By Gary M. White, MD


In children with atopic dermatitis, chronic rubbing may thin the lateral eyebrows. In younger adults, alopecia areata is most common. In older women, frontal fibrosing alopecia is seen. Only very rarely is a patient born with minimal eyebrows. For the young person with acute loss of eyebrow hair, consider secondary syphilis.

Alopecia Totalis. This is a variant of alopecia areata.
Alopecia Totalis of the Eyebrow

Hertoghe Sign is the loss of hair of the eyebrow in children with atopic dermatitis. It is caused by constant rubbing.
Hertoghe's Sign

Frontal Fibrosing Alopecia. This is most common in older women and is paired with loss of hair along the anterior hairline.
Frontal Fibrosing Alopecia

Alopecia Mucinosa

Ectodermal Dysplasias. Alopecia of the eyebrows along with more generalized hypotrichosis and other findings may occur in both hidrotic and hypohidrotic ectodermal dysplasia.

Hypothyroidism. Loss of eyebrow hair, especially on the lateral one third, may occur in hypothyroidism.

Secondary Syphilis. For the young person with acute loss of eyebrow hair, consider secondary syphilis.
Secondary Syphilis

Ulerythema Ophryogenes

Keratosis Follicularis Spinulosa Decalvans


Actinic Keratosis. For some reason, the eyebrow is a common place for an actinic keratosis in the older patient. Actinic Keratosis of the Eyebrow


Dermoid Cyst

Red, Scaly

Seborrheic Dermatitis (and an incidental basal cell carcinoma). Redness and scaling may occur in the eyebrows and across the glabella in seborrheic dermatitis.
Seborrheic Dermatitis


Synophyrys is the meeting of the medial eyebrows at the midline forming a single band of hair, the so-called "unibrow" [JAMA Derm 2017;153;659].


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