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Need info - bugs on the eyelid

James F. Munro 905133mu at udcf.gla.ac.uk
Tue Aug 29 09:17:07 EST 1995

Tina Presta <presta1 at llnl.gov> wrote:
> My daughter just came back from the Virgin Islands about 2 weeks ago.
> Since she's returned her eye has felt dry and itch-y.
> Last night we noticed small bugs crawling and burrowing in and around
> her lash-line.   They look like small, translucent ticks. They burrow
> under the skin and reappear elsewhere on the eyelid.  Has anyone heard
> of anything like this before?
> Her doctor didn't have any idea and has sent her to a dermatologist...
> I've haven't heard back from the dermatologist yet.
> Any info would be appreciated.  Thanks.
These sound like mange mites to me. Don't panic, it's not as bad as 
it sounds! They are likely to be of the genus Demodex (fellow
 parasitologists correct me if I'm wrong) or Sarcoptes (causes scabies).
 I have a
 feeling that Ivermectin can be used to treat this. Ivermectin is a
broad-spectrum anti-parasitic which deals with  ticks, mites and some
worms. As far as I know, no-one's quite sure how it works, but it's
commonly used in agriculture. If they are
Demodex mites, you can content yourself with the knowledge that almost 
everyone has got these things (apparently). They live in facial hair
follicles and normally do no harm. While the dermatologist is likely
 to come up with the answer, you would probably be quicker asking a 
vet. Either way,  the infection is treatable. I hope this has been of 
some help. 
Good luck
James F. Munro
Department of Public Health
University of Glasgow

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