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.
Hertoghe Sign is the loss of hair of the eyebrow in children with atopic dermatitis. It is caused by constant rubbing.
Frontal Fibrosing Alopecia. This is most common in older women and is paired with loss of hair along the anterior hairline.
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.
Keratosis Follicularis Spinulosa Decalvans
Actinic Keratosis. For some reason, the eyebrow is a common place for an actinic keratosis in the older patient.
Seborrheic Dermatitis (and an incidental basal cell carcinoma). Redness and scaling may occur in the eyebrows and across the glabella in 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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