A woman in China reportedly found hundreds of mites in her eyelashes after not washing her pillow. She had experienced itchy, red eyes for more than two years and eventually decided to see a doctor. They found that at least 10 mites were living in each lash, totaling over 100 for both her eyes. She told doctors that she had not washed her pillowcase since 2012 and that it was likely the cause of the issue.
Mites choose to live in areas of your body where there is a higher amount of bacteria present. While this is an extreme case but it does exist as a cautionary tale for those who don’t regularly wash their linen. Unwashed linen can also lead to skin conditions, or merely aggravate existing ones.
The eyelash mite infestation is common and usually does not cause any symptoms, although occasionally some skin diseases can be caused by the mites. They often feed on your skin cells and sebum (oils). They do not like light and therefore only leave your hair follicle and crawl around your skin at night. Women who wear a lot of mascara tend to have a higher prevalence. Not washing your face before you go to bed or sleeping with your makeup could also be a cause.
Make sure that you cleanse your eyelashes by washing with baby shampoo. You can also use no tear baby soap to wash your face twice a day. Antibiotic ointments are available but you can also use tea tree oil. Rub tea tree oil on your eyelashes every night for about six weeks and they will be gone. Using lavender oil is also an option.