Scalp dandruff, although a drag and slightly embarrassing, is not unusual. What may take you by surprise is if dry flakes regularly fall from your eyebrows. Yes, eyebrow dandruff is a thing, according to certified dermatologists. It is one of the most common symptoms of seborrheic dermatitis, but other causes can also lead to eyebrow dandruff.
Symptoms Of Eyebrow Dandruff
More often than not, eyebrow dandruff is not the only symptom you experience. Inflammation in the eyebrow area, itchiness, or rash can occur, and you may require an over-the-counter (OTC) or prescription medication to fix the issue. The most common symptoms of eyebrow dandruff include:
- Light, white to yellowish flakes of skin that shed
- Mild itching (although itching is not always a symptom)
- Eyebrows that appear scaly
- Mild erythema (redness) and irritated patches of skin on the eyebrows
- An increased amount of sebum (oil) in the eyebrows
Note, eyebrow dandruff can be the result of environmental factors like cold weather or harsh skin products. When environmental factors cause eyebrow dandruff, symptoms don’t usually include inflammation. When seborrheic dermatitis or contact dermatitis are the underlying causes, inflammation is a primary symptom. Read on to figure out what your body is trying to tell you if you experience eyebrow dandruff.
Contact dermatitis is a reaction on the skin that is caused by irritants or allergens. Ingredients in skin or hair-care products can often cause irritation, meaning contact dermatitis responsible. Fragrances in detergent or makeup products can trigger this scaly skin reaction, but you may not see the symptom surface for a day or two following exposure. Contact dermatitis can cause an itchy, irritating rash in the area and the skin may flake off, causing dandruff. If contact dermatitis is the culprit of eyebrow dandruff, you may also experience dry or cracked skin, bumps and blisters, or swelling/tenderness in the area.
Good ole dry skin can often be the source of scaly brows. It is easy to mistake dry skin near the eyebrows for dandruff, but the truth may be that your skin just lacks moisture. Unlike eczema or psoriasis, which stem from an inflammatory response in the immune system, dry skin in the eyebrow region is a common symptom of those living in areas with low humidity or cold weather. If you try to use lotions or creams to remedy dry skin and still experience flakiness, you may need to consult a dermatologist to get a definitive answer.
Psoriasis is a chronic autoimmune disorder that causes skin cells to grow at an accelerated rate, resulting in thick patches of itchy, red, scaly skin. Although the condition commonly affects the knees, elbows, scalp, and trunk, it may appear on other parts of the body, like your face. Experts believe that this inflammatory issue is caused by an overactive immune system. Irregular immune function can indicate why you see an influx of flakes that accumulate on the skin’s surface.
Seborrheic dermatitis is a common form of eczema and usually shows itself as dandruff or rash on certain parts of the body that produce a lot of oil. The upper back, nose, and scalp are fairly common areas to experience symptoms. Seborrheic dermatitis causes irritated patches of skin and inflammation, but it can also cause flare-ups near the eyebrows. Wherever it shows up, seborrheic dermatitis stems from an overblown inflammatory immune response to an overgrowth of Malassezia, a common type of yeast that lives on the skin.