Creepy Crawlies in the Skin

Warning: If super tiny, ugly-ass microbial creatures in the eyelashes and/or skin of the face give you the willies, do not read any further, because this post is, embarrassingly, rife with them. I venture that you are probably about to ask: “Does BigLizzy have no shame?” For the record, I don’t. And, this post will prove it. So, buckle up, my peeps. It’s about to get kinda gross.

Flash-back to six months ago:

I wake up and notice a small red blotch on my left cheek near my eye. I’m thinking…hmmm…adult acne? (even though I have never had a zit on my face in my life). I possibly scratched myself in my sleep? My glasses are resting on my cheek and causing some irritation? My Rosacea is back? An allergy to soap or my sunscreen? Strange.

So, as any dutiful body owner, I watch the spot over the course of a week. It worsens and then seems to get better; it seems to get a bit less “verbose” and violently colored. All the same, I have an appointment with my doctor for my annual physical the next week, so I ask her about it when I’m there. She says it looks like a staph infection and wants me to go on an antibiotic. I demure. I hate antibiotics. She agrees to give me a topical instead, which I try. It gets better, but never really goes away completely. So vexing!

I simply watch the spot. It cycles through getting better and then worse, better then worse. I mention it to my doctor again after several months. She utters the dreaded, “Possible basal cell (gasp!) carcinoma” and refers me to a dermatologist. It’s a four-week wait to see the dude, this being Arizona, after all, and one of the top skin cancer spots in the world, so you don’t just walk into a derm and get seen on the spot.

I wait the four weeks to see the derm, convinced that it’s skin cancer and why not? I NEVER used sunscreen until five years ago. In fact, as a kid, it was standard practice to slather oneself with a bevvy of skin-sizzling products (Hawaiian Tropics, anyone?) and sit on a beach for 8-10 hours per day, for at least two days per week. I never protected my skin until I moved to AZ and started noticing the age spots. (Oh, for shame! How I loathe the decisions I made in the past when it came to my skin. Sigh.)

Well, I went to the derm a few days ago. I bet you can guess the punch line. It’s not skin cancer. It’s a condition that often affects people with rosacea and experts don’t know why there is such a link between rosacea sufferers and this condition. But, there is and naturally, I have it.

Apparently, all mammals have these eensy tiny mites called demodex that live on their hair follicles. In humans, they are most often found among our eyelashes. These mites do their thing and we never, ever notice them. Welllll, in rosacea patients, these mites go NUTS and take up residence in the skin’s sebaceous glands, which are connected to the hair follicles. Lovely. That’s where the mighty mites have mass-orgies of procreation (unlike in non-rosacea people) and cause severe skin irritation. Enter my face and with it, all kinds of odd feelings as a result.

Um...hello, little creepers.

Um…hello, little creepers.

By the way: I’ll refrain from telling you the gory details of the microscopic terrain of the human body. You can well imagine the *shudder-worthy* information I have drummed up over the past few days. It’s pretty revolting. I’m trying hard to accept it. But, suffice it to say, there is some really, really gross stuff going on below our level of awareness. I’m now even more germ-phobic than before. HA!

The bottom line is that even though this happens to lots of people and there is nothing I could have done to prevent it, obviously, and no matter how “clean” someone is, it happens. The thing is: it’s seriously messing with my head (and, well, my skin, too!).

I’m so super creeped out by this. I actually feel embarrassed about it and am wondering where this “pile o’ shame” is coming from. Childhood, obviously. Gawd, even more work to do on myself. But, dang-it. It’s very uncomfortable to be here. So, naturally, I decided to blog about it. Hahahahahahha!

Hey, I’m a pathologically clean girl. I use only pure-grade essential oils on my skin. I take SUPER GOOD CARE of myself. I bathe daily. I floss and brush daily. I work out daily. I’m a fanatic about caring for my body, mind, and soul. Hell, I’m germ-phobic, for poop’s sake. (ha, ha!) So, what the shiz, demodex? Um, more like: DEMONdex. You SUCK and, no, I will not be Buddhist in dealing with you. Nope, I ain’t that evolved. You will die. I will see to it.

