Trichotillomania is a hair pulling disorder associated with anxiety, stress, depression, boredom and frustration. It is where a person manually removes hairs with their finger, either a few strands throughout the day or sometimes many strands at one time during an emotional outburst. This behavior is usually a means of coping with stress or emotional turmoil. However, it can sometimes become a habit that is difficult to break. The eyebrows is a commonly targeted area as is the scalp.
Traumas such as major surgery, poisoning and severe stress may cause a hair loss condition known as telogen effluvium, in which a large number of hairs enter the resting phase at the same time, causing shedding and subsequent thinning hair in men and women alike. The condition also presents as a side effect of chemotherapy. While targeting dividing cancer cells, this treatment also affects hair’s growth phase, with the result that almost 90% of hairs fall out soon after chemotherapy starts.
Why am I losing my eyebrows or why are they falling out and not growing back? Is it a kind of brow disease? I have or could it be my over-plucking? Discover all the reasons why your eyebrows are thinning or falling out including over-plucking, eczema, thyroid problems, and chemotherapy among others. We will also cover treatments and ways to regrow your eyebrows back.
Unfortunately, there’s no magic solution, pill or product that will correct hair loss entirely. But if you think of your hormones as a cast of characters, knowing which ones are leading the show and which ones are only playing a supporting role can help you get to the bottom of the issue. If you haven’t already, take my free hormone quiz – it can help you determine what tests you may want to request from your doctor and which lifestyle or dietary changes may benefit you most. In the meantime, manage your stress levels and get enough sleep. This will help with general hormone balance and can protect your precious locks from any further damage.
See a dermatologist for itchy skin or rashes around your brows. These patches may indicate a skin infection or interaction with a new beauty product or environmental trigger. You could also have inflammation from dermatitis or psoriasis.[32] These conditions don’t actually cause hair loss, but they can lead to it if you rub and scratch the affected areas.

Thyroid hormone receptors were detected in both dermal and epithelial compartments of the human pilosebaceous unit.[48] T4 and T3 decrease the apoptosis of hair follicles and T4 prolongs the duration of anagen in vitro.[49] Thyroidectomy delays initiation of anagen. Administration of thyroxine advances anagen, initiation of which is however delayed once toxic doses are given. Therefore, ratio of telogen to anagen hairs is increased in hypothyroidism as well as hyperthyroidism.[50] Thus, the hair follicles are affected in thyroid disorders, and madarosis is caused due to disturbances in hair cell kinetics. Hypothyroidism is associated with generalized hair loss probably due to coarse, dull, and brittle hair with reduced diameter.[51] The eyebrows and eyelashes may also be lost. Loss of lateral one-third of eyebrows known as Hertoghe sign[38] is a characteristic sign of hypothyroidism.[52] Some people also refer to it as Queen Anne's sign,[53] after Anne of Denmark whose portrait with shortened eyebrows has been interpreted by some as indicative of the presence of goiter, even though such a fact has not been proved by any known sources of information. Madarosis may even be the presenting sign in hyperthyroidism.[21] In hyperthyroidism, there is thinning with breaking off and shortening of hair.[54] Madarosis can also occur in hypopituitarism, hypoparathyroidism,[21] and hyperparathyroidism.[55]
Several skin conditions, including psoriasis, eczema, and seborrheic dermatitis, don't directly lead to hair loss, but cause inflammation (a symptom of these conditions) near the brow that may be to blame. The urge to scratch and rub the inflamed area can indirectly cause eyebrow hairs to fall out. Loss that occurs in this manner is usually patchy, but as it is generally non-scarring (the hair follicle is intact), eyebrows can and often do grow back.
It is an impulse-controlled disorder characterized by compulsive plucking or breakage of hair.[91] The most frequent site of hair pulling is the scalp, but the eyebrows, eyelashes, and pubic hair may also be involved. Trichotillomania manifests in eyelashes and eyebrows as irregular patches of alopecia containing hairs of varying lengths. Inflammation, scarring, and atrophy are conspicuous by their absence. Patients often attempt to conceal their alopecia by cosmetological camouflage. In case of a diagnostic dilemma, histological features such as increased numbers of catagen hairs, pigment casts, and traumatized hair bulbs provide a clue.
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Other drugs commonly attributed to causing madarosis are miotics, anticoagulants, anti-cholesterol drugs, antithyroid drugs, propranolol, valproic acid, boric acid, and bromocriptine.[21,99] Anticoagulants in high doses have been found to produce loss of scalp, pubic, axillary, and facial hair with loss of eyebrows after a latent period of a few weeks of treatment with dextran and heparin.[100] Propranolol can cause diffuse alopecia along with loss of eyebrows due to telogen effluvium,[101] usually after three months of therapy.[44] Loss of medial aspect of eyebrows can be seen in fetuses exposed to valproic acid.[102] Diffuse alopecia including that of eyebrows has been described due to chronic ingestion of mouthwashes containing boric acid. There was complete reversal following stopping the practice.[103] Levodopa has been noted to cause severe diffuse alopecia within three months of daily use.[104] Hair loss can occur soon after starting topical minoxidil therapy (due to detachment of club hairs following resting hairs reentering anagen), and after cessation of therapy (due to telogen effluvium).[98]
A decline of estrogen, whether due to menopause or other hormonal imbalances, can also affect hair growth. You'll experience a thinning or loss of pubic hair as well as hair on your scalp if you have low levels of estrogen in your body. You might also experience unwanted hair growth on your face during menopause, when your estrogen levels are at their lowest. This phenomenon occurs because the lack of estrogen leaves you with a hormonal imbalance of sorts; you have more androgens, or male hormones, than female hormones in your body, which contributes to some male-like symptoms such as body and facial hair.
Lichen planopilaris and frontal fibrosing alopecia inflammatory conditions, in which the inflammation destroys the hair follicle, can cause a scar or permanent hair loss (usually present as red patches with redness and scale around each hair follicle). In the very advanced stages, they may appear as smooth, bald patches where the hair follicles have been destroyed. Androgenetic hair loss is another non-scarring type. The most common type of hair loss, it is due to the complex interplay of genes, hormones, and age.
Thyroid hormone receptors were detected in both dermal and epithelial compartments of the human pilosebaceous unit.[48] T4 and T3 decrease the apoptosis of hair follicles and T4 prolongs the duration of anagen in vitro.[49] Thyroidectomy delays initiation of anagen. Administration of thyroxine advances anagen, initiation of which is however delayed once toxic doses are given. Therefore, ratio of telogen to anagen hairs is increased in hypothyroidism as well as hyperthyroidism.[50] Thus, the hair follicles are affected in thyroid disorders, and madarosis is caused due to disturbances in hair cell kinetics. Hypothyroidism is associated with generalized hair loss probably due to coarse, dull, and brittle hair with reduced diameter.[51] The eyebrows and eyelashes may also be lost. Loss of lateral one-third of eyebrows known as Hertoghe sign[38] is a characteristic sign of hypothyroidism.[52] Some people also refer to it as Queen Anne's sign,[53] after Anne of Denmark whose portrait with shortened eyebrows has been interpreted by some as indicative of the presence of goiter, even though such a fact has not been proved by any known sources of information. Madarosis may even be the presenting sign in hyperthyroidism.[21] In hyperthyroidism, there is thinning with breaking off and shortening of hair.[54] Madarosis can also occur in hypopituitarism, hypoparathyroidism,[21] and hyperparathyroidism.[55]
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