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How do you treat hair mites in humans?

A:

Quick Answer

To rid the hair and eyelashes of mites, an initial scrubbing with tea tree oil is recommended. Following that process, use an insecticide wash if the infestation is extensive, reports DermNet New Zealand.

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Full Answer

Hair mites, also known as demodex, live in hair follicles and oil glands in the face and head, according to DermNet. They eat skin and gland cells and are invisible to the naked eye, but can be clearly identified under a light microscope. These organisms are responsible for multiple skin conditions including perioral dermatitis, rosacea, inflammation of the eyelids and pityriasis folliculorum.

When localized to the eyelashes, ointments are used to trap the mites when they emerge at night to travel to new follicles, reports DermNet. Another common treatment method is to debride the lashes or hair with a scrub and then apply tea tree or macadamia oil to the roots. These oils are used to kill any eggs left by the mites, and are usually administered under a doctor's supervision. Rubbing alcohol, mercury oxide ointment and baby shampoo can also be used instead of these oils. In the case of extreme infestations, insecticides may be applied to the affected area. Examples of common insecticides include ivermectin, permethrin and crotamiton. Erythromycin cream can be used to treat severe eyelid infestations.

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