Why Do I Have Dandruff On My Eyebrows?

Are you currently having a hard time dealing with dandruff? Are you also noticing dandruff appearing on other parts of your body?

Or maybe you may even find yourself asking why you have dandruff on your eyebrows. Well, there are several explanations for this occurrence. In short, it is usually a skin condition called seborrheic dermatitis.

In this article, you will get to know more about dandruff and how it is linked to seborrheic dermatitis. I will also touch on the topics of what seborrheic dermatitis is and on which parts of the body it can develop.

What is Dandruff?

Dandruff (also known as pityriasis capitis) is a common skin condition of the scalp that affects around 50% of all adults. It causes your skin to shed excessively. Symptoms of dandruff are visible skin flakes on your scalp and in your hair.

Dandruff can occur when you have the following:

  • Dry scalp
  • Seborrhoeic dermatitis
  • Scalp Psoriasis
  • Eczema
  • Scalp sensitivities
  • Fungal infection

Dandruff is caused by a fungus called Malassezia. The seborrheic glands in our skin create natural oils, which are called sebum. When Malassezia reacts with sebum, it creates a byproduct called oleic acid. Some people develop sensitivities towards oleic acid and in turn, their scalp can become inflamed, irritated and dry.

Getting rid of dandruff can be a daunting task if you are unsure of your skin condition or don’t know how to proceed. There are many types of products and treatments. It’s always best to start treatment after you have done a little research and are well informed.

Image of a person who has dandruff

What is Seborrheic Dermatitis?

Seborrheic dermatitis is a skin disease that affects about 2% of the adult population [1]. Now, you may have noticed that I used the word ‘disease’. That’s because seborrheic dermatitis is classified as a disease, but don’t worry.

It sounds scary and frightening but it’s not a big deal if you know how to take care of it. In fact, I suffer from this skin condition and in the beginning stages I freaked out. I thought there was nothing I could do. Well, it turns out that I was wrong and before could even sorrow away, I managed to keep it under control.

Let me explain to you how seborrheic dermatitis works.

People who have seborrheic dermatitis experience an accelerated epidermal growth. This means that their skin life cycle is sped up. New skin cells are created faster and old ones die faster, as well [2].

I’m sure by now you will be asking how seborrheic dermatitis is linked to dandruff. Or more interestingly, why are you having dandruff on your eyebrows or other parts of your body. Don’t worry, we’ll get to that in a bit.

How are Seborrheic Dermatitis and Dandruff Linked?

As you know, dandruff is mainly caused by skin shedding, due to an accelerated skin cell cycle. This means that new skin cells are formed before the older skin cells are fully matured. Subsequently, the dead skin is shed off in the process. This condition is referred to as dandruff.

You also now understand that our seborrheic glands produce sebum.

People with seborrheic dermatitis produce too much sebum. Subsequently, there is an increased growth in pityrosporum yeast in the sebum. This causes dandruff to be more persistent. You may also want to know that seborrheic dermatitis and scalp psoriasis have similar symptoms and they can be hard to tell apart.

Usually, psoriasis tends to be a little more serious, in that the scales are usually thicker and the skin is much more inflamed. If you are unsure, it’s best to see your doctor or dermatologist.

Why Do I Have Dandruff on My Eyebrows?

While seborrheic dermatitis most commonly occurs on the scalp, it can also appear on your eyebrows and other areas on your body. You will notice that you have skin flakes in your eyebrows and on the skin underneath the eyebrows. Sometimes the skin condition can even extend further up towards the forehead and in between the eyebrows.

I’ve also had emails from people who write to me that they experience dry and flaking skin near the temples.

Dandruff on eyebrows

On Which Other Body Parts Can Seborrheic Dermatitis Develop?

Seborrheic dermatitis can also develop in other parts of your body, besides your scalp and eyebrows.

It can also appear on the sides of the nose, on your cheeks, in your ears, behind your ears, and on the beard. You can easily spot it by the dry skin around eyebrows and nose and other parts of your body. On rare occasions, seborrheic dermatitis can also develop on the chest, armpits and groin area.

I guess you can spot a similarity here.

Seborrheic dermatitis tends to develop around oilier parts of your body, especially where there is hair. Where we have hair, we also have seborrheic glands that produce sebum and an accelerated rate, causing the excess skin to shed.

How do I Treat Seborrheic Dermatitis?

This is the part that it all comes down to. For example, how do you treat seborrheic dermatitis or dandruff on your eyebrows? The simple answer is, the same way you treat dandruff on your scalp.

You are basically looking for shampoos that contain either of the following ingredients:

  • Selenium sulfide
  • Zinc pyrithione
  • Ketoconazole

I suggest that you try and find a shampoo with an ingredient that works for you. Your body may react differently than others.

Simply apply the shampoo on the part where you have seborrheic dermatitis. Over the course of a few days or weeks (depending on your reaction to the ingredient), you should see much improvement. Usually, the area will become less inflamed and you should also experience less scaling of dead skin cells.

I have seborrheic dermatitis on my scalp and on my eyebrows. Here is an important tip!

When you are applying the anti-dandruff shampoo on your eyebrows, make sure that you lean forward. This will prevent shampoo entering your eyes. Remember, most of the anti-dandruff shampoos contain harsh chemicals and can irritate your eyes easily.

So, please be careful when applying the product to your eyebrows. As an alternative, you can also apply a medicated cream directly to the inflamed area. This is easier to apply on your nose and around the eyes, but for your eyebrows, an anti-dandruff shampoo should work better.


I hope that you now know why you can develop dandruff on your eyebrows. Seborrheic dermatitis between eyebrows and other parts of the body can be fairly common among people who the skin condition on the scalp. I also hope that you understand how seborrheic dermatitis is linked to dandruff and how it can affect other oily parts of your body.

Please remember that if your skin condition becomes unbearable or you are experiencing any pains, please seek advice from your doctor or dermatologist, immediately!

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