Bugs living in the root of eyelashes and eyebrows are not uncommon, although for many people it is difficult to believe. Eyelash mites are parasites which live and feed on oil present in the hair follicle. The scientific name of these microscopic mites is demodex brevis and demodex folliculorum. Almost every elderly individual is prone to be infected with these bugs on their eyelashes, brows and on the face.
Normally they are harmless, and they maintain symbiotic relationship with the host, that is human beings. However, some individuals may have an allergic reaction to the bugs, causing redness, itching, and flaky skin on eyelashes and eyebrows.
Treating it at an early stage will help in preventing further episodes of allergic reaction among those who are prone to suffer from it.
How Do We Get Bugs On Eyelashes And Eyebrows?
Although many people are infected with demodex mites on eyelashes and eyebrows; the problem arises only when there are too many on the eyelashes causing discomfort for the person. This may result in infection and falling of eyelashes and eyebrows. Demodicosis occurs in people having oily skin than others who have less secretion of oil. This can be because demodex bugs feed on oil.
People, especially women who apply mascara on their eyelashes are more vulnerable for having these bugs on their eyelash. In general women who apply excessive eye makeup have higher prevalence of mites. It is also common among those who sleep at night without removing the eye makeup. According to a study at least 50 percent of people have bugs on their eyebrows and lashes as a result of sleeping with removing mascara.
It is also common finding among elderly individuals, especially people over the age of 70 years, possibly due to their weaker immune system. People who have low immunity as in case of HIV infection or leukemia or people on immunosuppressive drugs are also vulnerable infestation of demodex mites on face and eyelashes.
Natural Ways To Get Rid Of Bugs On Eyelashes
Eyelash bugs can be easily missed unless they show symptoms of allergic reaction or falling of eyelashes and eyebrows. There are several ways to get rid of eyelash bugs and prevent their future infestations.
- Hygiene: Clean your eyelids thoroughly so that the excess of oil is removed as these bugs feed on the oil. You can use baby shampoo, tea tree shampoo, to clean the eyelids. You can also use no tear baby soap to clean your face and ensure your face to be free of these tiny microscopic bugs.
- Ophthalmic antibiotic ointments are beneficial in getting rid of eyelash bugs. Apply it daily for a week or two on the eyelids including the eyelashes.
- Tea tree oil is time tested natural remedy to get rid of eyelash bugs. Rub tea tree oil on the eyelashes and eyebrows at night before going to sleep. Apply it for six to seven weeks to kill the mites. However, you need to use it properly and prevent the oil sipping into the eyes.
- Lavender oil is also known to kill the bugs present on eyelashes. Rub lavender oil on eyelids every night before going to bed. However, prevent the oil entering into the eyes.
- Clean your face and eyelashes if you apply mascara before going to bed. Avoid sharing any eye makeup.
- Mites can be transferred between close contacts. Ensure that your close contact partner is also treated.
- Wash your pillow covers and bed sheets regularly as the bugs have tendency of hiding in them. This reduces possibility of re infection.