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Question:
My son was advised to use tea tree oil on his eyelashes for a suspected case of demodex (mites) infection. The only oil at the local drugstore is 100 percent concentration and clearly states to not use on eyes. What concentration should he be using and where do you obtain this product?

Answer:
With both antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory effects, tea tree oil has been effective in getting rid of mites. Typically, a daily lid scrub with 50 percent tea tree oil and lid massage with 5 percent tea tree oil ointment will take care of ocular Demodex infestation. Higher concentrations can be irritating to the eyes. Dr. C. C. Tseng and team, with research supported by the National Eye Institute, identified the active ingredient in tea tree oil that kills mites. They developed a treatment containing this ingredient—which is better tolerated by patients—called Cliradex. This can be purchased online if you prefer it.

Answered by: Rona Silkiss, MD Dr. Rona Silkiss

Categories: Eye Conditions, Eye Infections

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Answered: Mar 05, 2014

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