Your eyelashes and eyebrows frame your eyes. When they become sparse, or you suddenly lose them altogether, it can be very stressful. Several underlying factors contribute to eyelash and eyebrow hair loss including medical conditions, stress and lack of proper nutrition. Knowing the causes and treatments will help keep you from panicking if it happens to you.
Losing eyebrow and eyelash hair does more than give you a look you would rather not wear. It also removes some of the eye protection you were born with. Eyelashes help prevent dust or other particles from falling into your eyes and causing pain or damage. Eyebrows can prevent water or other liquids such as hair dye from sliding down your forehead and into your eyes. Aside from the protection they offer, losing eyebrows or eyelashes gives your face an unfinished appearance that can be embarrassing. Finally, the loss of eyelashes and eyebrows can signal a medical condition ranging from mild to serious in nature.
Inflammation of the skin near the eyes may cause the loses of your eyelashes or eyebrows, according to Dermadoc.com. Conditions such as psoriasis, eczema and contact dermatitis cause skin to blister, scale or peel, as well as causing itching that can become severe. Scratching the skin to relieve the itching harms the already inflamed skin and causes the hair to fall out.
Women who have autoimmune disorders such as lupus, sometimes lose patches of their eyelashes or eyebrow hair. The condition Alopecia Areata’s hallmark trait is the destruction of all hair including facial hair, leaving you with no eyelashes or eyebrows at all. Vitiligo causes patches of skin to lose pigmentation and become much lighter than surrounding skin. If this occurs near eyebrows or on eyelids, the hair will typically fall out.
Less Common Problems
Blepharitis is a disorder that causes scaly skin to develop along the eyelids. The itching, swelling and sensitivity to light that are common to this problem contribute to the loss of eyelashes. Both under-active and over-active thyroid conditions can cost you eyelash and eyebrow hair, though it is not a common symptom of the disorder. Trichotillomania causes an uncontrollable urge to pull out your own hair, including eyebrows and eyelashes. According to MayoClinic.com, the disorder is inherited or caused by brain chemical malfunctioning.
Makeup allergies can begin anytime in life. One symptom of eye-makeup allergies is the loss of eyelashes. Sharing eye makeup and using makeup older than four months can also cause your eyelashes to fall out if the makeup is no longer sanitary or fresh.
Consult a medical professional to determine the cause of your eyelash and eyebrow hair loss. In most cases, once the underlying cause is found and treated the hair will grow back. In conditions such as Alopecia Areata, the hair will not grow back, but it may be possible to slow or stop the progression of the hair loss. Once you have determined the cause of your hair loss, a qualified beautician can teach you to draw attention away from your missing eyebrows or eyelashes and instead play up other facial features.