The Worms in Your Eyes


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When I was younger my mom would warn me not to share mascara and eyeliner because, "Everyone has eye mites, and other people's are bad for you!" For a long time I thought she was just telling a tall-tale to keep germs away from my eyes. I didn't actually think that I had bugs living in my eyelashes. But as it turns out I probably do, and so do you. I found out that 98% of people do have bugs on their eyes. Worse yet, is that if you're a girl you probably have more of them. Girls who do not take off eyeliner and mascara are more likely to have greater numbers than those who don't use eyeliner and mascara or who take it off.

These mites are  worm-like parasites which embed their heads into your hair follicles. The image below is of a hair follicle- the bumps around the lash are the butts of the mites.

 

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They are called demodex folliculorum, or demodicid and they feed off of dead skin cells and sebaceous excretions. Not only do they live in your eyelashes, but also in the pores and hair follicles on your face! Even more disgusting, these little bugs come to the surface of the skin to mate and then lay eggs in your hair follicles.- So you probably have baby bugs and bug eggs all over your face too. They have little claws and needle like mouths to which they use to feed and hooks on the surface of their bodies to anchor themselves in your skin. The good news is that they don't poop, so at least you don't have THAT on your face!

Don't worry though, they do no harm. In fact, some say they do good by cleaning around our hair follicles. The only negative to having bugs is if too many of them surround your eyelash it might fall out. And if you are having the urge to scrub all the skin off your face right now, don't bother. You wouldn't be able to get rid of them anyway. However, a way to prevent them from getting too tightly packed is by regularly cleaning your face of any oil and cosmetics. This reduces their numbers to a healthier amount. Another home remedy is to close your eyes and gently clean your them with a little bit of water and baby shampoo.

I wanted to know if these little guys could be transmitted but found nothing on the topic. Was my mom right? Can girls really transfer eye mites via cosmetics?

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