Although the thought of microscopic creatures living on your skin and hair follicles may be unnerving, Demodex mites are present in a great number of people — so you’re not alone!
It’s only when the mites multiply out of control and uncomfortable symptoms occur that a problem arises.
An infestation of Demodex mites (known as Demodicosis) may result in dry, red, irritated or otherwise uncomfortable eyes, lashes and brows. In extreme cases left untreated, eyelashes may become brittle, dry and break off.
It can also cause Demodex mange on the face, especially around the eyes and brows. This condition results in dry, red and scaly skin which can be quite uncomfortable for the patient. It may cause small pustules on the facial skin.
Fortunately, there are a wide range of solutions to the problems which arise from an infestation of Demodex mites. Whether they manifest in the hair follicles of eyelashes or the skin of the face and body, there is a treatment.
Which Demodex Treatment Will Work for You?
Demodex mites treatment doesn’t have to be complicated. It turns out there are a number of treatments available for these pesky mites, whatever problems they happen to be causing.
Fortunately, these treatments are pretty standard across the board as far as functionality goes. This means that your doctor can easily assess in an examination what you need and how to implement a solution.
The type of treatment you’ll want depends on how bad your symptoms are and what your personal beliefs are when it comes to medication. Many doctors will prescribe you a few treatments to administer simultaneously to address the problem, both in-office and at home.
In order to properly treat Demodex, several things need to happen. First and foremost comes alleviation of the discomfort associated with an infestation. Then, in order to have lasting results, treatment must involve not only getting rid of the infestation but also preventing another one from occurring. This means stopping the mites from reproducing.
1. In-office treatments
In-office treatments of Demodex vary from facial scrubs and cleansers to wipes. At the initial doctor’s visit, you may be given a treatment upon diagnosis. This can possibly involve a low-grade anaesthetic followed by the doctor’s choice of medication to scrub the eyelash mites away. Many use diluted tea-tree oil, which is considered one of the best Demodex killers in the medical community.
Finally, an ointment will be applied containing steroids and possibly antibiotics. This will not only prevent further infection of the eyes but hinder the mites’ movements, stopping reproduction and ideally causing them to suffocate and die.
2. At home medications
Treatment doesn’t stop at the doctor’s office. Most likely you will be prescribed an eyelid cleanser to use daily after washing the eyes thoroughly. This eyelid cleanser will most likely contain tea tree oil.
It’s important to also wash around the eyes and up to the browline. Eyebrow mites can cause further complications — all mites must be eradicated!
Dr. Mario Gutierrez, OD, FAAO, describes his treatment on Helio, giving valuable insight as to the processes involved and different medications which can be used.
3. Treating symptoms of mange
If the Demodex infestation has resulted in itchy, red facial skin or pustules, then mange may be an issue. It can cause symptoms akin to rosacea, fungus and other skin infections as well. Do not scratch, pick or rub mange, as you can get an infection like this. Your doctor may prescribe you an antibiotic to fight an infection brought on by itching.
Demodex mange treatment may involve antibiotic cream or lotion prescribed by a doctor. Vitamin E and Fish oil have been touted as good home-remedies for relief of itchiness and dry skin. Recently, Hypochlorous acid (HOCI) has come out as a treatment for rosacea and Demodex mange. It is used like tea-tree oil but has none of the irritating effects.
Amazon has a few hypochlorous acid cleansers available for purchase including the Heyedrate Lid and Lash Cleanser.
Prevention Techniques to Use at Home
In order to ensure your treatment is effective, you must perform your own at-home prevention techniques. Washing your bedsheets and pillowcases with extremely hot water or purchasing new ones is a good method to avoid re-infestation.
Refrain from using any makeup products for a while. When you are ready to start using them again, buy all new products in case of any mites and eggs lingering around on old makeup.
It is possible that if you have Demodex mites, your partner, spouse and/or children may have them as well. It’s important to have the whole family checked out if you see any symptoms.
Eat a balanced diet rich in vitamins and minerals. Mites like to eat dairy and yeast, so limit these too.
Continue to wash your whole body with a tea tree oil soap in the shower.
Mites can be frustrating. By visiting a physician early on, you’ll be able to begin the Demodex treatment and get on the road to happy, healthy eyes and skin.