Red Skin around Eyes: Is It Related to Demodex Mites?

redness around the eyes

Red skin around the eyes may be due to numerous causes, some of which may even be physiological. However, others require medical intervention. This article by Ungex discusses the reasons and the potential remedies. Furthermore, Ungex products may help you to soothe the symptoms if they are related to Demodex mites.

Red Skin Around The Eyes – Potential Causes

Increasing Age

Ageing is a normal process that progressively leads to changes in skin texture and colour. Gradual thinning of the skin, which occurs by ageing, leads to colour changes around the eyes, making it appear red. Although this is a normal process, skincare products can help you manage it. Mesotherapy, anti-wrinkle creams and other specialist care help you slow down the process.


Blepharitis is a chronic swelling of the eyelids that involve both eyes simultaneously. This complication is usually recurrent and challenging to treat.

Symptoms include:

  • Eye irritation
  • Inflammation of the eyelids
  • Wet eyes
  • Oily and sticky eyelids
  • Foreign body sensation in the eye

The primary cause of blepharitis is unknown. However, some factors seemingly are related to blepharitis, including:

  • Demodex mites
  • Seborrheic dermatitis
  • Bacterial infections
  • Meibomian glands dysfunction
  • Allergies

Doctors help to control blepharitis and the subsequent redness around the eyes in different ways. Antibiotics, eye drops and corticosteroids are among the usual prescriptions. If the cause is eyelash mite (Demodex mite), mite removal is an integral part of the treatment.


Cellulitis is a medical term that shows skin and soft tissue infection. Although it is most prevalent in the legs, it can occur in other parts as well, including around the eyes.

Staphylococcus and Streptococcus, which are among the skin flora, may penetrate into the deep skin layers through scratches, sores, surgeries, or insect bites.

One of the differentiative symptoms is that the pain intensifies with the pressure. If the condition occurs around the eyes, it may be considered a severe issue and requires immediate medical intervention.

Cellulitis symptoms include:

  • Fever
  • Skin redness
  • Headache
  • Inflammation
  • Pain
  • Warm skin
  • Skin irritation

The treatment mainly focuses on prescribing antibiotics as bacteria are the primary cause. Taking oral antibiotics for 5 to 14 days along with painkillers are common prescriptions for cellulite.

Chalazion Or Meibomian Cyst

A chalazion is an eye issue that can lead to redness around the eyes. It appears in the form of a small lump near the base of the eyelashes. 

Several small glands inside the upper and lower eyelids secrete a kind of oil to mix with the tears and cover the eye’s surface. This thin layer of oil prevents the cornea from drying out.

Numerous factors can lead to meibomian gland dysfunction, for example, the blockage of ducts. In such a condition, the secreted oils get stuck in the duct. Consequently, a red lump forms along the passage that may get infected and swell. Furthermore, there is not enough oil to mix with tears, and the evaporation process occurs more quickly. As a result, the eyes become dry.

Chalazion symptoms include:

  • Red mass near the eyelid
  • Blurred vision
  • Dry eyes
  • Pain
  • Foreign body sensation in the eyes
  • Redness and swelling
  • Wet eyes

Demodex mites are considered as one of the causes of chalazion. 

Chalazion-caused redness around the eyes usually disappears on its own once the lump shrinks. However, a warm water compress may also help. In case of secondary infection, your doctor may prescribe antibiotics. In some rare cases, incision curettage – which is a kind of minor surgery – is performed to remove the cyst.


Rosacea is a widespread skin problem identified by redness, especially in the centre of the face. It may also affect the neck and chest, but the issue is more common in the face. Inflammation, flushing, irritation, distinct capillaries under the skin, and sometimes bumps are other symptoms.

Rosacea is more common in those with fair skin and middle-aged females. Nasal involvement is more common in men. It is known as Rhinophyma and is characterized by nose enlargement and thick skin. 

Rosacea is not acne, but it can be mistaken with Vulgaris acne.

The definite cause for rosacea is unknown. However, it seems heredity and environmental agents can play a significant role in creating this complication.

Furthermore, in recent years, the association between Rosacea and Demodex mites has been discovered.

Rosacea may lead to redness in and around the eyes, which is known as ocular rosacea.

It seems there is no cure for rosacea. Still, treatment for underlying issues may effectively control rosacea. The large population of Demodex mites is among the significant underlying issues. The following tips can help you prevent flare-ups:

  • Avoid hot drinks
  • Avoid hot weather
  • Protect the skin against wind
  • Avoid spicy foods 
  • Prevent stress buildup

Dermatologists may prescribe antibacterial washes, creams, oral antibiotics, lasers, phototherapy, photodynamic therapy, and isotretinoin.


