Snowy Brows? Here's How to Treat Eyebrow Dandruff
Are you seeing flaky skin in and around your eyebrows? If it looks like it’s snowing in your arches, you could be dealing with eyebrow dandruff — yep, it’s a real thing. Known officially as seborrheic dermatitis, this skin condition can affect all areas of the body that are rich in oil glands. That’s why dandruff typically appears on the face and scalp, since that’s where many of the oil glands reside.
Thankfully, it’s a super treatable issue, and one you won’t have to put up with forever. Here’s everything you should know about eyebrow dandruff, and what you can do to get rid of it — and prevent it from returning!
WHAT IS EYEBROW DANDRUFF?
Eyebrow dandruff is an inflammatory condition that’s way more common than you think. It looks exactly the same as scalp dandruff, except that it appears in your brows, giving them a dry, flaky appearance.
Symptoms of seborrheic dermatitis include pink or red patches that appear large and oily. Flakiness and itchiness are also key symptoms of dandruff, so if you’re experiencing any of those symptoms, that’s a clear sign you’re dealing with dandruff.
The difference between dandruff and regular dry skin is that the latter is more uniform, affecting the entire face or body. There’s also very little redness and much finer scaling when you have dry skin. That said, it is easy to get confused between the two — or even between other skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis.
If you’re unsure, consult your dermatologist for a professional opinion.
WHAT CAUSES EYEBROW DANDRUFF?
According to the pros, there are three many causes of dandruff.
Those three factors triggering the onset of dry, flaky skin include: “The presence of Malassezia globose [a fungus] on the skin, a genetic predisposition to dandruff, or the presence of sebum,” explains Ilyse Lefkowicz, MD, Head & Shoulders dermatologist.
Since yeast is the driving force behind dandruff, you might be wondering what actually causes a high presence of yeast on the skin. Some common factors include living in a hot humid climate, excess oil production, and certain medications.
HOW TO TREAT EYEBROW DANDRUFF
Luckily, you have several treatment options when it comes to treating dandruff. Scroll down to hear all your options so you know what to do the next time you have a flareup.
Use an Anti-Dandruff Shampoo
To treat brow dandruff, reach for an anti-dandruff shampoo like Head and Shoulders or Selsun Blue. These formulas contain zinc pyrithione and selenium sulfide (both anti-fungals), which help to relieve dandruff symptoms including itching, scaling, and flaking.
Lather a small amount in the brows, leave it on for a couple of minutes, and then rinse with warm water. This will help remove the buildup and hinder the overgrowth of yeast — thus, preventing eyebrow dandruff altogether.
While the derms advise against using harsh scrubs to buff away dryness and flakiness, they do recommend gently exfoliating the area.
“Use a gentle exfoliant like an alpha/beta hydroxy acid wash to gently remove flakes,” advises Dr. Morgan Rabach, board-certified dermatologist of LM Medical NYC. Opt for an alpha or beta hydroxy acid like glycolic, salicylic or lactic acid to gently slough away dead skin cells and flakiness.
One of our fave products for the job is Truly’s CBD Jelly Toning Solution. It harnesses the resurfacing powers of glycolic acid and retinol, and the soothing properties of CBD and aloe vera to remove dirt, dead skin, and oil while boosting cell renewal.
Spot Treat with Tea Tree Oil
Thanks to its natural anti-fungal properties, tea tree oil is an excellent home remedy for treating eyebrow dandruff. You can either use it directly by diluting it with a carrier oil, or in a skincare or hair product like Truly’s Super Fruit Shampoo. This nourishing shampoo not only hydrates, but actively fights fungus thanks to its blend of natural anti-fungals — tea tree oil and coconut oil.
Apply Coconut Oil
Alternatively, apply a thin layer of organic coconut oil directly to your brows to moisturize the area, soothe irritation, and fend of fungus. Packed with anti-fungal and antimicrobial properties, coconut oil is a powerful dandruff-diminishing ingredient.
Soothe dry and scaly patches by applying a lightweight moisturizer or lotion to your brows — like Truly’s Cream Skin Face Cream. It’s made with hyaluronic acid, sea kelp, and coconut oil to intensely hydrate skin and alleviate dryness.
Cut Out Carbs
According to New York dermatologist Dr. Macrene Alexiades-Armenakas, the food you eat may be behind your dandruff flareups.
“High-carb foods can result in the buildup of glycogen in the skin, which yeast feeds on,” he explains.
You also might want to go steady on the sugar, since sugary foods stimulate the sebaceous glands, which produce more sebum on the skin — clogging pores and triggering dandruff.
CAN YOU PREVENT BROW DANDRUFF?
One of the best ways to prevent eyebrow dandruff is by keeping your skin clean. Wash your face twice a day — morning and night — using a gentle cleanser like Truly’s Super Matcha Facial Cleanser. According to the experts, washing your face regularly rinses away yeast and prevents the buildup of sebum.
Another way to prevent scaly brows is by keeping the area moisturized. You should be moisturizing them every time you wash your face to replenish lost moisture and prevent your skin from drying out.
Finally, always pay attention to the skincare products you are using. You may not actually be experiencing eyebrow dandruff at all, but an allergic reaction to a skincare product.
Eyebrow dandruff is a common skin condition that can be frustrating. On the plus side, there are many treatment options for getting rid of eyebrow dandruff. While you’re waiting for your dandruff to subside, try to avoid picking and scratching at the scales, which will only exacerbate inflammation and irritation.
If you don’t see an improvement within four weeks of following the tips above, book an appointment with a dermatologist. You may have a severe case of dandruff that requires prescription medication.