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Salty deposits in or below eyebrows
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Salty deposits in or below eyebrows

Hello,

I've had this "problem" for a long time.  As the subject says, I often find a salt like powder in and under my eyebrows (not eyes).  It is often pronounced enough that I notice it immediately when glancing at a mirror.

Obviously it is due to sweating in that area but why is there so much sweating going on there specifically?  This happens without doing strenuous exercise by the way, and there is no sweat dripping in my face, but I have noticed that the region gets humid often, while walking for example.  Also, if my sweat is overly salty, how come there are only deposits there?

My first concern is that it doesn't look too good.  But I suppose it might also indicate some underlying salt related problem.  Maybe I'm not evacuating it enough?  I'm pretty sure I don't have too much salt in my diet, I'm probably below average for a North-American.

Finally, I searched on the internet but only found 2 other accounts of this problem, without any useful replies.

Thanks for your input.
Tags: dandruff
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26 Comments
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Avatar_n_tn
Is it possbily it can be dandruff, excema, psorisis.  Go to a dermatolgist they will be able to tell you, a simple cream might clear it up.
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Avatar_n_tn
Thanks, I'll definitely bring it up next time I go to my doctor, but it's not dandruff (salt texture and too much when it happens for it to be skin cells) and my skin is fine.  I'm 99% sure it's sweat salt deposits.
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Avatar_n_tn
I have experienced the same thing.  What on Earth made me taste it is beyond me, but i did - definitely salt.  it's rather embarrassing too.  I've had several people tell me i have something by my eye, so now I've gotten in the habit of checking frequently.  this started happening to me about 3 years ago.  Does anyone know what its caused by?
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Avatar_f_tn
I am so relieved to hear that other people have the salty eyebrow problem too! And, I tasted it too because it felt gritty like salt but much finer and I had a feeling it was salt and sure enough, it tastes salty. I was talking with my mother about this and she is concerned that I may have some underlying problem that needs to be checked out. I have had this problem ever since I can remember and I am 43 years old. I was never worried about it until she mentioned I should have it checked. Has anyone heard any feedback on what it could be? I'd really like to know if I need to worry about this.
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Avatar_n_tn
I have the same problem too, I'm 34 years old and this has been happening to me since I was at least 17!  I did taste it too... people always tell me it's eye shadow or something... it's gritty, and right under my eyebrow, almost on my lid, and then at the side of my eye near the temples... HELP!  Anybody know what this is all about?
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Avatar_n_tn
I'm a 32 year old 5'9" 175lb black male. I work out 4x's weekly and am in excellent health. I too come home from work some days and find the fine salt crystals in my brows.

Its only been happening for about 5 years. I was wondering if anyone else here has ever taken Lamisil? After taking it for the prescribed month, my whole body chemistry changed. I suddenly had the propensity to sweat very easily with minimal exertion and the skin on my forehead becomes oily very quickly. I had to use stronger deodorant too. I can no longer put lotion on my forehead without clogging my pores and getting pimples.

Has anyone else taken Lamisil also?
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Avatar_n_tn
I have the same condition and have had it for some time.  I get a salty, gritty deposit on between my eye and eyebrow, and also somtimes in my eyebrow, but always in the same spots.  I notice that it will not appear for awhile at times and I tend to think it is either diet or exercise related.  I hadn't had it for awhile and then just recently I started running more than often (in addition to my normal strength workout).  As a result, my metabolism kicks into high gear at the slightest physical exertion, which makes me start perspiring a lot quicker than periods of time when I am not doing so much cardio.  Perhaps it is just an overactive sweat gland?
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi.  I have the same problem. Just wondering how much water you all drink.  I don't drink much water, but I think I'm going to try to improve on that.  I wonder if that has something to do with it.
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Avatar_n_tn
I looked into this more.  It is possible we may hyperhidrosis.  I have facial blushing and sweating of the feet as well as the sweating of the eyebrows.  The eyebrow sweating is what causes the salt & the sweaty feet causes foot odor for me.  I think it may all be tied into having hyperhidrosis.  
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Avatar_f_tn
I find it hard to believe hyperhidrosis is the cause of salty eyebrows.  I'm 43, female, and have had salty eyebrows for years now.  The doctor has never heard of it and assumed it may be some form of seborrhea.  I tried to explain: it's not skin flakes.  It is SALT CRYSTALS!  I've taken photos with my digital camera to show how a tiny "o" will form just below the eyebrow and the salt crystals form in the eyebrows.  I do not sweat much and I drink a lot of water daily.  A few days ago I showered in the morning and verified there was no salt at 10am.  I sat at my computer to work for awhile and at 12:45pm noticed in the mirror that the salt had already formed again in my eyebrows and in little o's under them.  I was not sweating or exerting myself.  A close-up zoom with my camera reveals the salt seems to exude from the skin cell walls and builds up vertically to make the o's.  I'm a Ph.D. materials scientist.  I know the difference between salt and skin flakes!  I'm relieved to hear of others having this same problem, but still wonder what it signifies is wrong.  For whatever it's worth, in Chinese medicine, the area above and between the eyes relates to liver function.  

