Dandruff on the eyebrows: why does it occur and how to eliminate it?

Dandruff on the eyebrows can be a common cosmetic problem for many people. It is associated with dry skin, although it also appears due to fungal infections.

Last update: June 13, 2021

Dandruff is a common condition that affects people of all ages. Usually it is evident on the scalp. However, it may appear elsewhere. Are you interested in knowing why dandruff occurs in the eyebrows and how to eliminate it? Coming up next, we tell you.

When we talk about dandruff we refer to the shedding of dead skin cells in the form of scales. Studies estimate that it occurs in more than 50% of the population at least once in a lifetime. This condition usually causes aesthetic discomfort and shame in the sufferer.

Peeling of the skin is a natural process which can be enhanced by other factors. In some patients, it is the result of fat accumulation or fungal invasions. Prompt treatment offers excellent results.

Symptoms related to dandruff

Dandruff on the eyebrows comes in the form of small white flakes or particles similar to dandruff on the scalp. Similarly, it is common to see the following symptoms in affected patients:

  • Gray or yellow scales at the level of the eyebrows that come off easily.
  • Small scabs or abrasions.
  • Irritated, red, or inflamed skin.
  • Burning or itching in the area.

On the other hand, it is possible to find a cracked and whitish skin, as well as reddish, rounded patches on other parts of the body. However, all symptoms can vary, depending on the underlying cause of eyebrow dandruff.

Possible causes of dandruff in the eyebrows

There are several pathologies to which excessive flaking of the skin in the form of dandruff can be attributed. Usually the same affect the skin surface, altering its functioning.

In most patients, seborrheic dermatitis is the leading cause of dandruff on the eyebrows and other regions of the body. However, contact dermatitis, dry skin, psoriasis, and eczema should also be considered at the time of diagnosis.

Seborrheic dermatitis

Seborrheic dermatitis is an inflammatory skin disease characterized by papulesquamous lesions in areas rich in sebaceous glands. Research suggests that it is common on the scalp, midface, eyebrows, torso, armpits, and groin area.

There are multiple factors related to the development of this pathology. However, it is believed that subcutaneous infection with the fungus Malassezia is the main cause. This is a common yeast found in the flora of the skin and can multiply in the face of a poor immune response.

The invasion of the fungus into the skin leads to an increased formation of fatty substances and stimulates the proliferation of the cutaneous stratum corneum. This fact promotes the appearance of dandruff on the eyebrows and on the scalp, as well as oily skin.

Seborrheic dermatitis is common on the scalp, but its presentation on the eyebrows is not unlikely.

You may be interested in: Seborrheic dermatitis: symptoms and treatment

Contact dermatitis

Contact dermatitis is a inflammatory process of the skin that arises from exposure to an exogenous agent irritative. This fact translates into a skin hypersensitivity or allergy response, characterized by rash and itching. In some patients it can promote the shedding of skin cells.

Some studies suggest that the face, hands, wrists, and arms are the main sites of occurrence. The skin can react to ingredients in household cleaning, hygiene and personal hygiene products. Even makeup and jewelry. Therefore, if dandruff is observed on the eyebrows after using a new product, its use should be abandoned.

Dry Skin

Generally, people who stay at very low temperatures or do not hydrate improperly can have dry skin. This situation usually favors the appearance of dandruff. However, dry skin is easily and quickly reversed by moisturizing and hydrating the skin and consuming plenty of water.


Psoriasis is a chronic, inflammatory skin disorder that characterized by red, scaly, and itchy lesions. This disease is caused by an abnormal response of the immune system on the cells of the skin epithelium. Cell turnover and growth are stimulated without the old cells having detached, causing the typical plaques.

In some patients with psoriasis, small scaly lesions can be seen on the scalp and around the eyebrows. It not only affects the skin and aesthetics, but also the psychological state.


Eczema encompasses a a set of skin conditions that cause itching, peeling, and redness. It is common in babies and young children, in whom it is associated with other conditions, such as asthma and hives. In some cases, skin lesions can be located on the face and cause dandruff on the eyebrows, and timely medical evaluation is vital.

Treatments available for eyebrow dandruff

In most cases, the typical flaking of dandruff and associated itchiness can be treated with the use of dandruff shampoos. These help to remove excess dead cells and fat. However, inflammatory and scaly pathologies require medical supervision by a dermatologist.

Over-the-counter treatments

There is a wide variety of shampoos on the market for the control and prevention of dandruff. Generally, people have to try several options until they find one that works for them.

In addition, the same require long-term employment to obtain good results. The shampoos that can be used in the management of dandruff on the eyebrows and scalp contain the following substances:

  • Zinc pyrithione.
  • Coal tar.
  • Ketoconazole.
  • Salicylic acid.
  • Selenium sulfide.
  • Sulfacetamide.

When applied to the eyebrows it is advisable to let it act for a few minutes before removing it. Likewise, the instructions should be followed and direct contact with the eyes avoided. Oral antihistamines and over-the-counter creams for irritation and itching can be used in patients with allergic dermatitis.

Read also: Ketoconazole: indications and contraindications

Medical treatments

In patients with underlying pathologies that cause dandruff in the eyebrows, such as seborrheic dermatitis, a specialist's approach is vital. the same may recommend topical and systemic antifungal therapies for the treatment of this condition. Ketoconazole and fluconazole are frequently prescribed oral medications.

Similarly, medical help should be sought as soon as possible if an allergic reaction with rash and hives occurs. Hypersensitivity conditions can be complicated by respiratory symptoms.

The same shampoos used for scalp dandruff can be applied to the eyebrows, taking care to protect the eyeball.

Home remedies

It is possible to prepare and apply some home remedies to alleviate the symptoms of mild dandruff on the eyebrows. However, certain natural substances can cause allergic reactions. So that it is advisable to test the remedy in a small area of ​​the hand before using it on the face.

Aloe vera can be very useful for hydration and skin moisturization in patients with dry skin. Similarly, some natural oils, such as almond, avocado, jojoba and coconut provide benefits.

Studies suggest that Tea leaf oil has helpful antimicrobial and antioxidant properties in the management of dandruff and other conditions. It is essential to dilute the natural oils and apply in small quantities, leaving it to act for a few minutes.

Prevent dandruff on the eyebrows

It is possible to reduce the risk of developing eyebrow dandruff or prevent its appearance by making some lifestyle changes. Some recommendations that can be followed to achieve this goal are the following:

  • Maintain a healthy diet, rich in vitamins and zinc.
  • Moisturize the skin periodically with a facial moisturizer.
  • Use sunscreen.
  • Recognize possible allergens.
  • Use anti-dandruff shampoos over-the-counter.
  • Learn to manage stress efficiently.

Dandruff in the eyebrows is a common condition that appears at any time in life. It is usually relieved by using dandruff shampoos and moisturizers.

Nevertheless, If it persists over time or strange symptoms are added, it is advisable to seek medical attention as soon as possible. The health professional is the only one trained to assess the condition and offer the best approach.

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