By the way, this condition is not something one spreads to others, so if you worry that I’m going to leave a microscopic pile of bugs on your collar when I hug you, it’s not gonna happen. LOL! These babies are having a blast in my ecosystem and will not emigrate to other people. Besides, you all have your own demodex anyway.

So, cut to the present. I’m at war with these tiny creepers and dousing their villages with tea tree oil. Apparently, I’ll have to use lots of patience, too, because once they go nuts like this (and let’s face it, much like the human race), there is little controlling them. Okay, well. I’m off to nuke some mites, my friends.

Bodies are sometimes really weird. Can I get an amen?

26 thoughts on “Creepy Crawlies in the Skin

  1. Pua Nani

    Sorry to hear about this problem u r having. I recently started taking biotin in hopes of it helping my hair grow faster and found it had an amazing effect on skin issues I was having. Namely 4 or 5 stubborn finger warts that I had had for years suddenly cleared up quickly. A scaly rash I had around my hairline totally disappeared. I’m not saying that it would necessarily help w your skin issue but it could be something to try. 500-1000 mg a day seems to be a good dose. Blessings 🙂

    1. BigLizzy Post author

      Pua Nani!! Oh-my-gosh, my friend. THANK YOU so much for letting me know this. I will def ask my doctor about this and see if it’s something I can incorporate. I like it! yeah, skin stuff is weird. Now that I’m nearly menopausal, it’s strange terrain, I tell ya. I appreciate your idea and sharing with me, honey. Big (bug-free) hugs to you! 🙂

    1. BigLizzy Post author

      Fresh Ginger!! Right?!! Blankety-blank creeeeeepers!!! It’s just so wrong!! Thanks for checking in, honey. You make me smile. 🙂

  2. MELewis

    Lizzie, ma pauvre! It sounds creepy and all, but anyone who’s ever taken a probiotic should know that our bodies are hosts to all kinds of organisms – good and bad. It’s gross, for sure, but it’s who we are. You’re just unlucky enough to have an unpleasant overpopulation in a visible location. Hope you manage to destroy the buggers without hurting yourself. It’s probably a sign you need to rest and replenish. Take care of yourself, and get back to fighting form soon! Bises xx

    1. BigLizzy Post author

      Ma Chere, Mel!
      You are absolutely right, of course, honey. I need not worry. Out of all of the things that this could be, Demodex are the least damaging and really just an annoyance (and an eyesore). I should be grateful that it’s not skin cancer, right?

      And, you are also right that I need to rest a great deal more. I’ve been making excellent strides in that area, honestly. I feel really proud of myself for working far fewer hours these last eight weeks. I’m feeling much better!

      Thanks so much for stopping by, mon ami. Now, I’m off to visit your lovely blog and catch up. XOXO

  3. disappearingwoman

    Yikes! As a former elementary school teacher, I had an arduous encounter with some really disgusting characters known as scabies. I, of course, caught them from a kid while placing my hand over hers to guide her learning a cursive “Q!” They’re microscopic body mites that often hang out in body creases; especially between the fingers. I had to miss two days of work to treat myself and wash and fumigate my entire house. They itch like crazy. After that, all kids were on their own for learning cursive Qs!! I hope your mites scram really soon!

    1. BigLizzy Post author

      Hi, my sweet disappearing woman, So nice to see you!

      Holy yikes! Scabies. UGH! As a teacher, you must have monthly lice checks on your “To-Do” list. Holy crap! I have to remember that it could be and is sometimes so much worse. This little outbreak is pretty tame compared to what you went through, honey. Crazy!

      Well, thanks for stopping by and chiming in, sweetness. I so got this! I’m gonna nuke these creepers in droves. It has to happen; it’s me or them. 🙂

  4. Kate Baker

    Oh my Hell! Only you would have something weird! But, it is good material for your comic routines. Here’s your AMEN! You can conquer this my dear. I love you and you’re gorgeous!!

