Top 5 ways to reduce Demodex mites around eyelids

Top 5 ways to reduce Demodex mites around eyelids

Demodex mites live in almost every human's hair follicle without ill agendas.

They may even be beneficial in removing wastes and dead cells from the face, but they can multiply quickly in the correct breeding environment.

When this happens, these microscopic organisms can lead to an itchy irritation that costs you your peace.

Here is a look into Demodex mites' causes, symptoms, diagnosis, treatments, and possible relief benefits from hypochlorous acid (HOCL).

Is Demodex contagious?

Demodex mites are contagious, meaning they can spread from one human to the other.

Demodex is a genus of microscopic mites in the human hair follicles. They feed on dead skin cells around eyelashes and eyelids.

An overgrowth of these mites occurs when a person's immunity system is down, giving a conducive environment to breed.

The mites usually cause no harm but too many result in demodicosis, other skin conditions, or aggravation of pre-existing skin diseases.

Demodicosis is prone to people who:

  • Apply itch-relieving creams on their face, like hydrocortisone cream.
  • Have other skin conditions, such as rosacea.
  • Have immunodeficiency diseases like HIV and AIDS.
  • Are receiving chemotherapy.
  • They are receiving immunosuppressants probably after organ transplantation.

Demodex mites can be transmitted by sharing personal grooming items like bedding, towels, or hairbrushes.

Two types of microscopic Demodex mites trouble eyelids; Demodex folliculorum and brevis are commonly found in the hair follicles and feed on dead skin cells.

Demodex mites are invisible to the naked eye, and you can't diagnose their presence on your own, necessitating an appointment with your eye care provider.

Types of Demodex mites

Demodex folliculorum

They are the most common eye mites and live within the hair follicles (found on the face around eyelashes and lids) and feed on dead skin cells.

The thought of mites on your face may be unpleasant, but it is common to have small amounts of them if the numbers escalate; D.folliculorum can lead to more severe skin conditions. 

  1. folliculorum life span is about 1-2 months, with egg hatching to adulthood lasting about two weeks.

People at high risk of having these mites have:

  • HIV Virus
  • Acne, especially inflammatory types
  • Alopecia
  • Skin infections
  • Dermatitis or Rosacea
  • Weakened immune system

Demodex Brevis

These mites are microscopic, with an average length of 0.15-0.2 millimetres long. 

  1. brevis occurs naturally near the oil glands in hair follicles and only causes noticeable reactions once they grow in large numbers.

They eat sebum, a greasy substance produced by oil glands. People prone to these mites have:

Inflammatory conditions:

  • Weak immune system
  • HIV and AIDS
  • Rosacea or Dermatitis(Eczema)
  • Hair loss
  • Acne
  1. bravis cases are more common for men than women, and age increases the likelihood of a person having both kinds of mites.

Demodex signs and symptoms

Generally, Demodex mites are very tiny, about 0.15-0.4 millimetres. They look slightly transparent under a microscope and are covered with scales. 

They have an elongated body of two segments, with the first segment containing eight legs and their mouth.

They stay inside the hair follicle until they are ready to mate and come out when one is asleep, and later, the females burrow tunnels into the skin and lay eggs 2-5 millimetres below the surface.

Symptoms of demodicosis

These signs can develop quickly, even overnight, and include:

  • Scaly, rough patches of skin around hair follicles
  • Itchiness in the eyelashes and surrounding skin
  • Eye inflammation
  • Redness and irritation
  • Worsening skin symptoms or flare-ups, eczema (dermatitis), or rosacea
  • Increased eyelid sensitivity
  • Sores from scratching
  • Pustules that look like whiteheads
  • Itchy, thickened, or scaly eyelids
  • Red or white bumps
  • Eyelid skin that feels rough like sandpaper
  • Acne-like eruptions
  • Loss of eyelashes
  • Dryness and decreased vision
  • Burning sensation in your eyes

Although the symptoms of Demodex mites are the same, their main difference is the locations they affect.

  1. folliculorum usually stays on the face, while D. brevis can spread to other body parts, especially the chest and neck.

How does a person get Demodex mites?

Demodex mites are typical for healthy skin and can be transferred from one person to the other through close contact.

The immune system can control these mites, but they multiply and spread when they stop working correctly.

Mite exchanges happen when faces touch, like kissing or sleeping on the same bed.

Diagnosis of Demodex mites

When you experience mite symptoms, consult a doctor immediately. They may diagnose the mites according to your facial skin appearance.

Demodicosis usually appears as a white sheen known as Demodex frost on the skin. Overgrowth evaluation may see the doctor scraping skin cells from an oily patch of your eyelids.