If anyone finds out what is the cause, I'd love to learn from you!  I'm not on any medications, and I've tried many different natural supplements over the years.  Nothing has changed my eyebrow salt, although sometimes it is worse than others, and I cannot seem to correlate it with diet, exercise, season or anything.  I don't suffer from excessive sweating anywhere.  I have noticed that on a trace mineral (hair) analysis, my sodium and potassium levels have totally tanked, from being below normal in 1997 to being at undetectable levels in 2005.  These tests do not reflect serum levels of Na and K; they only indicate that there is insufficient surplus to be stored in soft body tissue at the usual healthy levels.  I have lower gut issues and have assumed I may have problems absorbing electrolytes because of this, but that would suggest that I would have insufficient serum Na and K, yet my blood tests come back normal.

I wish we could engage a decent medical doctor in figuring this one out!  My doc has no interest.
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Avatar_n_tn
i'm 15, and i have had this same problem for about a year and a half now.  i'm not overly sweaty and the salt crystals will appear in a very short period of time.  as a result, i am constantly smoothing over my eyebrows to make sure nothing is there and if there is something it will go away.  i'm also obsessive compulsive so it became an awful habit and i do all the time now.  i'm just waiting for someone at school to point it out.  i'm so embarassed.  i never see anyone else with this problem.  i notice that it happens quicker and there is more salt when i am at school or in public as opposed to just being at home or in a completely relaxed environment.  but my face doesn't feel sweaty at all.  i need to know how to get rid of it.  i'm going insane!
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Avatar_n_tn
I am so relieved to find that other people have this. I am a 58 year old female, I am an RN and can find no solutions to this. I have had this for years, and wipe my eyebrows frequently to get rid of it. I would love to know what causes it. But-it helps to know I'm not alone in this.
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Avatar_n_tn
thank god! I also have this issue.... and my nose is the exact same, so eyebrows and nose! it is embarrassing to say the least... constantly having to wipe over my nose and eyebrows. I don't sweat anywhere else or sweat at all! it started after I took Accutane.... HELP!??
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Avatar_f_tn
I developed the salt in eyebrows after I had a hysterectomy. My skin texture changed, I couldnt find any hormone replacements that I could take and then I developed the salt in my eyebrows. I cannot find a doctor that will address this at all. I think it has to do with a chemical imbalance of some kind but I am not sure what.  
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Avatar_n_tn
I'm surprised, and somewhat relieved, to find so many other people have had this same problem!  I noticed many of you are the same age as me (43) and experience this "salty" residue in the exact same area below the eyebrows.  I also was compelled to taste the substance due to its salt-like texture, and sure enough, mine tasted like salt too.  Also, I've only noticed this appearing in the area of my brows that I pluck -- the part of the brow above the inner corner of my eyes.  Mostly, I just see the salty crystals appear a few hours after I've put on my makeup.  I wipe it off, and occasionally it will come back within a few hours, but usually it does not occur later during the day.  This caused me to wonder initially if it was related to the eye makeup I wear.  I know that many eyeshadows contain fish scales for the shimmer effect.  However, my eyeshadow is worn mainly on my eyelid and not on the portion of skin where I notice the salt.  I then considered the amount of sweating I do since I workout 6 days a week and I sweat ALOT.  Then again, I don't get the saltiness during or after my workouts.

Some of the comments suggest hyperhydrosis.  This might be a possibility as I was diagnosed with hyperhydrosis about 10 years ago.  My only symptom was excessive wetness in the armpits -- no odor, just wetness -- and it would occur even when I was in air-conditioned buildings where I was cold enough to have goose bumps.  Again though, I am puzzled because my hyperhydrosis seems to have gone away on its own 3 or 4 years ago, and the salty eyebrows have only begun occurring in the past year or so.

Since many of us who suffer from this are in our early 40's, I wonder if it could be related to hormonal changes?  
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Avatar_m_tn
I too have this problem. I'm in my early twenties and have had it for about 4 years now. It's definitely salt and definitely something to do with the fact our eyebrows are there to stop sweat getting into our eyes. I think we have over active glands and the salt is a result of the sweat drying.

My cousin was sweating a lot under her arm pitts and she became part of a trial getting injected with Botox! It is really working for her and I think it could be the answer! The Botox can stop the swear glands from perspiring so much.

If I had the money I'd try it. Worth thinking about anyways and would love to hear if anyone does try it and gets results
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Avatar_n_tn
i'm 28 and have had this happen for years.  it never really concerned me though, so i'm surprised to see a lot of people saying it scared or concerned them. don't know why it didn't concern me as much, maybe because i assumed it was sweat related. i just looked it up out of curiosity.  i don't sweat a lot generally, but sometimes i will notice some sweat condensation under my eyebrow.  i assumed the crystals were after it would dry.  it's not excessive, that could be why i didn't worry too.
i'm not on any regular medications and never have been.  i drink a lot of water.  normal thyroid, etc.  all that stuff.  i think it's overactive sweat glands, but of course, that's just my personal guess.
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Avatar_n_tn
I read about the Botox injections to control the sweat glands back when I was diagnosed with the hyperhydrosis.  I considered trying it, too...but the cost was too much for me at the time.  A few years ago my condition went away on its own, thankfully, so I didn't have to resort to that.  According to other people's testimonials, the Botox treatment was very effective for overactive sweat glands, though.

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Avatar_n_tn
The salty flakes never concerned me that much either, and it doesn't seem to be affecting the overall health of any of us who experience this condition.  My reason for researching it online was that I was just curious as to the possible causes, as well as to find out if anybody else had experienced the same sort of thing.

Like you, I have a normal thyroid, I drink plenty of water, and I'm not taking any medications.  I agree that the "salt" is most likely dried sweat or sweat-gland related.  It just puzzles me that if it is caused by overactive sweat glands, then why I don't experience the salty crystals during the times when I've actually been sweating, like after working out every night.   I only get them in the morning, within a few hours of applying my makeup, and while working in a comfortably air-conditioned office with no sweating occurring.  

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Avatar_n_tn
Well I have had this for years and have never been concerned.  Although tonight I was curious and did some research. Anxiety may cause perspiration and this may happen in the brows. I use a deodorant that had aluminum and will not sweat from my armpits.  Sweat has to come out somewhere because our bodies need to rid us of toxins.  We can sweat from our brows; there is hair there, so it seems natural enough.  It's a little annoying I suppose but I check regularly to make sure there is no salt there so I won't be embarrassed.  i am still not concerned.  We sweat as humans and because we are advanced and use antiperspirants the body changes and sweats from different areas.  I am not a doctor but my common sense tells me the same as what I have shared with you!  Do your balls sweat too!  That's normal don't worry.lol
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Avatar_f_tn
I'm just another salty eyebrow/lid woman! Although I assume the issue has been around for quite some time, I believe it was less noticeable in earlier years when I was more active on a daily basis and sweat on a regular basis, thus assuming that the deposits on my brows and lids was merely sweat "run off" from my forehead.
I am currently 27, female, healthy, white, and live in the Midwest. This sweat issue has become more evident every day for a minimum of the past 8months. I have done the "taste test" and the taste is similar to that of sea salt, the consistency is also comparable to sea salt that has been crushed to a finer power, with some larger flakes mixed in.
Through reading the existing comments, I am assuming/noticing  that there is a large amount of women vs men that are being effected by this problem, we are all within a 15-20yr age difference, and none of us have been successful finding any answers as to why this happens, what this is, and if this is a sign or warning from our bodies that we need to be checking out medicenaly (sp?).
Personally, I have also noticed that the salt sweat tends to be more intense on days I wear eye and brow makeup.
Is any of the above a match with any of you? Please....if someone out there has discussed OUR problem with their doctor, please pass your findings along to the rest of us!
Until then, I will continue to research and update here and keep you all updated.
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Avatar_n_tn
Yep, I've had the same problem since I was about 15 and am now 31. I think it's probably an overactive gland. I don't sweat excessively in any other area of my body though, which I find strange.  I do have fairly thick eyebrows, which I pluck, and I wonder if their thickness contributes to the level of sweat produced? It seems to occur mainly in the mornings and not when I've been doing sweaty activities (e.g. gym). The only remedy I've found is to moisturise my eyebrows as part of my general skin care routine. I massage moisturiser into my eyebrows both at night, and in the morning.  This seems to reduce the salty deposits somewhat, although I still get some...It's really quite a weird problem, and I always hope no one notices at work!
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Avatar_f_tn
I've had overly sweaty eyebrows since I was 14. I'm now 31 and it's always been a constant source of embarrassment this whole time. I'm always wiping my brows and people will ask me what I'm doing or if I'm tired or something. It seems to be worse in the mornings and subsides by the evening. It's also worse when I have my period or when I get anxious. It seems to have nothing to do with the temperature. I've started applying Degree Clinical Protection to my brows at night and it works pretty well. I know they say you shouldn't, but it's the only thing that has worked for me! I'm just careful about it. When I asked my dermatologist about it, he had never heard of this condition, so I'm glad I'm not alone; although, I wish, for all of us, we didn't have to deal with it. :)
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Avatar_m_tn
I find myself constantly wiping my eyebrows and nose. I will apply make-up and even while applying make-up in the morning they are consistently wet, along with my nose. It is extremely annoying. At first I thought it was the make-up or foundation I was using on my face but this has been happening for quite some time now. I even tried switching make-up a few times, it made no difference. It is a relief to see that so many others are having the same problems. I am not concerned just very annoyed with this problem. I am in my early 20's and started Acutane about 3 months ago. That is the only medication I am on presently. Someone mentioned something about this starting after they had taken Acutane. I am curious to see if anyone else has taken Acutane or is currently on it like myself and is having these problems. I need to address this problem with my dermatologist but am very curious.
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Avatar_m_tn
I am a 41 year old Male and have had this problem for several years. I have had no luck in finding out any reason for it. I am not a heavy sweater at all. Very little under my arm pits and my feet hardly ever sweat. But it is when it's warmer and from sweat I gather. I have recently found out that I have low potassium levels. Can any one help us??
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1343932_tn?1276286089
I had "salty eyebrows" for years (also extremely itchy skin, especially in the winter).  Sometimes people would ask "what's that stuff on your eyes?"   I thought it had something to do with menopause and perspiration.  Moisturizers and eliminating chlorine in my shower and drinking water didn't help much.  Then, I had my gallbladder out and BINGO!  No more salty eyebrows and my skin stopped itching (dry eye problem seems to have improved also).  I keep checking, expecting to see or feel the crystals, but my eyebrows are fine.  As an aside, I drink plenty of water and follow a healthy diet high in whole grains, fruit and vegetables.  I'm not obese and take no prescription drugs at the present.  I now wonder if bile salts weren't accumulating in my skin and causing some of these former problems.  Never knew other people were suffering also!  I bet there is more than one cause for the eyebrow issue, but really wonder if gallbadder issues play a role.
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Avatar_n_tn
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