The eyelash mite is also known as demodex folliculitis. It is a parasite that is found in the hair follicles of our faces. They can be found in the nose, the cheeks, and particularly on the eyelash area. They are usually innocuous, and most people go about their business never noticing that they are there.
There are about 65 different species of demodex, and only two of those are known to attack people. They are the demodex brevis and the demodex folliculorum. Eyelash mites are only of the demodex folliculorum variety.
The demodex brevis is usually found on the sebaceous glands, and the demodex folliculorum is found on hair follicles. The two species are found on facial areas, particularly on areas near the cheeks, forehead, chin, eyebrows, eyelashes, and nose. They also can be found in other areas of the body. They have been found in the hairs of the ear canal, the nipple, the groin, the chest, the forearm, and the penis.
The mites are too small to see with the naked eye. They are so small that there may be over 25 mites on one eyelash follicle. They do not like light. They may come out of the hair follicle at night and crawl around your skin. The females are slightly rounder and bigger in size compared to the males, and they undergo internal fertilization.
Anyone may get the parasite, although babies are born without any trace of them. Older people are more likely to get them because their immune system is weaker. It is estimated that over eighty percent of Americans have them. The parasites position themselves face down in the hair follicle and eat waste and buildup from our skin.
They are really harmless creatures, and scientists have said that there might be a symbiotic relationship between them and people. The claim is that they take away dirt and oil from our follicles and we allow them to live off of us.
Despite the fact that the amount of these parasites might be very high, doctors usually don’t treat the patient for them. However, if their presence is accompanied by irritation, inflammation, or infection, then something needs to be done about them. The condition of their number being too high is called demodicosis. Sometimes, a high number of the mites in a single follicle causes the eyelash to fall out.
The Causes of the Problem
When mites build up to a high level, then there can be issues. Too many of them can cause your face to become infected, and your eyelashes may fall out. The issue is caused many times by too much secretion of oils and sometimes by the application of excessive makeup. The situation can be made worse by not washing your face before you go to sleep. It is estimated that 50% of Americans have the parasite because they sleep with their eye makeup on.
Proper hygiene is always very important, and you should wash your face before falling asleep. Eye makeup can be