About Eyebrow Hair Loss:
Majority of people, especially females look at the eyebrows as purely for cosmetic use and shape them accordingly to improve their facial look. Clinically, the exact purpose of the eyebrows is not very well delineated in literature but it is believed to stop sweat or water from entering the eye but for majority of the people eyebrows are mainly used for cosmetic purposes. As is the case with hair follicles in other parts of the body, the hair follicles in the eyebrows are also prone to disease conditions which may lead to what we call as Eyebrow Hair Loss.
Eyebrow Hair Loss can be complete or partial depending on the cause of the hair loss. In partial Eyebrow Hair Loss, the hair falls in patches where as in complete Eyebrow Hair Loss there is complete absence of the eyebrows. This may occur unilaterally or bilaterally. Whether the hair loss is partial or complete may indicate as to what is causing this Eyebrow Hair Loss. Some of the conditions leading to Eyebrow Hair Loss may be isolated to the eyebrows itself while in some cases Eyebrow Hair Loss may be referred from other skin conditions in the adjacent areas of the eyebrows like the face or the temples.
The hair growth in the eyebrows occurs in three phases known as the anagen, catagen, and telogen. In the anagen phase of hair growth, the cells in the hair follicles multiply and surge out thus forming hairs in the eyebrows. This is also called as active phase of hair growth. The second phase is the catagen in which the outer layers of the hairs shrink and attach themselves to the inner layers of the hairs giving the eyebrows a distinct appearance. This is followed by the third phase called as telogen in which there is no growth of hairs. The anagen phase may last for years while the telogen phase may last for a few months.
Since all the three phases of hair growth do not occur at the same time, there will be some hair follicles in anagen phase while some follicles may be in the telogen phase. Because of this, there is always presence of hairs in the eyebrows despite the follicles not producing any hairs. Now, coming to Eyebrow Hair Loss, there may be many different conditions that may cause Eyebrow Hair Loss which may range from medical conditions like SLE to other skin diseases. This article gives a brief overview of the different causes of Eyebrow Hair Loss.
What Can Cause Eyebrow Hair Loss?
As stated above, there may be numerous causes for Eyebrow Hair Loss. This may range from medical conditions like lupus to certain other skin related diseases. People undergoing chemotherapy for different forms of cancer can also have Eyebrow Hair Loss. Some of the causes of Eyebrow Hair Loss are:
Telogen Effluvium: This is a medical condition causing Eyebrow Hair Loss in which abundant amounts of hair follicles go into the third phase of hair growth which is the telogen in which there is no hair growth. Because of this, lot of hair may fall off and not replaced by new hairs as there is no new hair growth due to the follicles being in resting phase. This leads to patches of hair being lost from eyebrows causing Eyebrow Hair Loss. This condition may be caused by conditions like hypothyroidism. Pregnancy is also one of the causes related to Eyebrow Hair Loss due to Telogen Effluvium. Certain type of nutritional deficiencies or excessive medication use may also be related to this condition causing Eyebrow Hair Loss.
Contact Dermatitis: This condition occurs when the skin comes in contact with certain substances that tend to trigger an allergic reaction. This is seen more in people who are in the chemical industry who are exposed to various type of chemicals and even though they are appropriately protected still sometimes some chemicals seeps in to come in contact with the skin of the eyebrows causing Eyebrow Hair Loss. If an individual has an allergy to certain soaps and detergents and somehow comes in contact with those chemicals, especially in the skin of the eye then it may also cause contact dermatitis leading to Eyebrow Hair Loss. Some of the common substances that contain contact dermatitis causing substances are eye makeup, eyebrow pencils, hair dye etc.
Alopecia Areata: This is also one of the common causes for Eyebrow Hair Loss. This is a medical condition in which there is hair loss due to immune problems in which the immune system of the body attacks the hair follicles damaging them resulting in them unable to produce new hairs causing Eyebrow Hair Loss. This usually occurs in people who have a history of immunologic disorders or currently have immunologic condition. People undergoing HIV treatment are also at risk for alopecia areata causing Eyebrow Hair Loss.
Infections: There are certain infections that have also been known to cause Eyebrow Hair Loss. These infections are specific to the skin around the eyebrow or face area, the most common of which is a fungal infection called ringworms which is quite common. A fungal infection in the eyebrows is most commonly related to a condition called tinea capitis or a fungal infection of the scalp. Certain bacteria infections may also cause Eyebrow Hair Loss. The best example for this is a condition called folliculitis which is yet another common cause of Eyebrow Hair Loss.
Trichotillomania: This condition also tends to cause Eyebrow Hair Loss and is mostly seen in people who are highly stressed or have anxiety or depression. In this condition, the individual manually pulls out hair from the eyebrows due to anger, frustration, anxiety or depression. Sometimes, they may remove clumps of hair. This also tends to cause Eyebrow Hair Loss.
Eyebrow Modification: This is a very common beauty technique where the shape, thickness and even the length of the eyebrows are altered. Some people completely remove the eyebrow and only use an eyebrow pencil and make a shape of what looks like an eyebrow. These techniques may eventually cause irritation to the area and if done repeatedly may eventually lead to Eyebrow Hair Loss.