• A taxonomically diverse group of organisms that infest the superficial skin of human beings (and other animals).
  • Refers to pathogens such as ticks, fleas, lice, parasitic flies and mites that attach or burrow into the skin and remain there for a relatively long period of time (2) (not classically blood-sucking arthropods, such as mosquitoes)[1]


  • Arthropods[2]
    • Insects (3 distinct body parts: head, thorax, and abdomen; head has 2 antennae; thorax has 6 legs; many also have 2 pairs of wings)
    • Arachnids (2 body parts: prosoma and opisthosoma; 8 legs; do NOT have wings or antennae)

Differential Diagnosis

Domestic U.S. Ectoparasites

See also travel-related skin conditions

Ectoparasite & Related Images

See Also

External Links




  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Parasites [Internet]. [cited 2017 Dec 28]. Available from: