What are eyelash mites?

Eyelash mites are tiny arthropods that live on or near hair follicles.In humans, there are two types of mites – called Demodex follicle and Demodex– Common on the face, especially the eyelashes.

Most of the time, humans and Demodex There is no problem with the coexistence of mites. But sometimes, the mites multiply, causing an infection that manifests as red, inflamed eyes and itchy, crusted eyelids, called demodicosis.

When a mite infestation is diagnosed, it can be treated with over-the-counter or prescription medications and good hygiene.


An infestation of eyelash mites is called demodicosis.

6 Reasons for Swollen Eyelids

Symptoms of eyelash mites

When demodicosis occurs, it causes blepharitis (inflammation of the eyelids), which in turn leads to keratitis (inflammation of the cornea). Common symptoms of demodicosis include:

  • itching, crusting, redness, and swelling of the eyelids
  • burning sensation in the eyes
  • Feeling of a foreign body in the eye
  • red eyes
  • big watery eyes
  • blurred vision
  • Extremely sensitive to light

Demodicosis is most commonly bilateral (affecting both eyes), although only one eye is affected in about one-third of cases.

This photo contains something that some people might find graphic or disturbing.

see photo

What are the three types of blepharitis?


Demodicosis is usually uncomplicated, but can sometimes cause other symptoms, especially if the infection is severe and untreated. These include:

  • Conjunctivitis: Inflammation of the conjunctiva (the clear membrane covering the white of the eye). This is slightly different from pinkeye, the generic name for a form of the infectious conjunctivitis virus.
  • chalazion: a lump in the eyelid caused by blockage of oil glands called meibomian glands
  • Trichiasis: Ingrown eyelashes, causing irritation and pain
  • Madarosis: A condition in which eyelashes become brittle and fall out

What are dust mites?


Demodex Mites are most commonly found on the face and are easily spread from person to person through close physical contact. The mites are usually benign and have a normal life cycle, laying their eggs near the sebaceous ducts without any notice.

Although mite populations are usually well controlled by the immune system, they can sometimes overproliferate if the eyelid’s microbiome changes. When this happens, an increase in the number of mites (and an increase in eggs and larvae) triggers an inflammatory response that leads to blockage of the sebaceous glands.

Demodex Mites are usually first passed from mother to newborn, especially breastfed newborns. But because the mites feed on skin cells and sebum (skin oil) — both of which are produced in small quantities by infants and young children — the infection is uncommon until children are older.

Demodex Mites become more common during adolescence as the number of sebaceous glands increases. The risk is further increased if the eyelids are not part of daily hygiene.

There are several risk factors for demodicosis:

  • Age: Demodicosis is most common in adults between the ages of 20 and 30, who produce the most sebum, and in adults over 60, whose immune systems are increasingly less able to control mite overgrowth.
  • Gender: Men are almost twice as likely to develop demodicosis as women. This may be partly due to women’s use of eye makeup and regular eyelid cleaning with makeup remover.
  • Weakened immune system: People who are immunocompromised (including organ transplant recipients, people with advanced HIV infection, and people undergoing chemotherapy) are more susceptible to infections.
  • Rosacea: A condition that causes redness of the skin and usually small, pus-filled bumps on the face. People with rosacea may be at higher risk of developing demodicosis.

Demodex Mites cannot be passed from pets to owners or living with older adults. Using shared items does not appear to increase the risk of demodicosis, although sharing eye makeup can certainly spread the mites from one person to another.

Common causes of eyelid rashes


An ophthalmologist or optometrist can diagnose demodicosis by using a slit lamp to illuminate and magnify the structures in and around the eye and eyelid.Cylindrical dandruff on eyelashes is a classic sign Demodex intrusion.

Healthcare providers can also obtain eyelashes to examine under a microscope.A fluorescent dye called fluorescein provides greater contrast and aids identification Demodex Eggs, larvae and adults.

Demodex is often missed in the initial diagnosis because it mimics other common eye diseases such as conjunctivitis, infectious keratitis, and dry eye. In some cases, a diagnosis cannot be made until symptoms do not respond to prescribed treatment.

