How Do You Get Lice on Eyelashes? Explanation, Diagnosis and Treatment

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How do you get lice on eyelashes? Well, it’s more common than you think…

Lice infestation is pretty common in schools and all socio-economic areas and we normally think about head lice and lice on our scalp. Did you know that lice on eyelashes is also a possibility? Yes, lice on eyelashes can happen and your eyelashes are just as vulnerable to lice infestation as your scalp. Later we explain how do you get lice on eyelashes and how to diagnose and treat the infestation.

What are lice?

The good news here is that lice aren’t dangerous but more of an annoyance if anything. The constant itching can be overwhelming for some, which can make it worse. Another point about lice is that it is extremely contagious. You don’t have to even touch a person with lice to get it you can simply be close enough and the lice will jump from one person to another.

Lice on Eyelashes

These wingless insects mainly feed off the skin and blood of people and can spread VERY quickly. Lice on eyelashes can occur when an adult louse simply attaches itself to the skin surrounding the eyelashes.  Very soon after that it lays eggs, which are called nits, attaching them to the shaft of the hair. Within a week to 10 days later the eggs hatch and start to grow into adults.  It can be as soon as 15 days when those newly hatched nits grow into adults and start laying eggs of their own. You can see how quickly this can happen in the matter of a month with no lice on eyelashes treatment.

Different Types of Lice

Unfortunately, there are a few different types of lice to be aware of.

Pediculosis corporis: Not as common in the scalp and usually infects body hair mainly the abdomen area.

Pediculosis capitis: This is the most common type of lice found on kids and mainly targets the scalp.

Pediculosis pubis: This type of lice is more crab-shaped and found in the pubic regions of the body and the base of the pubic hair. Most people who are infected with lice on eyelashes tend to have this type of lice.

Lice on eyelashes symptoms and things to watch out for

Besides the extreme itching there are a number of other symptoms and signs that can come with lice infestation:

  • Tearing from the eyes
  • Redness of the eye
  • Lice bites can cause small red spots
  • Fever (low-grade)
  • Conjunctivitis

Lice on Eyelashes Diagnosis

If you exhibit any of the symptoms above please see an eye doctor immediately. Your doctor will most likely use a slit lamp bio microscope to examine your eyes.

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slit lamp biomicroscope

With this high-powered magnification device the doctor will be able to confirm if there is indeed an infestation of lice on eyelashes.

Lice on Eyelashes Treatment

Lice infestation on the scalp is easier to treat with special shampoo however lice on eyelashes can be a bit more difficult. To not damage the eye, shampoos and other chemicals are not recommended. Treatment of lice on eyelashes is primarily focused on the doctor physically removing the lice with specialized forceps. Antibiotics are sometimes prescribed to suffocate the lice.

Related Links
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crab_louse
http://www.webmd.com/children/tc/lice-topic-overview
http://vision.answers.com/common-eye-problems/tips-to-get-rid-of-lice-in-eyelashes