Lash extensions are only as good as the care we put into them – this is the most important rule to note before booking your lash appointment.
This means that maintenance and proper aftercare are really important if you like your lash extensions to last as long as they’re supposed to and not cause you any discomfort.
If you neglect them and forget to clean them regularly, they can become a breeding ground for bacteria and parasites – like lash mites.
Find out what happens if you get lash mites on lash extensions, as well as some recommendations on how to treat this condition at home.
What Are Lash Mites?
Lash mites (also known as Demodex folliculitis) are tiny bugs found at the base of your eyelashes on your eyelids. Almost every adult has a population of lash mites on their skin, whether they wear eyelash extensions or not.
Even if you look very closely, you probably won’t be able to see them, since they are about 0.1 – 0.03 mm long and practically see-through – that’s why they can be pretty tricky to diagnose by yourself.
When not overpopulated, eyelash mites are completely harmless and act as a natural cleaning system by feasting on dead skin cells and oil buildup on our eyelids. In this way, they are beneficial to the general health of your eyes and lashes.
But if they start breeding too much, they can become an issue.
Image source: Instagram @divine_lashes
Can You Get Lash Mites From Eyelash Extensions?
In terms of lash mites eyelash extensions themselves are not a trigger – but poor hygiene is.
When booking your appointment with a certified lash technician, you can expect optimal hygiene and sterilized equipment which can minimize the risk of lash mite infestation.
However, the most important factor in keeping your extensions and making sure you don’t get lash mites on lash extensions is proper maintenance and aftercare.
Lash mites can become a real nuisance when they overpopulate, since they lay their eggs in your lash follicles. This can lead to clogged pores and as a result, eyelash loss.
Dirty lashes full of sebum act as a buffet for these tiny parasites, so regular lash extensions baths are a must in keeping their population at bay.
Image source: Instagram @taylir.madelashes
It is important to note that lash mites can be passed from one person to another through close contact.
They can also be passed on to others by sharing towels or makeup, so if you’re diagnosed with lash mites, take all the steps needed to prevent further contamination.
Are Lash Mites on Lash Extensions Harmful?
As previously mentioned, lash mites on lash extensions are harmless when their population is controlled and in small numbers.
A large lash mite infestation can be harmful to your lashes and extensions, as it can cause damage to the lash follicles causing your lashes to fall out, and even create some vision problems.
Lash mite infestation can be dangerous if not treated immediately since it can lead to more serious eye conditions like blepharitis or inflammation of the eyelids.
What Are the Symptoms of Lash Mites?
Lash mites are microscopic and practically invisible to the naked eye.
Their presence is oftentimes made known only by some manifested symptoms. Let’s take a look at the most common signs of lash mite infestation:
- Redness of the skin close to the lash line.
- Itchy and dry eyes.
- Swelling of the eyelids.
- Crusty lid margins with rough patches of skin.
- Eyelash loss.
- Blurry vision.
If you notice any of these, react as soon as possible – waiting just allows them to breed further.
Image source: Instagram @vibrasaesthetics
How to Treat Lash Mites on Lash Extensions?
If your lash extensions contain a significant amount of mites, the first thing to do is to book an appointment with your lash tech to safely remove the extensions.
Depending on the severity of the infestation and the symptoms you may be experiencing, proceed with treatments for the infection.
If you’re dealing with vision problems, eye redness and inflammation, the best thing to do is to visit your ophthalmologist. However, if the infestation has moderate symptoms, you can start treating the mites at home using essential tea tree oil.
Tea tree oil is a proven killer of Demodex mites, but it is important to note that in very high concentrations, it can be quite irritating to the eye so the best thing to do before use is to dilute it.
In order to remove lash mites, prepare a cotton tip applicator and soak it in a mixture of 20-50% tea tree oil and macadamia or walnut oil, then gently rub it along the lash line, making sure not to get the solution in your eyes.
Here are some recommendations for the safest possible at-home lash mite removal:
To Sum Up
Lash mites on lash extensions can cause discomfort and potentially damage your natural lashes, so keeping up with your daily lash cleaning routine is highly recommended.
Not only will this control the number of lash mites that are naturally present on your eyelids, but it will also lower the chance of more serious eye conditions like blepharitis.
Learn more about lash extension red flags and common mistakes here.
Cover image source: Freepik