Aa
A
A
A
Close
Hair Loss (Alopecia) Community
1.03k Members
Avatar universal

Eyebrows - Excessive Shedding

Hi All,

I just wanted to run something by everybody to get your take on it.

Last fall, in September of 2012 I fell under extreme psychological stress due to a misdiagnosis of an STD.  It was extremely distressing and I was under excessive stress day and night for 3-4 months.  Then I continued under moderate to high stress for another 2-3 months until my second round of complete testing cleared me of all testable STDs and the one I had been misdiagnosed with (Thank God!).

In about December to January, I noticed a bit heavier shedding from my scalp hair, though I didn't notice any thinning.  I noticed the heavier shedding from my pillow cases in the morning and sometimes when I was working at my desk at work I would notice quite a number of hairs.  Nonetheless, this has now ceased and I don't notice a whole lot more shedding going on.

Now, almost 8-9 months after the initial stressor, I began noticing high amounts of shedding from both eyebrows.  I've counted anywhere from 10-25 eyebrow hairs per day.  They have a small bulb on the ends of them.  I've noticed this going on since some time in May and now we're into July.  It hasn't really slowed down, but stayed around the same rate.  My eyebrows are thick, so most people haven't noticed anything going on.

Would it make sense that I might be experiencing telogen effluvium from my eyebrows?  My dermatologist didn't really look closely at me, he just went based off my described symptoms that that is what it would be.  He ruled out alopecia areata since he said that the shedding has been going on for so long and we haven't noticed significant thinning and clumps of hair usually come out at a time to form bald spots.

With telogen effluvium, they say you should experience higher shedding rates about 3-4 months later and I would assume that is because of the average length of the telogen phase of the hair cycle.  I'm experiencing increased shedding from my eyebrows 8-9 months after, which coincides with the average telogen phase length of eyebrow hair (~9 months).

I just wanted to run this by with you guys.  When I look at my eyebrows, I do see some new growth in there.  I was also diagnosed with a very mild form of seborrheic dermatitis, but I just have very mild flaking/dandruff in the eyebrows.  There is no inflammation though.

Any thoughts?
10 Responses
Avatar universal
I meant to say that the average length of the telogen phase of scalp hair is approximately 3-4 months.

I also wanted to say that the excessive shedding of my eyebrows seems to be diffuse.
Avatar universal
I just wanted to ask another question.  Since my eyebrow hair loss has been continuing for about 2 months now and people do not notice thinning, would I be able to rule out alopecia areata incognita (the diffuse thinning type)?

I haven't been able to find a source yet on the internet that says how long that process takes.  The closest thing I have found is that usually the thinning is noticeable within weeks of the start of hair fall with alopecia.

Since my issues were prolonged stress (months of stress where I did not sleep well and I had lost about 15 lbs in 1.5 weeks) would it make sense I would have persistent TE, which is a more gradual shedding?
563773 tn?1374250139
MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL
Hello,
For diffuse hair loss from eyebrows as well, alopecia totalis and telogen effluvium should be ruled out. In alopecia totalis, there is hairfall of scalp as well as eyebrow and eyelashes. The cause is stress or some autoimmune disease. My sincere advice would be to get an examination done from a dermatologist or trichologist.
Regarding the investigations which can be done to confirm the cause of hair loss, some of the important ones to be done are:
1) Iron studies and thyroid function tests
2) Testosterone and dihydrotestosterone levels
3) Trichoscopy (in this hair and scalp structures may be visualized at many-fold magnification)
4) Scalp biopsy.
I suggest you to consult a trichologist and get these investigations done.
It is very difficult to precisely confirm a diagnosis without examination and investigations and the answer is based on the medical information provided. For exact diagnosis, you are requested to consult your doctor. I sincerely hope that helps. Take care and please do keep me posted on how you are doing.

Avatar universal
Thanks for the reply.

I don't know what to do!  I have a dermatologist but he observes me from 6 feet away and he never puts on a pair of gloves...it's pathetic!

I don't believe I have alopecia totalis as I am not currently losing scalp hair.  I had only noticed a very short period of increased shedding back in December and January.  Right now, the shedding is only affecting my eyebrows.  I think persistent telogen effluvium seems consistent with my eyebrows due to the almost 9 month delay in shedding them; besides, the hairs that are shed do not look like exclamation mark hairs.  

