After learning of the undeniable obsession head lice have with human hair, one must wonder if the hair in other areas of the body is safe from the invasion of these ruthless insects. Are lash lice real? In fact, they are, and they even have a medical name: phthiriasis palpebrarum.
TYPES OF LICE
Three types of lice can infest humans - pubic lice, body lice, and head lice. Each of these types of lice is unique and affects a different part of the body.
Head lice, also known as pediculus humanus capitis, live on the human head, feeding off of the human blood from the scalp; they lay their eggs on the strands of hair. Anybody with hair on their head can get head lice and it is not a sign of poor hygiene.
Pubic lice, or crabs, live in the pubic region, laying their eggs on the pubic hair. Commonly, these lice are spread through sexual contact.
Body lice are associated with poor living conditions. They live in bedding and clothing, laying their eggs there, periodically accessing the human body to feed on human blood.
Lice in Fake Lashes
Lash extension lice can exist if the lashes have the same texture as real hair; the bugs need to be able to grab the hair. The reality is that false lashes lice are very uncommon with real hair and lice could not easily infest inexpensive, synthetic lashes.
CAN YOU GET LICE IN YOUR EYEBROWS?
We recently got a text from a concerned client after treatment: “thank u for treating r hair, but I didn't think 2 ask, can u get lice in your eyebrows?!” Lice can reside anywhere on the human body that has hair. This includes the body (body lice), pubic area (also known as crabs), armpits, etc. But perhaps a better question would be…
Can head lice get in your eyebrows?
Most people who ask can lice live in eyebrows are assuming that phthiriasis palpebrarum happens from lice traveling from the head to the lashes. The truth is that lice found in the eyelashes are not head lice; they are pubic lice (which can live on any body hair including eyebrows), traveling from other body hair to the eyebrows.
HOW DO YOU GET EYELASH LICE?
Although this isn't a common occurrence, men and women alike should remain cautious as lice are no friends of persons. The main culprit is the unconscious act of rubbing the eye after making contact with the infected genital area. Note that these lice are wingless insects so they must crawl or somehow be transferred by sharing items such as rags, towels, and even clothing with individuals who have been exposed.
SYMPTOMS OF EYELASH LICE
Some symptoms of eyelash lice include:
- Itching or tingling feeling at the root of the eyelash;
- Eye redness;
- Lashes sticking together;
- Lashes that are thicker in appearance or by touch;
- Increased production of tears;
- Black or brown spots at the base of the eyelash.
HOW TO AVOID LASH LICE AND EYEBROW LICE
As we've discussed, lice on lashes and eyebrow lice are pubic lice. They are caught either from direct contact with someone who has pubic lice, or from sharing things like beds, clothing, or other personal items with someone who has pubic lice. If you already know you currently have adult pubic lice, the best way to avoid them getting in the eye area is to practice good hygiene like avoiding touching the face without washing your hands. You should seek advice about pubic lice and other STDs from your local health department or your doctor.
HOW TO GET RID OF LASH LICE AND EYEBROW LICE?
Treating eyelash lice can be a challenge. Because of its proximity to the eyes, chemicals are not often recommended. Treatment revolves around removing the tiny insects and their eggs from the eyebrows and eyelashes using forceps. Some people try petroleum jelly or ophthalmic grade petrolatum ointment. A doctor may prescribe a treatment to kill the lice. It's very important that you speak with your doctor to ensure adequate and safe treatment. LiceDoctors only treat head lice; we are not equipped to eradicate pubic lice found in the eyelashes and eyebrows.
LiceDoctors does NOT specialize in the removal of pubic lice in the pubic area or facial areas, and so unfortunately we cannot help you with the treatment of eyelash lice. If you think you're suffering from these medical conditions, please call a professional for immediate assistance, as it is highly contagious and can spread if left untreated, and will NOT go away on its own. If you find a lice infestation, head lice on or near the scalp, or lice eggs (also called nits) in the head hair, LiceDoctors can solve your problem. Check out this link for more information on the Differences Among Head Lice, Body Lice, and Pubic Lice.