    1. BigLizzy Post author

      Right?! I get the effin’ weirdest sh*t, I tell you. I mean, the weirdest ailments of anyone I know. Karma’s gonna get ya! I’ve probably killed off the Karma from the last four lifetimes with this incarnation. LOL! Thanks for checking in with me, honey. I loved riding with you last weekend. We should do it again real soon, like tomorrow! 🙂 ❤

    1. BigLizzy Post author

      Nomzi, RIGHT?! All we can do is laugh about it. Crying about my “marred beauty” will not help. I love you, sis. This really is pretty funny. 🙂

  5. mariner2mother

    It’s criminal that you had to wait a month to be seen by a dermatologist. They don’t have any derm P.A.’s there? Anyway, sorry your critters have gotten so out of balance. Usually all the bugs and bacteria in and on our bodies behave in a well balanced manner. Is there any parallel between the bug balance and your life balance? Just wondering… Hope the tea tree oil does the trick!

    1. BigLizzy Post author

      Hi, baby-Susan!!

      Thanks for stopping by and reading about my mighty mites, honey. Love having your input. Thank the Goddess they are getting under control. My face looks so much better than last week.

      I love your questions here. YES! I do believe there is a strong parallel between this imbalance and my current state of mind. I’ve been “bugged” lately by all kinds of little things. Nothing major, just these “little irritations” in my life. So, there you have it! The bugs heard me and complied. LOL!

      I feel kinda bad about nuking them, but enough’s enough. Tea tree and lemongrass oils are the balm to heal their “buglyness.” 🙂

      Love you, sis. So, so much! XOXO

  6. LB

    I just heard a story about this the other day on public radio!
    You are not alone, but I know that doesn’t help. Good luck with the tea tree oil!!
    It takes months and months to get folks in dermatology in my area … whether NP, MD, or PA, I’ve had it take 7 months to get patients in for a visit. Even still, I’m sorry it took so long!

    1. BigLizzy Post author


      Isn’t that weird?! You just heard about this and now a friend of yours has it? Ha!

      Good news: The essential oils are working well. I’ve been using tea tree, lemongrass, and calendula together. It’s going away!

      I’m just so thankful that it’s not skin cancer, man. My dad just went through losing half of his nose to it and the necessary reconstructive surgery. Not nice!

      Thanks for stopping by and giving me some love, honey. I always enjoy your friendly visits. When are you riding to Sedona? 🙂

  7. Frances D

    Glad the essential oils are working. Tea tree is great stuff – I love it in soap and shampoos. So sorry to read about your Dad’s bout with cancer. Sending love and light.

    1. BigLizzy Post author

      Hi, Frances!! How are you doing, babe? Thanks for stopping by. Yeah, tea tree oil is amazing. My dad is doing great. They repaired his nose. He’s a very strong dude. He beat pancreatic cancer a couple of years ago. Thanks for the kind thoughts, sis.

    1. BigLizzy Post author

      Hi, honey! So good to hear from you. My skin ailment is much better now, thanks! It’s almost gone. How are you, sis? I’ve loved your last few posts, but am working a couple of jobs right now and haven’t had much time to post, read, comment, etc. Big “bug-free” hugs to you, sista! XOXO

      1. Yoga Moods

        Oh good! I’m glad you are better. I’m good, thanks! It’s been a very interesting time for me. Made big changes in pretty much every aspect of my life! So I’ve been really busy, too, just getting back here. I missed your posts — you’re one of my favorite bloggers as you probably know — and it’s so nice to see your beautiful face. Hugs back!

      2. BigLizzy Post author

        Jen, you delicious being, you. THANK YOU so much for the kind words. You literally just saved my life. Do you know this? Do you know the power and presence your words hold? Do you know the gift that you are to other people? I hope so. I’ll keep telling you, sis. Much love to you. And, you must know that you are one of my favorite bloggers, too. ❤

  8. Pingback: Got My Pigeon Back! | BigBodyBeautiful

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