Mites that live in the eyelashes

Demodex folliculorum.Demodex folliculorum is a tiny mite less than 0.4 mm long, that under normal circumstances is harmless. They live in the human hair follicles (A follicle is the pore from which a hair grows), especially those of the facial region, and the eyelashes as well as external ear channels.

Demodicids have a wormlike appearance, with legs that are mere stumps. People with oily skin, or those who use cosmetics heavily and don't wash thoroughly, have the heaviest infestations ... but most adults carry a few demodicids. Inflammation and infection often result when large numbers of these mites congregate in a single follicle.

An individual female may lay up to 25 eggs in a single follicle, and as the mites grow, they become tightly packed. When mature, the mites leave the follicle, mate, and find a new follicle in which to lay their eggs. The whole cycle takes between 14 to 18 days.

The mites have tiny claws, and needlelike mouthparts for eating skin cells. Their bodies are layered with scales, which help them anchor themselves in the follicle. The mite's digestive system results in so little waste that the mite doesn't even have an excretory opening. So although there may be mites in your eyelashes, there isn't any mite poop! Thank goodness!

Link & Image: Worsleyschool via A welsh View
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