Dandruff talk isn’t sexy – but it is important.
The dryness, itchiness and flakes are problematic and often uncomfortable. But our scalps are not the only parts of our bodies that can suffer with this issue…
Eyebrow dandruff is very much a thing, too.
This flaky skin can wreak havoc on brows and can also be a problem for applying makeup. Not to mention it can be pretty noticeable – considering how prominent eyebrows are on the face.
‘Eyebrow dandruff is a common skin condition where you get oily and irritated skin which causes a flaky appearance in and around the eyebrow area,’ explains Dr Ana, an aesthetic doctor at Kat & Co.
‘The flakiness is often also accompanied with redness, irritation, overproduction of sebum (oil) as well as itchiness. In darker skin types, it may instead appear as higher or darker patches of the affected skin rather than redness.’
Medically-speaking, this is known as seborrheic dermatitis.
While the underlying cause for these pesky flakes remains unknown, they are thought to be triggered by an overgrowth of a harmless fungus called Malassezia – something that naturally occurs in our skin.
Dr Ana adds: ‘This fungus is usually found in the sebaceous oil-producing glands in the skin.
‘This yeast is different from the type that causes thrush and is not contagious. It is sometimes also a case of your immune system overreacting to its presence.’
Genetic and environmental factors are also thought to play a role in this condition too.
But the good news is that eyebrow dandruff can be managed and treated – just like our scalps.
Dr Baldeep Farmah, a medical director at Dr Aesthetica, explains: ‘Fortunately, eyebrow dandruff can usually be easily treated with anti-dandruff shampoo, anti-fungal cream or hydrocortisone cream.
‘Once the prescribed medication begins to take effect, you should see an improvement quite quickly.
‘Daily washing and application of the anti-dandruff shampoo should lessen the chances of the condition recurring.’
If over-the-counter products are proving ineffective, Dr Ana recommends paying a visit to your GP.
She says: ‘They may need to rule out other causes of the problem – such as being immunocompromised, psoriasis or contact dermatitis – and may be able to prescribe stronger treatments if necessary. Other medical treatment options include mild steroid creams and prescription-grade anti-yeast creams.’
It’s also worth pointing out that there are a few things that can reduce the appearance of eyebrow dandruff.
Dr Ana adds: ‘Tiredness and stress may exacerbate seborrheic dermatitis so finding coping mechanisms to reduce your levels of stress may help to control the problem in the long term.’
Also ensuring that your skin is hydrated and moisturised can help to control excessive oil production and irritation.
She adds: ‘Topical hydrating serums (containing hyaluronic acid, glycerin or urea), as well as moisturising ceramide-based creams, can help with this.
‘If you need to cover up any red and irritated areas with makeup, I would suggest choosing oil-free non-comedogenic products which are fragrance-free and suitable for sensitive skin.’
Picking at the flakes should be avoided at all costs, too, as this will aggravate the irritation.
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