5 Parasites that Breed On and In Your Skin

A louse. See more skin problem pictures.
CDC Photo

Out of the dozens of parasites that can make our lives miserable, a few hold a special place in our imaginations. These are the creepy crawlies that latch onto -- or burrow into -- our skin. Perhaps it's because these creatures pierce us that makes them seem more gruesome than other parasites.

The parasites we've uncovered for this article all share something in common -- they breed and lay eggs on or in our skin. In some areas of the world, these pests have been all but eradicated. But in other regions, they present a very real threat to human health and survival.

You might notice some well-known parasites didn't make our list. For example, the guinea worm isn't here, despite the fact that it travels through the flesh, eventually exiting out of an extremity. That's because the worm doesn't actually breed in the skin, even though it does pierce through.

Let's meet the various critters that make their homes -- and raise their families -- on or in our skin.