How to Tell If a Human Has Ear Mites
Sarcoptic mites, the creatures responsible for mange in cats and dogs, are also a pest in humans 1. When they infect pets, they may be called ear mites, since the edges of the ears are the most obvious points of damage. Humans rarely get mite infestations in the ears. Instead, they exhibit infection by these “ear mites” as a reddish skin rash. This rash is called scabies, and can be extremely uncomfortable.
If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.
Examine the skin around your ears and on other parts of your body. Scabies manifests as red bumps, blisters and itchy spots. You may need to use a mirror to look at some parts of your body.
What Are Skin Symptoms of Mites?
Look for burrows. Sarcoptic mites live under the skin, and burrow from one bump to the next. These burrows usually look like thin red, brown or gray lines a few millimeters long. They can be hard to see, and are destroyed by scratching.
Talk to a doctor. If you suspect you have a mite infestation, don't put off talking to a medical professional. He or she can help you determine whether or not you really have mites. You'll need to get appropriate treatment to kill the mites and stop the itching.
Sarcoptic mites on pets are not the same kind of mites that infests humans, but they can cause short-term itching and welts. Most cases of mites are acquired from other humans, not from pets.
Be sure to clean your bedding and other objects the mites can hide in to prevent reinfestation.
What Are Skin Symptoms of Mites?
Signs & Symptoms of Human Skin Mites
Human Parasites Found in Hair
How to Get Rid of Scabies in the Hair
How to Get Rid of Bird Mites on a Human
Itchiness Behind the Ears
What Causes Itchy Ears?
The Effects of Dandruff Shampoo on Lice
How to Identify Fleas & Lice
How to Kill Mites on the Hair Follicles
- Dr. Dan: Sarcoptic Mange – You Can Get It
- MedicineNet.com: Scabies
- Wilson JM, Platts-mills TAE. Home environmental interventions for house dust mite. J Allergy Clin Immunol Pract. 2018;6(1):1-7. doi:10.1016/j.jaip.2017.10.003
- Portnoy J, Miller JD, Williams PB, et al. Environmental assessment and exposure control of dust mites: a practice parameter. Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. 2013;111(6):465-507. doi:10.1016/j.anai.2013.09.018
- Zhong NS, Ip M, Chan-Yeung M, Lam WK. Respiratory Medicine: An Asian Perspective. Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press; 2005.
- Szefler SJ, Bonilla FA, Akdis CA, Sampson H. Pediatric Allergy: Principles and Practice. New York, NY: Elsevier Health Sciences; 2015.
- Leas BF, D'anci KE, Apter AJ, et al. Effectiveness of indoor allergen reduction in asthma management: a systematic review. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2018;141(5):1854-1869. doi:10.1016/j.jaci.2018.02.001
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Asthma. Updated May 7, 2020.
- NIH National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. Guidelines for the diagnosis and management of asthma. Updated September 2012.
- Sarcoptic mites on pets are not the same kind of mites that infests humans, but they can cause short-term itching and welts. Most cases of mites are acquired from other humans, not from pets.
- Be sure to clean your bedding and other objects the mites can hide in to prevent reinfestation.
G.D. Palmer is a freelance writer and illustrator living in Milwaukee, Wis. She has been producing print and Web content for various organizations since 1998 and has been freelancing full-time since 2007. Palmer holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in writing and studio art from Beloit College in Beloit, Wis.