It can be a disturbing and possibly disgusting thought that something could be living on your eyelashes, but for many it is true. There is a group of mite parasites called Demodex that live on sebaceous glands and hair follicles in mammals. There are only two types that live on humans, demodex brevis and demodex folliculorum. It is common to have an accumulation of these when you have a condition called blepharitis. As we get older the likelihood of Demodex on your eyelashes increases with the percentage being close to 100% for people over 90 years old.

The treatment options include mechanical removal by compresses, eyelid wipes or eyelid cleaners. A common form of treatment has been tea tree oil. The issue with tea tree oil is that is is very harsh on the skin when its concentration is %100 so it is typically diluted to at least 50% and sometimes lower to 20-30%. The tea tree oil is an irritant to the mites and it also has some antiseptic properties.

There is a different product that uses the best aspect of tea tree oil but does not have the harshness. It is named Cliradex. There are a couple different products that Cliradex has that include eyelid wipes and Cliradex Light which is a pump cleaner. You can just apply the cleaner and let it sit. You do not have to wash it off as it dries naturally and will not dry out your skin. Using these products will reduce demodex and improve the comfort and health of your eyelids.

If you have any eyelid build up or have been told you have blepharitis and would like one of our doctors to see if they can recommend a treatment like Cliradex or Cliradex Light then please call (860) 233-2020 today.

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