Or, they might do a standardised skin surface biopsy (SSSB) to remove some follicular tissues and oils from the eyelids. These will ultimately be examined under a microscope to see their numbers.

Alternatively, a dermoscopy, which involves using a powerful light and magnifying glass to see spiky white structures in the eyelid pores, can be done.

5 ways to get rid of Demodex mites on eyelids?

In most cases, treatment for these mites is unnecessary unless they grow out of control and start causing symptoms.

Removing the mites on your own may be hectic, so you may consider booking an appointment with your doctor to assist in treating the issue effectively.

Standard treatment usually involves a gel, cream, or wash that contains acaricide, a pesticide used to kill mites and ticks.

Other ways to get rid of Demodex mites include:

Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil is an excellent way to clear away Demodex mites when administered in the right concentration.

High concentrations of tea tree oil have chemical components that may cause irritations to the eye.

Ensure a diluted solution (approximately 5%-50%), and thoroughly wipe your eyebrows and eyelashes for about 30-60 days, according to the severity of the problem.

Alternatively, you can use an anaesthetic eye drop to relieve the irritations.

This helps disrupt the mite's life cycle, reduces the number of mites, and lessens symptoms.

Medical treatments

These treatments are applied for demodicosis, which has noticeable discomforting symptoms.

The doctor may prescribe topical or oral medications to help clear the mites. They help eliminate excess oil and dead skin or kill the mite eggs.

Your doctor can recommend face washes, gels, and creams with the following active ingredients:

  • Sulphur
  • Mercury oxide
  • Permethrin
  • Selenium sulphide
  • Metronidazole
  • Salicylic acid
  • Benzyl benzoate

Your doctor may alternatively prescribe the medications below:

  • Permethrin (Nix, Elimite)
  • Metronidazole (Flagyl)
  • Ivermectin (Stromectol)
  • Crotamiton (Eurax)

These medications help bring the mites to the surface to lower their numbers to reduce the chances of infections.

Hypochlorous acid (HOCl)

HOCL naturally occurs within the immune system in our bodies and is produced by white blood cells to combat harmful bacteria.

HOCL dates back to 100 years ago when it was used to treat the infections of wounded soldiers in WWI. HOCL is entirely non-toxic to humans and can be used as a disinfectant.

It efficiently kills the nymph form of Demodex mites and bacteria that reside on eyelashes and lids while neutralising inflammatory toxins from the mites and bacteria.

Only harmful bacteria are killed, leaving beneficial ones to prevent scarring of the skin and improve healing.

Antibiotics & Steroids

These ointments work to stop the mites from moving and suffocate them. They also trap them and prevent the female mites from laying eggs.

Your doctor may prescribe a combination of antibiotics and steroids as standard treatments to reduce inflammations that may have been caused by tea tree oil wipes, bacteria, or mites.

However, steroids can worsen glaucoma, and continued use of antibiotics can improve bacteria that grow to be resistant to the antibiotics. 

Home Hygiene

There are a couple of ways to minimise the number of Demodex mites on the eyelashes and eyelids or steps to help to relieve irritations further.

These care tips include:

  • Bathe daily to remove extra oil and dead skin cells that feed the mites
  • Exfoliate your skin every few days to get rid of dead skin cells
  • Wash your hair and eyelashes daily using a mild shampoo
  • Use a non-soap gentle cleanser on your face twice daily
  • Take a shower immediately after working out
  • Avoid rubbing or scratching your face as much as you can
  • Avoid oily cleansers, lotions, and sunscreens

How HOCl and our Pristine product can help

Over the years, technology has made it possible to manufacture pure, stable versions of HOCL.

PurClarity Pristine Lid and Lash Cleanser with HOCL has hypoallergenic properties, is 100% natural ingredients, is 100% vegan, and supports eyelid health and sensitive skin.

Unlike tea tree oil, our Pristine product has no irritation side effects and is preservative-free, fragrance-free, and alcohol-free for better eye care results.

Additionally, Pristine HOCL spray has natural properties that help in soothing dry eyes, reduce itchiness, alleviate irritations, and cleanse eyelid and eyelash debris.

For usage, spray on closed eyes and wait 10 minutes for it to settle.

You can spray it 4-5 times thrice or four times a day for better chances of effectiveness.

Final thoughts

Almost all human hair follicles have Demodex mites living in them without raising eyebrows.

However, they can multiply quickly and develop demodicosis, resulting in itchy, red, inflamed eyelids or skin.

This can result from a weak immune system that allows them to increase in numbers.

Mites are contagious, so it is essential to speak to your doctor or dermatologist for proper diagnosis and treatment.

Follow treatments to the letter, apply home remedies and use HOCL for better relief.