It is a very rare situation, however it happens, having already asked about Lice in the Eyelashes.
What types of head lice are there?
Head lice are tiny wingless parasitic insects that feed on human blood. There are three types of head lice:
Head lice (pediculosis capitis) that live on the head. Females produce a sticky substance that attaches their eggs (called nits) to the strands of hair.
Body lice (pediculosis corporis) live and lay eggs on clothing, moving to the skin of the body to feed.
Pubic lice (pediculosis pubis) also called “crabs”, live in the genital area. As with lice, females produce a sticky substance that holds the eggs to the strands of hair. Occasionally, they can be found in other hairs on the body, such as eyebrows, armpits, beard, mustache.
Head lice have three forms: nit, nymph (nit hatch) and adult louse. Normally, they can survive less than one to two days without feeding on human blood. Since they can only crawl - not fly or jump - they are caught by personal contact.
Lice in eyelashes
The medical term for lice that live in the eyelashes is phthiriasis palpebrarum, which is very rare.
Logically, anyone would think that the lice on the eyelashes would be the same as the head lice. The reality is: the lice that live in the eyelashes are most often pubic lice, having gotten there by hand touching the genital area to the eye, or by sharing towels with someone with pubic lice.
The life cycle of pubic lice
Pubic lice eggs hatch into nymphs after 6 to 10 days, which take 2 to 3 weeks to mature into breeding adults.
Adult pubic lice have a shelf life of 3 to 4 weeks, during which the female deposits about 30 nits.
If you find lice on your eyelashes, also check other areas of the body with coarse hair, such as pubic hair and armpits.
Symptoms of Lice in the Eyelashes
The first symptom is itching, more intense at the root of the eyelashes, even more at night, which is when the lice are most active.
Other symptoms include:
the eyebrows closer together
eyebrows may look thicker
brownish or black dots at the eyebrow roots
Lice treatment on eyelids and eyelashes
Before proceeding with any treatment, consult your doctor. Chemicals and shampoos can cause eye irritation or damage if not administered properly.
Not only that, sometimes the translucent oval-shaped nits at the root of the eyebrows look quite similar to the scab of seborrheic blepharitis and eyelid eczema and are easily diagnosed as such or as bacterial, viral or allergic conjunctivitis.
To avoid misdiagnosis, consult your physician.
At Happy Heads Clinic we are here to help and above all clarify any doubts about head lice that may exist. In case of head lice, you know, we are here to help!
Pubic lice (also called crabs). (2018). medlineplus.gov/pubiclice.html
Public lice fact sheet. (n.d.). dshs.texas.gov/region1/documents/Epi/Public-Lice-Fact-Sheet.pdf