Musings

Eyelash Mites, Yes, You Do Have Them

   Thu, May 22, 2008 - 9:37 PM
Warning: Gross Stuff Ahead, Read at Your Own Risk

Did you know that most people have eyelash mites?

These mites live heads-in in your eyelash follicle, feeding on sebaceous excretion and dead skin cells. They come out to the skin surface at night to mate and return to the follicle to LAY THEIR EGGS! The eggs hatch and *tada!* you got babies and the population of eyelash mites you are host to increases exponentially.

And… here’s what they look like! That’s their heiny you see as their faces are buried into your follicle, feeding away. The big thing is the eyelash.

Demodex folliculorum, or the demodicid, is a tiny mite, less than 0.4 mm long, that lives in your pores and hair follicles, usually on the nose, forehead, cheek, and chin, and often in the roots of your eyelashes. (A follicle is the pore from which a hair grows).

Demodicids have a wormlike appearance, with legs that are mere stumps. People with oily skin, or those who use cosmetics heavily and don't wash thoroughly, have the heaviest infestations ... but most adults carry a few demodicids. Inflammation and infection often result when large numbers of these mites congregate in a single follicle.

An individual female may lay up to 25 eggs in a single follicle, and as the mites grow, they become tightly packed. When mature, the mites leave the follicle, mate, and find a new follicle in which to lay their eggs. The whole cycle takes between 14 to 18 days.

The mites have tiny claws, and needlelike mouthparts for eating skin cells. Their bodies are layered with scales, which help them anchor themselves in the follicle.

And don’t bother scrubbing your eyes out tonight when you shower. Almost nothing gets them out. But washing your closed eyes with baby shampoo helps keep their numbers down.

Experts say that they do no harm except that if too many are in one follicle, that eyelash will come loose and fall out easily. In fact, some say that eyelash mites and you exist in a symbiotic relationship in that they actually eat your waste material, thus cleaning you up. Maybe they’re trying to say that if you didn’t have eyelash mites, you’d have greasy and dandruffy eyelashes.

Also, small comfort: Eyelash mites are so efficient that they eat but do not has excretory exits and thus there is no eyelash mite poop falling into your eyes.

If you think you are safe, you’re not! MOST people have them.

If you use eyeliner and mascara, you most definitely have more of them!

If you don’t wash off your eyeliner and mascara well, you probably already have an infestation.

Thank you for your attention to this public safety announcement. We wish you a peaceful night’s sleep!



12 Comments

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Thu, May 22, 2008 - 11:19 PM
by far the easiest pets I have ever had.
Fri, May 23, 2008 - 1:54 AM
2 AM --- Gee, thanks a lot.
Fri, May 23, 2008 - 8:05 AM
I bet we could kill them with OTC lice or scabies treatments.
Fri, May 23, 2008 - 9:32 AM
Symbiosis isn't always pretty, but that's nature for you.
Fri, May 23, 2008 - 6:02 PM
Thanks for the dose of reality.

&

ew....i feel dirty....but not in the good way.

Ah well...I also feel more connected to all living things. That's never a bad thing.
Sat, March 20, 2010 - 12:08 AM
Dont worry...
There is no need to worry bout them. If you do manage to get rid of them,they come back. And you dont feel them. So dont go beserk,and rip out your eyelids. That would put you in a worse situation...I think. But still. That picture gives me the heeba-de-jeebes.
Tue, October 5, 2010 - 9:25 PM
simple solution to getting rid of eye mites
I watched a video with a dr that said the easiest way to get rid of eye mites is to take a little bit of baby shampoo and mix it with water and close your eyes and rub on the eyelids, close to the eyelashes. This will get rid of 99% of all of them,,,and you can do this without tears!!!! :-)
Sun, April 17, 2011 - 4:17 PM
I scrub/scratch my eyelids/lashes with Caress while squeezing my eyes closed, I'm sure it does the same thing.
Tue, September 20, 2011 - 8:35 PM
Eyes n Mites
There are many treatments available, tea tree oil is one them but the problem with demodex that it stays deep inside the hair follicle so you need a good deep penetrating cream? better - natural cream. Chemicals may not help with demodex due to side effects. Cream Demodexin is natural anti demodex product? i used it and it took the mites off my skin within three weeks. You need to watch the diet and boost your immune sysytem as part of anti demodex treatment.
Sat, February 18, 2012 - 3:07 AM
There is no need to worry if oyu have eyelash mites.
Initially I was a bit worried when my eyelashes or eyelids ( was not too sure which was it was ) started itching me. After speaking to a doctor, it transpird that, yes, indeed we do have then and they are actually quite harmless.
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