It’s not a very pleasant thought, but some experts believe that as many as 50% of people in all age groups have eyelash mites! It is thought that as many as 80% of people older the age of 60 have these mites. These microscopic mites are parasitic in nature, but when they exist in very small numbers they usually do not cause problems. It is when one has a larger number of eyelash mites that symptoms and problems usually start making themselves evident, and you will probably want to find remedies to deal with the issue. In this article, we will discuss the eyelash mites causes and home remedies.
What are Eyelash Mites?
Eyelash mites are also referred to as demodex folliculorum. Eyelash mites take up residence in the pores and hair follicles. Mites are most commonly found in the eyelashes and eyebrows, and in the forehead and nose areas.
Eyelash mites look a little like miniscule worms. They have claws and extremely short legs. Parts of the eyelash mite’s mouth are sharp. These mites consume your skin secretions (oily deposits) and dead skin.
Causes and Symptoms of Eyelash Mites
When numbers of eyelash mites become large, they tend to cause inflammation or even lead to infection. Eyelash mites can cause lashes to fall out, especially when there is more than one mite in each of the hair follicles. Demodicosis is the condition of inflammation and irritation that develops a large infestation of eyelash mites.
Eyelash mites lay eggs in your pores and hair follicles. If you have oily skin, if you tend to wear a large amount of eye makeup, if your immune system is compromised in some way, or if you are elderly, you might be more prone to developing a problematic infestation of eyelash mites.
An infestation of eyelash mites can cause symptoms such as itching and inflammation; possible infection; eyelash loss; increased incidence of acne; blepharitis (a condition that involves inflammation of the eyelid with itchiness, burning, redness, inflammation, and “crustiness” of the skin of the eyelids); and rosacea.
Home Remedies for Eyelash Mites
Avoid using mascara (and other eye makeup)
It is believed that using mascara (and possibly other eye makeup) makes people more prone to having eyelash mites. If you feel you have an eyelash mite infestation, stop using mascara for a few weeks. Throw away your old tube of the product. If you start using mascara again, use a new tube.
Be more fastidious about face washing
If you think you might have eyelash mites or you want to avoid getting an infestation, be fastidious with your face washing at both the beginning and end of the day. Ensure that you gently yet properly clean your eyelids each night.
Purchase new pillowcases and pillows, as well as bed sheets
If you feel you have an eyelash mite infestation, it would be best to buy new pillows, pillowcases, and sheets. If that is not a possibility, at least wash all of these items in very hot water and possibly bleach.
Check your pets
If you have pets, take them to the vet to check for mite infestation of their fur. If they have an infestation, have it treated. This is important, as your pets could cause reinfection.
No-tear baby soap
Use no-tear baby soap to gently wash your eyelids and lashline. Rinse it off thoroughly. You should do this two times a day, at the very least until your symptoms have disappeared.
Diluted no-tear baby shampoo
Dilute no-tear baby shampoo with water, and use this to gently wash the eyelid and lash line area, and then rinse thoroughly. You should do this two times a day, at the very least until your symptoms have disappeared.
Ivermectin 1% cream
Apply small amounts of this cream to your eyelids and lash line area every day, being very careful not to get any of it into your eyes. If you are unsure about the eye safety of a particular cream, make sure to consult with your eye doctor or family doctor. Make sure to follow the instructions you are given regarding the proper use of the cream.
Macademia nut oil and tea tree oil
Mix 50% Macademia nut oil with 50% tea tree oil. Use a clean cotton swab to gently apply this to the eyelid and lash line, being very careful not to get it in the eyes. Before you put this on, try to very gently exfoliate the eyelid and lash line with a clean wash cloth. It is a good idea to put some of the oil into your eyebrows, too. This is because the mites can spread to the eyebrows from the eyelashes.
Tea tree shampoo
Dilute tea tree shampoo with a large amount of water. Carefully apply a tiny amount of this to the eyelids and lash line, being very careful not to get any of it into your eyes. You should use this at least a couple of times a day until the symptoms have disappeared.
A steroid-antibiotic ointment that is safe for the eyes
Ask a doctor who has examined you for a prescription for a steroid-antibiotic ointment that can be safely used in the eye area. Make sure to use the ointment as prescribed by your doctor.
If you have lost lashes as a result of your eyelash mites, use castor oil to encourage new growth. Apply a tiny amount to the lids and lash line before you go to sleep each night. Castor oil also helps to address inflammation.
Take a biotin supplement every day to encourage growth of new eyelashes and help prevent lash loss. Biotin also offers the bonus effect of helping the hair on your head become stronger and making it grow more quickly.
