There’s a good chance that these symptoms are being caused by small bugs that are living in pores around your eyes and in your facial skin.
Around fifty percent of adults have them, and the chance of getting an infestation increases as you age.
These little bugs are called Demodex mites, a combination of the Greek word demos, meaning fat, and dex, meaning worm.
Demodex mites are found on your:
2. Nose, cheeks, chin, and around the base of your ears
3. Other moist, oily, or hairy parts of your body.
How Do The Mites Survive?
Demodex mites suck out the guts of the cells in your hair follicles with a retractable needle in the middle of their mouths. The mites also reproduce very quickly – the females laying their eggs only a day and a half after being impregnated.
What Do The Mites Do To My Eyes?
Demodex mites take advantage of situations when your immune system is compromised. They’ve been shown to be the cause of skin diseases like acne, rosacea, and blepharitis (eyelid inflammation). In fact, people with rosacea are more than eight times more likely to have a Demodex mite infestation than people without it. Additionally, people who wear eye makeup and mascara tend to have higher rates of infestation.
The mites burrow into the roots of your eyelashes, which significantly blocks your ducts, stopping your tears from falling properly and leading to uncomfortable dry eye. When the mites die, they release the feces that have been building up inside of them, spreading feces and bacteria in your pores.
What Should My Next Steps Be?
To determine if you have an infestation, look for early morning itchiness. Since the mites like to walk over your face at night and burrow back into your pores in the morning, you’re more likely to get an itchy feeling in the morning. Also look for eyelid inflammation, reddened, crusty, itchy, burning, or thickening eyelids. Be aware of eye infections, decreased vision due to the effect on your tear ducts, falling eyelashes, and rosacea.
You can also take steps to help control and kill the mites living on your eyelids. Practicing good eyelid hygiene by using a daily eyelid cleansing wipe can effectively reduce the number of mites living on your eyes. Blephadex eyelid wipes are formulated with essential oils, like tea tree oil, which is the only known natural treatment that kills Demodex mites. Want to find out more about how to get rid of the mites living on your face? Click here to learn more.