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Eyelash Lice: Yes, It's Real

Optometrists say eyelash lice or demodex is common, but there's a problem when there's an abundance.

ARCHDALE, N.C. — Eyelash extensions are a trend in the Triad, but false lashes could go from making your eyes pop to putting you in pain.

"Your eyes burn, they itch, they water, they're red. Your vision can fluctuate and become blurry," Dr. Neil Hutto, optometrist with Triad Eye Associates, said.

Those sound like dry eye symptoms, but Dr. Hutto said it's actually a living creature lurking in your lashes.

"Its easily missed because they're small. They're about half the size of a grain of salt so we have to find that in an exam. You won't see that in a mirror," Dr. Hutto said.

Most everyone has demodex, but there's a problem with it when there's an abundance.

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Dr. Hutto said its more common in elderly patients, but can also come from women not properly cleaning their lash extensions.

"Cleaning everyday, getting your makeup off, making sure that's all removed with baby shampoo or a good makeup cleanser, I think that's important," Dr. Hutto recommended.

Thankfully, if you do have it, its easy to get rid of. He said go see your doctor and they'll get you some medicine.

Dr. Hutto also said it can easily be prevented with good hygiene.

The North Carolina State Board of Cosmetic Arts said they are aware of lash lice, but as of right now, have not gotten any complaints.

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They said they believe the problem is from unlicensed people performing lash extensions.


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