Taking a daily probiotic supplement to help to generally strengthen your immune system, making inflammation and infection less likely to develop. As people with compromised immune systems seem to be more susceptible to eyelash mite infestations, taking supplements that help boost your immune system are likely to be very helpful in both the short and long-term.
Take oregano oil orally on a daily basis. Oregano oil has incredible antibacterial properties, and will make development of infection less likely to occur. Oregano oil will also help boost the functioning of your immune system. Make sure to carefully read the directions on the label on the bottle, and follow dosage instructions properly.
If you experience inflammation of the area, use a warm compress once a day to help soothe the area.
Omega-3 fatty acids
Taken omega-3 fatty acid supplements on a daily basis to help support better eye health. This will be especially helpful if you have developed blepharitis as a result of having eyelash mites. If you cannot find or would rather not take supplements, you can simply boost the amount of omega-3 fatty acids in your daily diet. Examples of foods you should eat more of include salmon, trout, tuna, flaxseed, and walnuts. Omega-3 fatty acids are known to be beneficial not only to the eyes but also to overall health, and therefore will probably benefit your immune system.
If your eyelash mites have caused you to develop blepharitis, using aloe vera will be very useful in dealing with your symptoms. If you have an aloe vera plant, extract the juice from one leaf. Put the juice in the fridge to cool for a period of time. You should apply the cool aloe vera juice to your eyelid, lash line, and general eye area several times every day until the symptoms disappear.
Coconut oil will help to soothe the affected area, and promote healing. Use a clean piece of cotton wool or cotton pad to gently apply small amounts of coconut oil to your eyelid, lash line, and the general eye area. After the coconut oil has been allowed to sit on the affected area for at least half an hour, carefully remove it. Make sure to do this several times daily until the symptoms have disappeared.
This is a very useful remedy if you experiencing swelling and/or blepharitis. After you have carefully washed a potato, chop it into fine, wide slices. Rest one potato slice on each of your eyes, and let them sit there for at least twenty minutes. This remedy is very useful for addressing the problem of inflammation, and helps to soothe and calm the area. You should do this a few times a day until the symptoms have disappeared.
Allowing tea bags to sit on your eyes will greatly help with inflammation and soreness. Many people find chamomile tea to be especially helpful and calming. First steep the tea bags in some boiling water. After that, take the bags out and give them time to cool. Put one teabag on each of your eyes, and let them rest there for about 20 minutes. You find this to be very cooling and soothing, and that your eyes will feel refreshed.
Finely slice a cucumber, and place one piece on each of your eyes. You will find the cucumber soothing and cooling, and will help address inflammation.
Mix some baking soda with water. Use a cotton pad to gently apply small amounts of this to your eyelids and lash line, taking care not to get any liquid in your eyes. This remedy will help to address inflammation, and will generally soothe the area. Baking soda also has antibacterial properties.
Indian lilac is antibacterial, and will help address itching. You will need a handful of neem leaves. Boil these leaves in water (four cups). Once the water has cooled, strain it of the leaves. You should apply tiny amounts of this to your eyebrows and general eye area, being very careful not to get any of it in your eyes.
Apply small amounts of petroleum jelly to your eyelids, lash line, general eye area, and eye brows. The petroleum jelly will make it difficult for the mites to function, and might even make them suffocate and die. The petroleum jelly will also help to soothe the area, promoting healing. You should use this every day until the symptoms have disappeared.
Take a hot shower every day, making sure to keep your eyes closed for at least five minutes. This will help to soothe the symptoms you are experiencing. You should do this every day until the symptoms have disappeared.
Avoid touching your eyes
Never touch your eyes with hands that are not freshly washed. Make sure that everything coming in contact with your eyes is hygienic and clean, to avoid introducing new bacteria.
You might find it helpful to use simple moistening eye drops that can be purchased over the counter at any drugstore. These eye drops will help to soothe irritation and itching. It will be beneficial to use these eye drops on a daily basis.
Never rub your eyes
If your eyes are itchy, you might be very tempted to rub your eyes. Make sure you do not give into this, as such rubbing will make the problem worse and might cause an infection to develop.
Boosting the amount of vitamin A in your diet will be very beneficial to your eye health. Increase the vitamin A-rich foods in your diet, such as carrots, whole milk, and papaya.
Stay properly hydrated
Staying properly hydrated throughout the day through an appropriate intake of water is very important for overall health, and therefore will help support your eye health and immune system functioning.
Increase vitamin C and zinc
Add more foods to your diet that have high levels of vitamin C and zinc. These vitamins are very important for immune system functioning, and a boosted immune system will help you gain better eye health.
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