Contact dermatitis causes skin inflammation and when severe it can affect the hair follicles as well. It can either be due to some irritant making contact with the skin of the eyebrows or due to a substance to which a person has an allergy. This gives rise to the two types of contact dermatitis – irritant contact dermatitis or allergic contact dermatitis. Substances that could cause contact dermatitis at the eyebrow includes eye makeup including eyebrow pencils, hair removal creams and waxes, other cosmetics, hair dyes and scalp hair styling products.
FPHL or androgenetic alopecia is the most common cause of hair loss in women and one of the most common chronic problems seen by dermatologists worldwide (Varothai and Bergfeld, 2014). FPHL is a nonscarring form of alopecia in which the frontal hairline is maintained, but there is progressive hair thinning at the vertex of the scalp. Thinning of the hair is secondary to alteration of the hair cycle with shortening of the anagen phase and simultaneous lengthening of telogen. This increase in the resting phase and decrease in the growth phase of the hair cycle results in the miniaturization of hair because long terminal hairs are gradually replaced by short vellus hairs (Messenger and Sinclair, 2006, Sinclair et al., 2011).
Eyebrows protect the eyes from sweat that trickles down the forehead. They also protect the bony ridges above the eyes. In addition to the above, the eyebrows play a very important function in facial expression and body language. Eyelashes protect the eyeball from small foreign bodies and irritants and stimulate the closing reflex. Both eyebrows and eyelashes play a very important cosmetic function, and thus contribute greatly to the self esteem of an individual.
A number of skin and hair disorders can lead to eyebrow hair loss and sometimes it may be linked to systemic diseases like lupus. Specific skin and hair disorders that are most likely to lead to eyebrow thinning and hair loss have been discussed below but other conditions like psoriasis may also be involved if it occurs on the eyebrow or forehead. Eyebrow hair loss may occur in people on chemotherapy (cancer medication) and with radiation therapy to the head.
The different phases may last for varying periods of times from several years in anagen, to a few months in telogen or several weeks in anagen. Fortunately not all hair follicles are in the same phase at the same time. So the majority of the follicles will be in anagen phase, while a smaller amount will be in the catagen phase and a few follicles will be in the telogen phase. This ensures that there is always some hair present even when the follicle is not active and the hair is not growing.
Male pattern hair loss has been established as androgen-dependent because it is associated with changes in the androgen receptor and responds to antiandrogen therapy (Ellis et al., 2002). With FPHL, genes that encode aromatase, which converts testosterone to estradiol, are also implicated (Yazdabadi et al., 2008, Yip et al., 2009). The process of androgen biosynthesis is depicted in Figure 1.
Estrogen dominance is an extremely common imbalance and it can fuel thinning hair as well as an arms-length list of annoying symptoms, from bloating and PMS to irregular periods and infertility. Your first, best step in clearing excess estrogen from the body is doing a liver supportive detox. My 4-Day Hormone Detox has you eating fresh, nourishing foods for three meals a day, plus snacks. You won’t feel hungry or deprived and, most importantly, you will help kickstart hormonal healing. A hormone detox is one of the best first steps you can take to reverse thinning hair.
Hair loss may also occur due to dieting. Franchised diet programs which are designed or administered under the direction of a physician with prescribed meals, dietary supplements and vitamin ingestion have become popular. Sometimes the client is told that vitamins are a necessary part of the program to prevent hair loss associated with dieting. From a dermatologists’s standpoint, however, the vitamins cannot prevent hair loss associated with rapid, significant weight loss. Furthermore, many of these supplements are high in vitamin A which can magnify the hair loss.
Sinclair Scale: The 5-point Sinclair Scale is a modified visual grading scale. Grade 1 is normal. This pattern is found in all girls prior to puberty, but in only half of women age 80 or over. Grade 2 shows a widening of the central part. Grade 3 shows a widening of the central part and thinning of the hair on either side of the central part. Grade 4 reveals the emergence of diffuse hair loss over the top of the scalp. Grade 5 indicates advanced hair loss. This grade is uncommon, occurring in less than 1% of women.
There are numerous nonsurgical treatments that when combined, can offer significant hair improvements. Dr. Yaker’s TCHR Volumizing Glycolic Acid Shampoo and Conditioner help restore vitality to the hair by deep cleaning the scalp and reestablishing lost moisture content and physiological pH to the scalp and hair. Dr. Yaker has also formulated his own oral supplement, which is a blend of Aminoplex hair repair vitamins. This is made up of amino acids (building blocks of protein) that produce keratin, which makes up close to 97% of our hair. In addition, Dr. Yaker’s specially compounded FDA approved topical medication, Minoxidil (brand name: Rogaine®), is clinically proven to help slow down, stop and even reverse hair loss in women. Other nonsurgical therapies offered are Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT) using the advanced LaserCap®, and Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) with placenta-derived extracellular matrix therapy to help restore thinning hair. Lastly, Dr. Yaker offers scalp and facial micropigmentation where permanent ink is applied to the skin, creating micro dots that replicate the natural appearance of hair. This is used for the scalp and eyebrows.
This is most commonly found in women wearing ponytails, tight braids or any hairstyles that typically pull on hair with excessive force. In addition, rigorous brushing, heat styling and rough scalp massage can damage the cuticle, the hard outer casing of the hair. This causes individual strands to become weak and break off, reducing overall hair volume.
If you are suffering from hair loss on your head AND your brows, you might be suffering from a protein deficiency of some sort. A supplement like Viviscal (available here), which is packed with marine protein, could help your condition. Viviscal has been shown to treat alopecia areata, as well as androgen-related hair loss (Journal of International Medical Research, 1992; FutureDerm). It will take some time, though: changes in protein in the diet have been shown to correspond with protein in the hair within 6-12 months (American Journal of Physical Anthropology, 1999; Futurederm).
Estrogen and combined oral contraceptive (COC) drugs with estrogen or progestogen have been reported as effective, but data are limited (Adenuga et al., 2012, Raudrant and Rabe, 2003, Scheinfeld, 2008). They are thought to function through several mechanisms. Both components of COC drugs increase the levels of sex-hormone-binding globulin (Schindler, 2013). They also send negative feedback signals that suppress the hypothalamic secretion of gonadotropin and releases the hormone and pituitary secretion of the luteinizing and follicle-stimulating hormones, which results in a decreased androgen production (Gilman et al., 1990, Varothai and Bergfeld, 2014). These actions decrease androgen secretion from the ovary and the quantity of free, biologically active androgens, which reduces their effects on the hair follicles (Schindler, 2013). Our practice when prescribing COC drugs is a combination of ethinyl estradiol 20 mcg plus drospirenone 3 mg. Drospirenone is an analogue of spironolactone. This treatment combination is approved by the FDA for the treatment of acne but not alopecia.
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When men have hereditary hair loss, they often get a receding hairline. Many men see bald patches, especially on the top of the head. Women, on the other hand, tend to keep their hairline. They see noticeably thinning hair. The first sign of hair loss for many women is a widening part. In rare cases, men see noticeably thinning hair. And in rare cases, women can see a receding hairline or bald patches. The reasons for this are unknown.
Hansen's disease, also known as leprosy, is an infection of the skin and nerves caused by the bacterium Mycobacterium leprae. The disease often affects the skin of the eyebrow region, leading to loss of sensation and permanent loss of the eyebrow hairs. There are numerous other rare and uncommon causes of eyebrow hair loss, including vitamin A toxicity, nutritional disorders and other dermatological disorders. If you experience loss of eyebrow hair, see your doctor to evaluate the cause and to discuss a treatment plan.