Learn to control mites residing in your eyelashes for good hygiene
Do you know eyelashes are home to microorganisms called mites? These critters or Demodex mites crave oil, and your eyelids and lashes are lucrative real estate. With 25 glands that can produce sebum, the mites come to party at night while you snooze since they hate light. Hence, more eye crusts in the morning.
Though usually harmless, these critters can lead to other diseases if partying and mating go on for long with little to no care. Here’s why you should be concerned.
Mites causing skin and eyelash problems
Before you panic, it’s important to know that the small number of critters is normal, but it can get icky if there’s an outbreak.
Blepharitis is one of the common conditions associated with these microorganisms. The eyelid inflammation that occurs around the eyelashes and the eyelids is caused by mite infestation leading to oil gland blockage.
These mites are also bacteria carriers, and once released, these bacteria can cause inflammation and irritation on the edges leading to other symptoms such as itchiness, watery and swollen eyes, crusty lashes, and blurred vision. These critters feed on the crusting on top of that, which further makes matters worse. Their eggs lead to lash loss, misdirected lashes, or trichiasis.
The national Rosacea Society confirms that certain evidence suggests the overabundance of mites as a possible cause of rosacea or the inflammation-causing bacteria are related to Demodex.
How to keep mites at bay
It may sound creepy having to live with microscopic organisms, but you can eliminate mite infestation with good eye hygiene. Clean your eyes twice a day with a gentle cleanser and warm water.
Remember, however, that less-than-clean products can further pave the way for these mites by providing them with lipid nourishment that they oh-so-crave. Stick to good skin supplies so you can prevent mating. No need for a mite massacre!
Eyelid wipes are another useful solution to get rid of mite overload. The back-and-forth motion clears away oil, makeup, and other buildups. A lid scrub along the bottom and top eyelashes can also work like a charm.
Use a moist, warm washcloth to clean the eye and eyelashes area every day for a few minutes. It breaks away crusts while keeping the lids clean.
For more serious overload, doctors prescribe over-the-counter, gentle tea tree oil. Avoid using the oil in its pure form, as it can be irritating. The oil kills mites by disrupting mating. Some doctors may prescribe an in-office procedure, ointment, steroids/antibiotics for a serious outbreak as well as to treat skin conditions.