Ewwww… That is on my EYELID?!

Cheryl Chapman, OD, FAAO, FIAOMC, Dipl. ABO

Eyelid Mites Are More Common Than You Might Think

There is a little secret that a lot of people don’t want to talk about.  Eyelid mites, also known as ‘Demodex’, live in the hair follicles of the eyelashes.  These microscopic mites love to set up shop along the eyelashes and eyelids. They find this location to be a very hospitable environment with all of the moisture from the eyes combined with the crevices of the hair follicles.  When these mites set up a colony and grow their happy family, they start to cause a lot of problems with the eyes.  When they excrete their toxins and by-products (read between the lines here: ‘mite poop’) it can wreak havoc on the surface of the eye, causing redness, watering, burning, irritation, and inflammation.  Ugh, talk about a ‘pain in the eye’... literally.  

Poor Hygiene Isn’t The Issue

People who have this problem typically don’t tell their friends and neighbors.  They often express that it makes them feel ‘dirty’ or ‘gross’.  The reality is that a problem with Demodex mites has little to do with hygiene.  A person can clean their eyelids diligently with soap and water every day and still have Demodex.  Why?  Because they live in the hair follicles, so they are protected from most of your cleaning efforts.  

PEEQ Foaming Eyelid Cleanser Will Keep The Mites Away

So, how do we treat this problem?  The key is to use PEEQ Eyelid Cleanser.  PEEQ is infused with special ingredients including 4-terpineol (an extract from tea tree oil) and specially formulated for use around the eyes.  While 4-terpineol is safe around our eyes, it is toxic to Demodex.  When we wash our eyes daily with PEEQ, the 4-terpineol will leave a protective barrier on the skin and lashes.  Every night when we close our eyes and go to sleep, Demodex string up the disco lights and come out of the eyelash follicles to party and hang out with one another.  Using PEEQ Eyelid Cleanser daily will leave those little buggers a gift of 4-terpineol that will make them sick and die.  Score:  Eyelids -1.  Demodex - 0.