Eyebrows circa 2004:
Hello, folks. I've been driven crazy lately by this problem with my eyebrows. They are red and itchy. It feels like bugs are crawling around in them. They seem to be getting light and thinning. There is a chunk out of one of them and they are thin on the ends. The area between my eyebrows...the bridge of my nose is slightly bumpy and very itchy. The presence of tiny papules with whitish heads is present in that area under bright light. I have "chicken skin" on my legs, rear, and back of arms....but never on my face. My cheekbones, right below my eyes...and also the sides, folds, and tip of my nose as well as areas of my forehead are itchy. These areas don't present any significant redness, though...flushed, pink, but not unsightly red. The areas in my brows that are red and inflamed are the outer ends and then right above the inner portion of each brow there is a red area. It also feels slightly swollen and painful...a little heavy and tight, like a bruise.
Old photos reveal that I've always had a pinkish hue to my eyebrows and that they've been thin on the ends for a while...perhaps I wasn't aware of it before...or perhaps something is progressing and in it's later stages? My eyebrows are much lighter and thinner now than ten years ago...no question (I'm 33 now)...but the itching and fear of loosing my eyebrows is driving me insane. So I'm wondering if I have KP and/or UO.
How do I know? There are no bumps on my outer eyebrows at all...though they are thinning.
Is there anything I should do to prevent further thinning inflamation?
Does KP involvement of the eyebrows always result in total loss of the hair?
1) I have seborrhea on my scalp...have had it for years. My family has a history of skin problems. My father had psoriasis, his mother had eczema. I wonder if the itching is actually seborrhea and the hair loss is from scratching?
2) I have been getting MUCH more sun lately...allergic reaction?
3) Seasonal allergies? The pollen is insane where I live.
4) Could this be a fungus or demodex mites?
5) I've been going through a lot of lifestyle changes lately...a serious breakup with my partner of ten years, started a vigorous excercise program, been experimenting with all kinds of dietary things such as veganism, wheat grass, strange suppliments, face oils, etc...since this eyebrow thing started, I've cut out everything. Could I have given myself an iron deficiency by cutting out animal products? Could this be a toxicity from excess vitamins? Stress and nerves?
I've not been to a dermatologist yet...really hard to get an appointment because there are only two in the small town where I live.
Take a look at these images. I swear my eyebrows are thinner and I don't recall ever having this severe itching before. Am I insane?
Eyebrows circa 2004:
Evebrows now, 2006...yesterday and the day before:
Just wanted to add that the itchy areas are now burning....a burning sensation. Is this a UO symptom?
Your eyebrows look very similar to mine. Mine have been falling out and thinning since high school. I'm 21 now. They are very red and thin mostly all over but more on the outer edges.
Also, I have very flaky skin on my eyebrows which is very visible and flakes of skin fall out all the time, sometimes with eyebrow hair. It's very frustrating. I don't think I've heard anyone talk about the flakes like I have.
Maybe I'll post some pictures at some point. I've posted pictures of my whole face because I have the permanent red cheeks and flushing as well along with regular KP and the eyebrow stuff.
The trouble with a lot of what I've read in these pages is that it seems to be a group of people who are all experiencing thinning eyebrows....but there seem to be a number of different symptoms that aren't necessarily similar at all. For example, what you've described to me sounds more like seborreah or a fungal infection than keratosis pilaris....but I don't know. I joined this forum for information, but it seems like it's predominantly devoted to lamenting about problems with no concrete solutions. Is there anyone on this board who can tell me exactly what ulerythema ophryogenes is, what the treatments are, and what the exact symptoms are? Red itchy eyebrows can apparently be a yeast infection, a chemical allergy, eczema, psoriasis, rosacea, ulerythema ophryogenes, a fungus, ringworm, seborreah, keratosis pilaris, stress, mites,....??????Originally Posted by Prager34
Ulerythema ophryogenes is what keratosis pilaris is called when it severly effects the face. There are no effective treatments or cures for it. Your eyebrows look like a dermatitis. Have you ever considered seeing a dermatoligist? Probably a better idea then asking questions on an internet forum.Originally Posted by RubyThursday
My child( 14) has Uo and did not have the burning until she used the meds.( RETINA) SHe has been to 3 dermatoligist. WE went to a specialist at Emory in Atlanta. SHe has tried many different meds. SHe is taking a break at this time except for a calming cream. She has almost no eybrows on the edges of her eyebrows.Originally Posted by RubyThursday
Ruby- Go to a good dermatologist. I have keratosis pilaris atrophicans, very rare- mine is eyebrows and above and around my cheeks. My eyebrows thinned, became extremely red, and the hair follicles died. I take 5 mg prednisone every other day, nothing else the derm gave me helped. You'd hate to have more hair loss. Mine didn't start until mid 40's., which is also very rare. My daughter has psoriasis as does my dad. My daughter also had severe cradle cap when an infant, seems to be correlated with the psoriasis as a 30 yr old now.Judy
Judy, what is the prednisone doing for you?
