Thinning Eyebrows Might Be a Sign of a More Serious Medical Condition

Smiling woman grooms her eyebrow.

Word has it the perfectly painted brow trend is on its way out, and a more down-to-earth brow style is on the rise. If you are trying to keep your look current, experiencing a sudden loss of fullness in your own eyebrows without explanation can be really frustrating. Beyond the concern that comes with the aesthetics, consider this: If your eyebrows have suddenly started to lose their fullness and it’s not because you are overplucking, it could be due to an underlying medical condition.

Whether one or both eyebrows is thinning, it could be the result of a number of causes, including a skin condition, infection, overactive immune system, physical trauma, emotional stress, or nutritional deficiencies. One of the board-certified dermatologists at The Derm Group can help you narrow down the cause of thinning eyebrows and provide guidance on what to do next.

Hair Loss Caused by Autoimmune Disorders

When you have an autoimmune disorder such as psoriasis or alopecia, both which can cause thinning eyebrows, the immune system attacks the body by mistake. In the case of psoriasis, this disorder causes skin cells to multiply so quickly that painful, scaly patches form, blocking hair follicles and stopping growth. When it comes to alopecia, there is alopecia areata, which causes random spots of hair loss; alopecia universalis, which causes total hair loss; and frontal fibrosing alopecia, which is responsible for scalp scarring, balding, and eyebrow loss.

Another key contributor to eyebrow hair loss is an underactive or overactive thyroid gland, also known as hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism, respectively. This is commonly caused by autoimmune diseases such as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. Thyroid-related eyebrow loss is typically temporary as a prescription medication can return the body’s level to normal. It’s important to diagnose autoimmune eyebrow loss so you can begin treating it early on.

Thinning Eyebrows Due to Nutrient Deficiencies

The human body requires a number of nutrients to keep it healthy and running smoothly. Some of those are necessary to maintain sustained hair growth. Nutrient deficiencies that can contribute to hair loss include:

  • Vitamin A, C, E, B-7 (Biotin), B-12, and D
  • Zinc
  • Iron
  • Cysteine
  • Omega-3 Fatty Acids

The good news is, you can adjust your diet to include vitamin-rich foods and vitamin supplements to strike a better balance. Talk to your dermatologist or a nutritionist for recommendations.

Eczema Eyebrow Loss

When your skin becomes inflamed, it can become itchy, red, and irritated, or it can even start oozing. These flare-ups are an uncomfortable product of having eczema and, unfortunately, can interfere with hair follicles embedded in the skin. Eczema is a common skin disease that is long-lasting, and treating it is all about controlling flare-ups. Your dermatologist may perform a patch test to assess whether allergies are exacerbating symptoms, or they may prescribe medicine, skin care regimens, and lifestyle change recommendations.

Other Causes of Hair Loss

In addition to skin inflammations and disorders, you can also experience thinning brows from hormonal imbalances due to pregnancy or childbirth. Stress and anxiety can also become a major factor in sudden hair loss. A stressful or traumatic event is thought to be the main culprit of telogen elluvium. While typically characterized by hair loss on the scalp, it may affect the eyebrows as well. Beyond these causes for eyebrow thinning, there are a number of others, including contact dermatitis, seborrheic dermatitis, tinea capitis (ringworm), chemotherapy, or even eyebrow loss with age.

Whatever the reason for your sudden hair loss, it’s important to get to the root of the problem and work to resolve it. Hair loss can often be your body’s way of telling you there’s an underlying concern. Request a Consultation with The Derm Group online or call us at (973) 571-2121 to discuss eyebrow hair loss causes and treatment options.

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