This will make your skin crawl.
Clinicians in China discovered head lice nested in a young boy’s eyelashes when he made a startling trip to the ophthalmologist, according to an entry published in the September edition of the American Journal of Ophthalmology Case Reports.
The 3-year-old patient complained of intense itching and “abnormal” secretions around his eyes, as well as swelling and redness for more than a week.
Upon further inspection, physicians found “a large number of nits,” or lice eggs, “tightly adhered” to his lashes on his right eye, as well as the hair-loving, translucent critters.
The preschooler from Zhengzhou liked to play with sand and frequently touched his eyes with unwashed hands.
Thankfully, the vision of the unidentified patient was not affected by the pesky parasites.
While “extremely rare,” the boy was diagnosed with a head lice infection — on his lashes.
Once the insects and their eggs were removed, his symptoms “were completely resolved immediately,” and he was given ointment and eye drops to apply.
Lice — which appear on the scalp, skin or pubic hair — feed on human blood and are often spread from close contact, shared belongings, contact with contaminated furniture, or sexual contact, per Mayo Clinic.
For eyelash lice, the symptoms are consistent with several other types of ocular conditions, which could lead to misdiagnosis, according to the case report.
“This case suggests that ophthalmologists should not only consider common inflammation and allergies, but also be alert to parasitic infections when treating patients with ocular itching and abnormal secretions,” the authors wrote.
In 2019, experts warned that eyelash extensions increased the risk of lash louse infestations due to improper cleaning of beauty products.