Blepharitis – Demodex Mites, Mites, Demodex Folliculorum, Tea Tree Oil

What are Blepharitis – Demodex Mites, Mites, Demodex Folliculorum, Tea Tree Oil?  Demodex is a microscopic mite that is the most common permanent ectoparasite of humans.

Demodex folliculorum and Demodex brevis are found on the human body surface, and are often found on the face, cheeks, forehead, nose, and external ear tract, where there is active oil/sebum excretion.

In the eye, Demodex is found in the eyelash follicle, and the watery sebaceous gland of eyelash and the oily meibomian gland.

Blepharitis,demodex mites,mites,demodex folliculorum, tea tree oil

Demodex and its effect on the eye and eyelids:  

In the skin, Demodex has been implicated in causing a rash, pus like inflammation of the hair follicles and rosacea. In the eye, Demodex infestation is linked to blepharitis and allergic blepharoconjunctivitis {inflammation of the conjunctival and eyelid}

Ocular demodicosis, causes itching, inflammation, oily meibomian gland dysfunction causing dry eye, abnormal eyelash growth , scarring of the conjunctiva [cicatricial conjunctivitis], inflammation of the cornea [keratitis] , intermittent trichiasis, abnormal corneal blood vessel growth [neovascularization], and the development of nodular bumps of scar tissue on the cornea.

Tea Tree Oil to treat Blepharitis, Demodex Mites, Mites, Demodex Folliculorum,

Lid Scrub with Tea Tree Oil-containing Solution and Ointment:  

Tea Tree Oil (TTO), a natural essential oil from the leaf of Melaleuca alternifolia.  

Tea Tree Oil – Instruction of Lid Scrub Regimen: Lid Scrub with 50% TTO Solution

A clean cotton tip should be dipped in 50% TTO (wet but not dripping) and used to scrub the lash roots from one end to the other of each eyelid with a medium pressure, counted as one stroke.

Try to avoid getting the solution into the eye as it will cause some irritation. If it does get in and irritate the eye, please rinse the eye with non-preserved saline. A total of 6 strokes are applied to each lid. A dry cotton tip is used intermittently to remove excess TTO from the lid margin (to avoid irritation). Because this TTO scrub not only loosens the dandruff from the lash but also stimulated demodex to move out to the skin, a dry cotton tip also helps remove it. After waiting for another 5 minutes, the second lid scrub with TTO is applied in the same manner. After 10 minutes of rest, the third TTO lid scrub is applied. If there is any irritation, the eye was rinsed with non-preserved saline. This should be done at least once a week, and is more effective if done every other day.

Lid Massage with 5% Tee Tree Oil Ointment

Squeeze a quarter of inch of the above ointment to each index finger. With eyes closed, apply the index finger across the lid margin where the lashes are from one corner to the other with a mild pressure. Once the finger reaches the other corner, carry it to the upper lid skin (as close to the lid margin as possible) to the other corner; then move the finger to the lower lid skin in the same manner. This will be counted a one stroke of massage. Do this several times and leave all ointment on the region without washing it out. Do this lid massage at least twice a day. If you wash your face during the interval, you will need to apply it again.

A q-tip can be used to complement your finger, especially if you have long finger nails

Other Instructions

In addition, please discard used facial make-ups, and wash the hair, the face, nostrils, the external ear and the neck with soap (preferably tea tree shampoo) daily. The bedding and pillow cases need to be washed with hot water and dried in a heated dryer immediately before any lid scrub, and once a week thereafter. If you have pets at home, do not sleep with them. If the spouse has complaints of similar eye irritation, the same home lid scrub is advised.

Thanks to  Scheffer Tseng, M.D., Ph.D who supplied this information