Eyelash Mites Symptoms, Causes and Treatment

Eyelash mites are worm like parasites that take up residence in the hair follicles and pores of a host and feed off them. Also referred to as face mites, these creatures are found on the nose, forehead, cheeks, chin and on the eyelashes.

Eyelash Mites Physical Characteristics

Going by the scientific name Demodex Folliculitis, eyelash mites are almost similar to worms in their physical characteristics. They possess claws, short legs and sharp mouth parts. They are barely noticeable by the human eyes.

In most cases, low infestations do not case any problems to the host. However, heavy infestations will cause a lot of pain and discomfort. They are known to cause inflammation and infections on the eyelashes. In severe cases blepharitis will result from the inflammation of the eyelid. This occurs when the parasites burrow deep into the eyelash hair follicles and feed on the sebum found in them.

These mites tend to burrow into the flesh of the host in a face down position and while at it feed on the oil deposits and dead skin. Where more than one eyelash mite burrows themselves into one hair follicle, the hair in it will tend to fall off.

Does Every one have Eyelash Mites?

Does everyone have eyelash mites and how do humans get the mites? Eyelash mites are more common than we may think. Most human beings acquire mites soon after birth. These form part of the normal composition of the skin. However, during the adolescence stage, the sebaceous glands start producing more sebum which serves as more food for the mites. This tends to increase their population.

According to eyelashmites.com, only a third of people over 60 years old do not have them while all people over 18 have at least one species of the demodex mites on their bodies. A third of children and young adults have them. Their effects is dependent on how populated they are. 

While everyone may have eyelash mites, the phenomenon where there is a proliferation of eyelash mites is not natural. Referred to as demodicosis, the presence of too many mites on the face could cause infections and shedding of eyelash mites. Demodex mites can be passed on from one person to another through direct contact.

Eyelash Mites Causes

The reason for an increased infestation of eyelash mites depends on a number of factors creating a favorable  environment for their proliferation. These are as discussed below. The mites have a preference for some people than others.

Poor Hygiene

Proliferation of the mites can occur where there is poor hygiene. Always remember to maintain proper grooming and hygiene standards. Wash off any eye makeup you might have before going to bed. Keep your brushes and applicators clean too.

Oily Skin

People with oily skin are predisposed to eyelash mites infestation. This can be attributed to the fact that they feed on sebum.

Suppressed Immune System

Persons with suppressed immune system are more predisposed to eyelash mites. These include persons living with HIV, children suffering leukemia and any patients on whom immunosuppressive drugs are being administered. Also, men are more prone to eyelash mites as opposed to women due to their having a high number of sebaceous glands. These produce more food for the mites.

Eyelash Mites Symptom

Can you feel demodex mites? The eyelash mite symptoms refers to signs that will be indicative of an out of the ordinary presence of the mites. It is mostly characterized by mite bites which appear as itching skin and inflammation around the eye lashes. The symptoms include:
  • Thickening of the eyelids
  • Itchy and scaly eyelids
  • Dry eyes
  • Rosacea
  • Enlargement of pores
  • Blepharitis
  • Dilated veins
  • Adult acne
  • Hair thinning
  • Black heads

Eyelash Mites Treatment, How to Get Rid of them and Kill Demodex Mites Naturally

Eyelash mites treatment can be done using various products. There are home treatments that can be used on how to get rid of them. Some of these can help kill them naturally without manufactured products as discussed below.

Home Treatment for Face Mites

Simple hygiene practices can help bring down the population of eyelash mites.
  1. Use shampoo to wash eyelashes daily.
  2. In regular intervals, exfoliate dead skin around the eyes and on the eyelids.
  3. Use appropriate cleansing products to clean your face at least twice a day.
  4. Discard old makeup and avoid oily creams and facial makeup. 
  5. Change your linen and wash it thoroughly.

Medication for Eyelash Mites

Some of the products you can use on your lashes to kill and wade off mites include:
  • 5 percent tea tree ointment treatment 
  • 1 percent mercury oxide ointment.
  • Topical antibiotics such as erythromycin and metronidazole. 

Additional Reference Sources

Health Hype: Demodex (Hair Follicle Mite) Types, Symptoms and Treatment
Grow Youthful: Demodex Mites

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