Shingles is the result of the chickenpox virus named varicella-zoster. It is also known as herpes zoster.

The virus can hide in the nervous system for many years and then develop into shingles.

Varicella-zoster infection can cause red skin rashes that lead to burning sensations and pain. Shingles usually affect one side of the body. It is more usual in the abdomen, chest, neck and facial area.

Shingles usually lead to small spots and continuous blisters, and painful skin lesions.

Also, some people may experience the following symptoms:

  • Fever 
  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle weakness and pain

Shingles is not contagious. However, you may get infected with the virus if you haven’t caught chickenpox yet.

Shingles can also affect the eyes and cause redness and inflammation in the area.

Fortunately, the symptoms usually go away on their own after some weeks. Still, your doctor may prescribe the following:

  • Resting
  • Coldwater compress
  • Calamine ointment
  • Valacyclovir (Valtrex)
  • Anticonvulsants, like gabapentin (Neurontin)
  • Famciclovir (Famvir)
  • Corticosteroid injections


Stye is an ocular condition, just like chalazion and blepharitis. It can also cause redness around the eyes. However, Stye is mostly caused by the infection of eyelash follicles by harmful bacteria. Chalazion, on the other hand, is rooted in meibomian gland dysfunction. A chalazion is usually away from the base of the eyelashes and is painless (unless in the case of secondary infection). In contrast, the Stye develops at the base of the eyelashes, and it is painful. Most of the time, Stye and chalazion heal on their own. However, to speed up the process, warm water compresses twice a day can help. Furthermore, Ophthalmologists may also prescribe antibiotic drops or ointments.

Stye and chalazion both may be related to Demodex mites.

Demodex Mites And The Redness Around The Eyes

Although Demodex is not always the case, it can trigger or worsen some issues that can change the skin colour around the eyes.

Demodex May Contribute to the Redness around the Eyes Caused by Blepharitis, Stye and Chalazion

In recent years, a strong link has been discovered between Demodex and these three ocular concerns. In other words, Demodex can cause redness around the eyes if it is involved in these conditions’ pathophysiology.

Although Demodex mites are tiny, they are big enough to clog the follicles, oil glands, and meibomian glands’ ducts. The blockage prevents the secretions, causing inflammation and swelling in these three parts. The above disorders can lead to visible protrusions in the Stye and chalazion. Bacteria and other microorganisms remain in a humid, nutrient-dense environment and begin to overpopulate to infect the chalazion lump. They also play an important role in the eyelid inflammation in blepharitis and Stye.

Demodex mites carry harmful organisms, including bacteria, which diffuse after mites’ death and worsen the symptoms. More Demodex mites mean more bacteria and harmful substances and severe symptoms.

Demodex mites secrete inflammatory substances when they are alive. These substances can cause local inflammation, as well as cause the immune system to trigger an inflammatory reaction cascade. 

So, Demodex mites may be responsible for Stye, chalazion, blepharitis, and consequently, redness and swelling around the eyes. However, it is difficult to identify them as the culprits since they hide in the dark under the skin and only appear at night. They lay their eggs near the follicles and oil glands. 

If you are experiencing recurrent blepharitis, chalazion, and Stye, it’s time to pay more attention to Demodex mites.

Take the Ungex Online Demodex Test

Wondering if the Demodex mites are responsible for the redness around your eyes? You can simply estimate their density via our online test, which is even more valid than the microscopic tests. 

If your results show a high Demodex density, feel free to contact us to help you through our amazing products and guides to remove skin redness around your eyes.

Demodex and Rosacea 

Demodex is increasingly being tagged as a potential cause and trigger of rosacea. Many studies have shown that rosacea patients are more prone to carry more mites. However, it is not clear whether the rosacea is what leads to the mites’ outbreak or vice versa. However, keeping Demodex under control has proven to significantly improve the rosacea symptoms.

Although the mechanism is unknown, it is believed that the Demodex population is linked to immune system responses. The mechanism may also be in relation to the bacteria the mites hold. The studies show that Demodex is responsible for the trigger of inflammatory immune responses that lead to rosacea flare-ups.

The good news for rosacea sufferers is that Ungex products can play an essential role in soothing rosacea symptoms by eliminating Demodex mites. O And controlling the rosacea symptoms can lead to the improvement of different aspects of your lifestyle.

redness and demodex

Reference:What causes redness around the eyes?

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