For anyone losing eyebrows, there is only one thing to do - get an expert opinion. Too often individuals bypass this step and look for the latest treatments they've heard about.
A full review of the individual's medical history and careful examination of the hair in the eyebrows AND scalp is needed along with review of blood test results.
WHAT ARE THE COMMON CAUSES OF EYEBROW LOSS?
In general causes of eyebrow loss and treatment include:
OVER TWEEZING AND PLUCKING. Overstyling of the brows is very common. Options include minoxidil, bimatoprost and hair restoration surgery.
HYPOTHYROIDISM. Reduced thyroid levels can cause brow loss especially at the sides. A visit to the blood lab for a blood test can diagnose low thyroid levels. The treatment is thyroid replacement
ALOPECIA AREATA. This is an autoimmune condition. Hair loss can occur solely on the eyebrows albeit that is not common. For most individuals, there are other signs of hair loss on the scalp. Treatment for AA includes steroid injections and topical corticosteroids, minoxidil. Other treatments are available too.
FRONTAL FIBROSING ALOPECIA. This is an autoimmune hair loss condition causing scarring hair loss that is permanent. Eyebrow loss in women over 60 is more likely FFA than AA. Treatment includes steroid injections, and immunosuppressive pills and hormone blockers. A dermatologist should be consulted for anyone with FFA.
TRICOTILLOMANIA (TTM). Self induced pulling of the eyebrows is not uncommon in the general population. It is often associated with anxiety, depression or obsessive compulsive disorder. The treatment for TTM includes medications and counselling.
AGE RELATED CHANGES. Some women and men develop sparse eyebrows with age. Treatment includes minoxidil, bimatoprost and hair transplantation.
TELOGEN EFFLUVIUM. Hair shedding problems give hair loss in the scalp and rarely eyebrows. The precise treatment depends on the precise cause of the shedding (stress, low iron levels, weight loss, pills the patient uses)
All in all these are some of the more common reasons for brow loss but but many, many reasons are possible! A dermatologist can help guide a diagnosis and treatment plan.
Dr. Jeff Donovan is a Canadian and US board certified dermatologist specializing exclusively in hair loss. To schedule a consultation, please call the Vancouver office at 604.283.9299