Do your eyelids or eyebrows frequently feel dry and itchy in the morning? Have you noticed little red bumps around your eyes or some “crust” around your eyelashes?
It might not just be Dry Eye. You might have what’s known as Demodex mites.
The bugs in your lashes
Demodex, a tiny parasitic mite related to the bug that causes mange in animals, may well be living in your eyelash follicles, feasting on dead skin cells and the oils that work with your tears to keep your eyes moist and healthy. They’re quite common, even in young people, and they’re more common as you get older. Although they often cause no symptoms, stress or a weakened immune system can cause them to multiply rapidly, which can result in itching, small pimple-like bumps, Dry Eye symptoms, eye inflammation, and even acne rosacea.
Ew! How did I catch eyelash mites?
Demodex mites can be passed through direct contact or through eggs carried in common dust. They only live 2-3 weeks, laying 15-20 eggs inside your eyelash follicle, near the sebaceous glands that secrete the oils that moisturize your eyes – and that feed the emerging larvae when they hatch.
How do I know for sure if I have them?
Because they’re so tiny, they’re difficult to detect – impossible without high magnification, in fact. Your eye doctor can find them burrowed around your eyelashes, either by plucking an infected eyelash and viewing it under a microscope, or moving one aside and looking for the debris they leave behind, which often resembles dandruff.
Help is only an eyelid wipe away
Demodex infestations can be controlled naturally, with a hygienic wipe containing 4-Terpineol (T40), which is distilled from tea tree essential oil.
Where tea tree oil itself can damage your eye, T40 kills eyelash mites, is non-irritating, and doesn’t require the addition of harsh chemicals or preservatives. Look for eyelid wipes that have 4-Terpineol or T40 listed as their main active ingredient.
Using eyelid wipes as part of your regular daily hygiene routine can kill Demodex mites and control infestations. It can also help provide relief for a variety of other eye and facial skin disorders, such as dry eye, blepharitis, conjunctivitis, acne rosacea, and more.
So practice good eye hygiene and go from bug-eyed to bright-eyed.