I am sure by now that if you are into beauty and especially eyelash extensions, you have seen the pictures floating around social media of the eyelash extension lice. I know what you are thinking, this is gross or could this possibly happen to me. This can be a scary thing if you are interested in getting eyelash extensions but are not educated about how to care for your eyelash extensions. Eyelash lice are not only associated with eyelash extensions, you can get eyelash lice even if you do not wear eyelash extensions. I assure you there is no need to be afraid because you have ways to prevent the lice.
Eyelash extension lice are what we know as demodex. According to dictionary.com demodex is defined as: A genus of parasitic, usually nonpathogenic mites that invade the skin and are usually found in the sebaceous glands and hair follicles of humans and animals. It is actually common to have a small amount of eyelash lice but they only cause problems in large quantities, (Cherney, 2019). There are two types that live on humans D. brevis and D. follliculorum (Cherney, 2019). D. folliculorum is the most likely to affect eyelashes. These type of mites feed on the dead skin cells around the lashes as well as other areas of the eye, such as your lid (Cherney, 2019). One thing women can find a little more comforting is that D, filliculorum mites are more common in male (Nall, 2018). It is also more likely to affect people aged 20-30 years old this can also be a comfort for everyone over 30 (Nall, 2018).
How this can cause a problem for you? Most people with eyelash extensions are afraid to wash them thinking that they will lose them. (“Doctor warns about increase in cases of lice lash among those using eyelash extensions,” 2019) This is not true, if done correctly the eyelash extension will stay in place. This causes major problems with the eyelash extensions and exposes you to see the growth in demodex. The other problem is that some lash technicians do not inform clients that they should wash their eyelash extensions. This is something that I have seen numerous times from clients coming from different eyelash technicians. Miseducation is a big problem with this and can cause big problems like demodex.
Photo courtesy of: Bolde
To reassure that demodex does not get out of hand for you, here are a few things you should know and do. Eyelash extensions are made for you to resume normal activities after 48 hours of full set or refill. This gives you the ability to wash your eyelash extensions on a regular basis. Washing your eye lash extensions should become a regular routine and should be done at least 2 to 3 times a week and if you wear makeup every day (Nig, 2019). There are cleaners made especially for eyelash extensions. If you do not have these, you need to speak with your eyelash technician. Avoid oil cleaners around eye areas and greasy make up, which can provide food for the mites. Exfoliating once or twice a week to remove dead skin cells can also help. Doing these things should keep those eyelash extension bugs from bugging you.
Doctor warns about increase in cases of lice lash among those using eyelash extensions. (2019, November 15). Retrieved from https://fox8.com/2019/11/15/doctor-warns-about-increase-in-cases-of-lice-lash-among-those-using-eyelash-extensions/
Cherney, Kristeen. (2019, March 7) Demodex folliculorum: What you should know. Retrieved from https://www.healthline.com/health/eyelash-mites#overview
Nall, Rachel. (2018, May 16) What is demodex folliculorum. Retrieved from https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/321831.php
Nig, Tasleema. (2019) How to clean your eyelash extensions. Retrieved from https://www.tasleemanigh.com/blog/properly-clean-lash-extensions
Demodex. (1995). Retrieved from https://www.dictionary.com/browse/demodex