Doctors warn about dangers and spread of eyelash lice

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If you wear eyelash extensions often, you may want to think about the last time you cleaned them.

KTRK reports some optometrists say they're seeing an increase in cases of lash lice, or Demodex. Symptoms include itchiness, redness and inflammation, and, of course, the lice.

The lice are organisms that live on the hair follicle. It's just like having head lice, which could be transferred to anyone.

Some people have tried to stay away from cleaning them at all. But that leads to an increase in bacteria, which harbors more bacteria and leads to infections.

Dr. Sairah Malik says not cleaning the extensions leads to the bacteria buildup.

"Generally the idea when you have eyelash extensions is that people are afraid to kind of touch them or wash them because they're afraid the eyelash will fall out," Dr. Malik told the Houston ABC affiliate.

She adds cleaning your eyelids is critical.

"We recommend tea tree base cleanser. Any cleanser that has a diluted form of tea tree, and it is a good idea to use on a daily basis."

Dr. Malik also says it's a good idea to give your eyelids a break from lash extensions every now and then.

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