here is my 2nd reply- just replied to your other post. I had very red eyebrows and above, loss of the outer eyebrows,and my cheeks were inflamed and the skin dying. It was diagnosed as keratosis pilaris atrophicans which is rare. Anyway, they tried everything. The rheumatologist, not the derm., put me on prednisone 5 mg every other day- keeps the whole mess much less inflamed and no flushing. Without it, I'd be very red, scarred and a real mess.I looked like I had a red mask and would flush with any elevation in blood pressure, certain foods and alcohol. Since pred is a steroid, the only sideeffect I've noticed is hunger.Judy
RubyThursday--what has happened since your post and now? I am very curious!! I have the same problem!
RubyThursday, I'm curious, too. I'm new to forums but am hoping to find treatment to help my 14 year old son who has the same condition. We've been to a dermotologist who suggested he try applying Women's Rogaine to his eyebrows -- didn't work. He's also tried Protopic ointment and Mometasone Furoate cream in addition to using a Neutrogena acne scrub -- nothing's worked.
Hi - I am speaking as someone who has UO (started around age 13) and also a mother of a 12 year old that started showing UO signs.
My UO was not diagnosed until age 37 by which time UO had run its course and the hair on my outer eyebrows was gone and the area was left red. I have had PDL treatment done to treat the redness and regularly use a retin-a cream to keep the odd KP bumps at bay.
When my son was around 12 his pediatrician suspected he too was developing UO due to hair loss on outer brow accompaned with redness and itchyness. I started putting a product on that I had got from a NZ pharmacist (posted as ANNUU on this site). It has an extra virgin coconut oil base and I found if I put it on my son's eyebrow area at night it would reduce the inflammation. To cut a long story short the inflammation subsided and so did the hair loss. I caution to say that it was a cure though as our geneticist said my son may only ever have a partial form of UO as genes express themselves differently in family members. If you are interested in the product have a look at: Koru kp Oleum - Koru Pharmaceuticals
If my son had continued to experience hair loss and redness I would have looked at the following option which is more radical and would need to be talked about with your derm about: Scroll down to the article "a case of Ulerythema Ophryogenes responding to isotretion" on the following link: Keratosis Pilaris (KP)
This drug (aka Roaccutane) is used to treat acne as it reduces sebum. They have discovered that it also reduces keratin production. It is the excess keratin blocking the hair follicule that is causing the inflammation and the subsequent loss of the hair follicule all together.
Hope I haven't confused you with too much info - feel free to private message me if you want to talk further about this. If it was me I would start with the gentler treatment (the coconut oil) and then if that didn't help talk to your derm about the use of retinoids (either topically in the form of retin-a cream or orally in the form of isotretion (roaccutane)).
NB: Any permanent redness that has developed can be improved with PDL
There are side effects of long term corticosteroid use that I won't go into here, but you should investigate. Especially if you stat to develop Cushing's Syndrome.
I get some relief with the regular use of a generic version of Neutrogena T-Gel. Simple coal tar shampoo. I was already using it for my scalp when my eyebrows flared up. There is another coal tar product called Psoriasin that works well on these type of conditions, but I don't know about using it that close to the eyes. While relief isn't complete, it is now under control.
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