What to expect at an eye exam


The goal of demodicosis treatment is to reduce Demodex Mites, prevent the recurrence of pests. Treatment may include topical or oral medications, alone or in combination.

Over-the-Counter (OTC) Therapies

There are several over-the-counter topical medications commonly used to treat mild demodicosis:

  • Cliradex: Cliradex is a natural medicine made from a component of tea tree oil called terpinen-4-ol (T40). Cliradex can be used as a foaming cleanser or a disposable wipe, applied to the eyelids twice a day for 6 to 8 weeks (approximately two life cycles) Demodex mites).
  • Tea tree oil: Tea tree oil is a common home remedy that should only be applied to the eyelids or near the eyes when diluted, as it can cause irritation, redness, and swelling. Nonetheless, tea tree oil has been shown to be an effective treatment for demodicosis.

Before trying any home or over-the-counter medication, check with your healthcare provider to make sure it is safe to use around your eyes.

A study in 2020 European Journal of Ophthalmology Localized T40 found to be safe and effective to address Demodex Infection, although recurrence within 12 months is common.


Because relapses in patients with moderate to severe demodicosis are common, prescription medications may be required. These include:

  • Eurax (crotamiton): Eurax is available as a 10% cream on the skin for 7 to 10 days. If the infection persists, a second course of treatment may be prescribed. Common side effects include itching and rash.
  • Flagyl (metronidazole): This antibiotic drug can be given topically or by mouth for 14 days. When taken by mouth, Flagyl can cause headaches, nausea, diarrhea, constipation, or a metallic taste. Topical metronidazole can cause stinging or burning pain.
  • Ivermectin: This antiparasitic drug is used in severe cases, especially in immunocompromised people. This oral medication, known by brands like Stromectol, may only require one or two doses. Dizziness, nausea, upset stomach, diarrhea, and constipation are common side effects.


In addition to medication, there are other things you can do to relieve the symptoms of demodicosis and make treatment more effective. Among them:

  • Avoid rubbing or scratching your eyes.
  • Put a warm washcloth on your eyelid to help remove scabs. Dab rather than wipe.
  • Use a mild, non-soap cleanser, such as Cetaphil, to clean the skin around your eyes twice a day.
  • Avoid eye makeup until symptoms are completely resolved.
  • Switch from contact lenses to glasses until treatment is complete.

To avoid recurrence after treatment, avoid oily eye makeup and oily cleansers Demodex overgrowth. Never use someone else’s eye makeup.

How to treat intractable blepharitis

VigorTip words

As unpleasant as it may sound, eyelash mite infestations are common and relatively easy to treat.

One of the best ways to prevent demodicosis is to wash your eyelids regularly (which men often overlook when washing their faces).Take an extra second or two to gently wipe your eyes with a damp washcloth to avoid buildup of sebum or skin cells Demodex Mites feed on food.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How to quickly cure blepharitis?

    In many cases, blepharitis is incurable and persists for the rest of your life. However, it can be treated to prevent further symptoms. Treating blepharitis starts with keeping the eyelids clean. Try washing your eyelids daily with water and a mild cleanser, such as baby shampoo. If it still causes symptoms, it may be time to see a healthcare provider. They can prescribe eye drops and medications to effectively treat blepharitis.

  • Does everyone have eyelash mites?

    Yes, everyone has eyelash mites. Most people have small amounts of them without causing any problems. People with certain skin conditions, such as eczema and dandruff, may have more eyelash mites because they have more flaky dead skin.

  • How do you use tea tree oil to treat eyelash mites?

    To treat eyelash mites with tea tree oil, place a small amount of the oil solution on a cotton swab and dab on the lashes, lids, and base of the eyelash follicles. Be sure to remove excess oil. Before using tea tree oil, make sure it is a 50% solution. 100% tea tree oil can cause swelling and redness. If necessary, the oil can be diluted further with walnut oil and still be effective.