Can You Get Eyebrow Dandruff? Here's What To Know

Sometimes you might notice that you have dry, flakey, and irritated skin on and around your eyebrows. Is that ... eyebrow dandruff? The experts call it seborrheic dermatitis, which is essentially "a fancy term for dandruff," dermatologist JiaDe "Jeff" Yu tells Everyday Health. "It can occur anywhere the skin is oil-rich, such as inside the ears and the ear canal," Yu explains. And yes, even the eyebrows. 

Those who experience eyebrow dandruff will notice it can cause a dryer appearance in that area of the skin that can be itchy, red or yellow, scaly, flaky, and uncomfortable. While it might be upsetting to see, it is a common skin condition that affects many people today and is relatively easy to manage. While symptoms like itchy patches or flaking in the skin can be uncomfortable, learning about it and finding solutions to mend the condition can make a world of difference.

Potential causes of eyebrow dandruff

Where does eyebrow dandruff (aka seborrheic dermatitis) come from? "Seborrheic dermatitis is an inflammatory condition caused by a yeast that is everywhere on the body, but some people that are sensitive to that yeast have a reaction," dermatologist Michelle Henry tells SELF. The yeast is called Malassezia, which is "a fungus in oily skin secretions" that is linked to many other common skin problems like eczema (via Healthline). Malassezia may be the culprit to your eyebrow dandruff, although there may be other causes as well.

Contact dermatitis might also be causing your eyebrow dandruff. Healthline explains that the flaky, itchy reaction can occur because of a "new substance" applied to the skin. If this suddenly shows up on your eyebrow, it's best to evaluate what products you have been using. New face washes or shampoo can also trigger contact dermatitis and should be removed from your routine. Additionally,  genetics, stress, and cold, dry weather can play a part.

How to treat eyebrow dandruf

While you might be looking for ways to get rid of your eyebrow dandruff ASAP, it's important to remember that your skin is likely sensitive in that area. "Excessively scrubbing the skin or using harsh exfoliants might inadvertently make the scaling and redness worse," dermatologist Monique Chheda tells SELF. But don't worry — eyebrow dandruff can easily be treated at home.

There are a few different ways to get rid of eyebrow dandruff, but one of the easiest solutions is, of course, a dandruff shampoo. "Since the condition can be persistent, this may need to be done whenever the problem arises," skincare expert Dr. Alicia Zalka tells Byrdie. Let the shampoo sit on your eyebrows for a bit before rinsing it to let it work its magic.

Or, an antifungal shampoo may be your best bet if the eyebrow dandruff seems to be occurring because of a yeast issue. After using the antifungal, you might still notice the flakes on your face. The best cause of action is to incorporate gentle exfoliation into your routine. "Use a gentle exfoliant like an alpha/beta hydroxy acid wash to gently remove flakes," dermatologist Morgan Rabach tells Byrdie. Hydrocortisone cream and tea tree oil may also be helpful in soothing the skin post-wash.