Many people are surprised to learn that they have creatures crawling on them all the time. Mites are a part of life. They live in our hair, eyelashes and eyebrows. Most of us never know they are there and they cause no discomfort. It may seem weird, but it is okay -- normal, actually -- to have some mites creeping around your eyebrows.
Mites are arachnids, related to spiders and live all around us. Demodex is a genus of mite that live in hair follicles or the glands attached to the follicles. They are the ones that live in our eyebrows and eyelashes. They are elongated little creatures, appearing like tiny worms. Each mite varies from .1 mm to .4 mm in size, so they are more or less invisible to the human eye. They'll sometimes crawl across your face, usually at night.
Do I Have Eyebrow Mites?
Demodex mites are found everywhere in the world. They travel through contact with an infected person's hair follicles, and are nearly impossible to avoid. The chances of having eyebrow mites increases with age. About a quarter of those under 20 have the mites, while studies show 100 percent of those over 90 are infected. Eyebrow mite infestation has nothing to do with personal hygiene or how often you clean your skin. They are a natural part of our human existence.
In the vast majority of cases, eyebrow mites cause virtually no symptoms. You may have the mites right now and will never know it, unless you put a eyebrow hair under a microscope. In rare instances, however, eyebrow mites cause acne or similar reactions. Some mites may carry and transmit the bacteria that cause certain skin problems, like rosacea. Some studies suggest that the mites might also attribute to itchy, irritated skin or hair loss.
Even though it may be weird and even gross to think about mites in your eyebrows, usually no treatment is needed. In fact, attempting to get rid of the mites may do more harm than good. By eating dead skin cells, the mites do our bodies an important service. However, if you think mites may be causing skin problems, talk to your doctor. There are several prescription creams or shampoos that can lower the amount of mites in your eyebrows.