise you is that you can give yourself ringworm by sitting outside on the ground, or simply by touching something that someone or their contaminated pet had contact with. 

"File:Porrigo decalvans; a variety of ringworm Wellcome L0034550.jpg", Wellcome Images, Wikimedia Commons. 

"Ringworm can spread while petting or grooming dogs or cats. It's also fairly common in cows...Ringworm can spread by contact with objects or surfaces that an infected person or animal has recently touched or rubbed against...ringworm can be spread to humans by contact with infected soil" ("Ringworm (Body)", Mayo Clinic).


Scabies
"Scabies", 2005, Micah MacAllen, Flickr. 

Scabies is the name of a contagious skin disease that is characterized by red bumps and itchy skin. This disease is caused by an infestation of the scabies mites. 

"Scabies is not an infection, but an infestation. Tiny mites called Sarcoptes scabiei set up shop in the outer layers of human skin...the mites burrow and lay eggs inside the skin" ("Scabies Slideshow: Symptoms, Cause, and Treatments", 2018, Debra Jaliman, WebMD). 



Scabies is very common. These mites cause rashes, blisters, acne, sores, scaly skin, and can lead to bacterial infections. People often mistake scabies for mosquito bites because they look similar. The same mosquito can bite you up to 8 times, but in general, if the bites last too long or if you seem to have them all year round, you should consider getting checked for scabies.



"Scabies infestation occurs worldwide and is very common...It has been estimated that about 300 million cases occur each year throughout the world. Human scabies has been reported for over 2,500 years. Scabies has been reported to occur in epidemics in nursing homes, hospitals, long-term care facilities, and other institutions. In the U.S., scabies frequently affects the homeless population" ("Scabies Facts", MedicineNet). 


"File:Scabies-RechterFuss.jpg", Penarc, Wikimedia Commons. 

A lot of people think of scabies as something mostly on the hands, but actually, the scabies mites can live all over your body, including on your head, neck, chest, feet, genital area, and anywhere where there is skin and tissues for them to eat. Anyone who has scabies is not only contaminated with these mites, but also the mites' feces and their babies are all over them, since these mites are constantly laying eggs inside of the skin. 


Demodex


"File:Demodex mite 1.JPG", 2005, Joel Mills, Wikimedia Commons. 

Demodex mites are small parasites that live on the body and feed on all your skin juices, from skin cells, sebaceous oil glands, to your hair follicles. Demodex mites live in our pores and hair, and men tend to get them more often than women do. The reason for this is because of hygiene, and because these mites also feed on hormones, and men tend to have more testosterone than women. 




Demodex mites are very common, and though they are often found on the face and in the hair, they can actually be all over your body, since we have hair and pores all over us.

"Demodex, a genus of tiny parasitic mites that live in or near hair follicles of mammals, are among the smallest of arthropods with two species Demodex folliculorum and Demodex brevis typically found on humans. Infestation with Demodex is common; prevalence in healthy adults varying between 23-100%" ("Human Demodex Mite: The Versatile Mite of Dermatological Importance", 2014, Parvaiz Anwar Rather & Iffat Hassan, Indian Journal of Dermatology).


"Blepharitis", Wikipedia. 

In addition to hair loss, balding, hair thinning, and anemia, other illnesses and problems associated with demodex mites are Rosacea, lack of eyebrows, red crusty watery eyes, eyelash fallout, inflamed swollen eyelids, acne, facial redness, itching, dermatitis, rashes, scaly peeling skin, Blepharitis, malnutrition, and malignancy.



Lice

James Gathany & Frank Collins, Pixnio

Lice feed on your blood and steal your nourishment. They live on you and lay their eggs. These parasites are commonly found in hair and are a rampant problem in families with children because children tend to share things with other children at school and they have a lot of close contact with their peers.

"Every year, between 6 and 12 million people worldwide get head lice. Most of those millions are kids. Any kid who goes to school has probably already heard about lice. They can spread easily at schools, so if one kid gets them, the rest of the class might get them, too" ("Lice Aren't So Nice", Rupal Christine Gupta, KidsHealth). 


"Lice", Centers for Disease Control and Prevention/CDC.

A lot of people have some misunderstandings about lice. One being that they are just on the hair on our heads. In truth, lice can be all over your body, as well as in the genital area. Furthermore, a lot of people think lice are fairly harmless, though they cause hair loss, balding, and thinning. I'm sorry to disappoint you, but lice do far more than just this, they also spread diseases in a similar way to how the Plague was spread by rats.


"Several of the infectious diseases associated with human lice are life-threatening, including epidemic typhus, relapsing fever, and trench fever, which are caused by Rickettsia prowazekii, Borrelia recurrentis, and Bartonella quintana...Although these diseases have been known for several centuries, they remain a major public health concern...Trench fever has been reported in both developing and developed countries in populations living in poor conditions, such as homeless individuals...outbreaks of epidemic typhus and epidemic relapsing fever have occurred in jails and refugee camps in developing countries...experimental laboratory studies have demonstrated that the body louse can transmit other emerging or re-emerging pathogens, such as Acinetobacter baumannii and Yersinia pestis" ("Human Louse-Transmitted Infectious Diseases", 2012, S. Badiaga & P. Brouqui, Clinical Microbiology and Infection). 



Something to be aware of is that parasites are very adept at survival. Lice in particular have recently mutated to resist traditional medical treatments. These new mutated lice are called "super lice" and I wrote all about them here


Conclusion

A key takeaway about mites is that they are spread by contact with physical contaminated objects, and through physical intimate contact such as hugging, kissing 💏, and sexual contact. Places where there is crowding and poor hygiene such as an all boys dorm room, senior citizens homes, and nurseries can have rampant epidemics. 

Protecting yourself and your loved ones starts with awareness and understanding how diseases are spread. Having a healthy body starts with daily cleansing and hygiene, and being observant of those around you. Avoid hanging out at someone's house or hugging them temporarily if you notice that they have a rash or are scratching too much. Noticing things like this and regularly doing parasite treatments can really make your life easier and healthier. 

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