I barely notice them thinning, but they don't feel as full (how could they when I'm losing up to 25 a day).  I notice little hairs growing in, so that's got to be a positive sign.

I have extremely mild seborrheic dermatitis; mostly very oily skin with mild flaking and no inflammation.

I don't know what to do...I feel helpless.

Thanks,

Duey
Avatar universal
I only started noticing the shedding of my eyebrows mid-May; that's 2.5 months ago.  Wouldn't I notice patches or bald spots on my eyebrows if it was in fact an alopecia related condition?
Avatar universal
Hi Duey

I just want to reassure you that I'm experiencing the same thing. I had a severe trauma (emotional) and had PTSD for many months afterwards. My eyebrows and some of my eyelashes began to fall out, with a white bulb on the end of them, so I put it down to TE. None of my other hair is affected so it's not alopecia, and all my bloodwork has been fine.  I see new regrowth and I still see some falling, but I guess it's balancing out now. Prolonged stress has a massive impact on your cortisol levels, and your whole hormonal system, so it takes time to heal. I recommend healing your adrenals with lots of rest, relaxation, Dr Wilson's adrenal rebuilder, vitamin C, Vitamin Bs - cos stress health starts with the adrenals. How are you doing now. And how are your eyebrows?  Love and healing to you my friend.
1 Comments
I experience the same thing. I started to lose my eyebrows in a diffuse type of loss (from the nose and out) several years ago. They gradually get thinner over month/ years, especially the right one.
Since I got pregnant in january this year the loss started to increase in tempo - my right brow is almost gone by now (half way due to conceiving), 60% of the hair in the brows are gone. I also just recently saw a little "gap" in my eyelashes too. I have no hair loss on the head.

Checked thyroid + all other possible diseases that affects hair growth - etc and its all good. My B12 was low, but they started to give me B12-injections a month ago, lets see if this changes anything. Also I have pregnancy related diabetes.

My doctors cant find anything else wrong with me, several dermatologists ment this is NOT Alopecia because the hairless is diffuse (not "patches" or "spots" and have been gradually .going over years). I wonder of it still can be Alopecia? Or is this Cronic Telogen Effluvium?

Can it be due to stress (high adrenaline/ cortisol levels) over many years? I have been really stressed over many years and I have a lot of heartbeat / panic disorder like symptoms (I recon my adrenaline/ cortisol levels have been very high throughout many years).

I still haven't got any answers on what this is from doctors and Im looking for the trigger.

Have anyone experienced something similar? What can this be? And have anyone experienced regrowth of eyebrows after they were almost gone/ gone?
Avatar universal
Hello there,

Duey1083--have you had any success with resolving your eyebrow loss or any definitive diagnosis since your last comment?

I am also experiencing identical symptoms and derms are unhelpful. Last one said to me alopecia areata but like you there are no "patches" as the thinning is diffuse. Perhaps TE instead.

Anyway I wanted to see if your brows grew back,
Thanks!
S
11635799 tn?1420033937
Hi there,

Although I'm sorry to here about your troubling experiences, I'm very happy to have come across this thread. This past year I've been very distressed over experiencing loss of eyebrow hairs and eyelashes. It started in February-March when I lost a very visible amount of my eyebrows and lashes. They grew back but then I started losing lots in June-July. Again, my lashes grew out, only to fall out again in September. And I've been losing eyebrow hair now and then throughout (anything from 1 hair - to 10 a day). It has been terribly bothersome to me, and I still find myself obsessing about my eyes and brows.

I have found out I have blepharitis, which would explain the loss of eyelashes and the itching I experience. I'm just not sure whether the eyebrow hairs fall out for the same reason.

My past year has been very stressful. I lost my mother to cancer in May. Her illness was exacerbated from around December 2013, and I was living abroad pursuing a fairly challenging MSc programme. Worries, sadness and grief have been main components to my life this year.

So my question is, could this type of worry and stress be the cause of my hair loss?

I've been to 5 different doctors, still waiting to go to a 6th one. Not figuring out my condition and being dismissed at the doctor's office is incredibly frustrating.

I'd love to hear how you've been since your posted here.

Victoria
Avatar universal
I experience the same thing. I started to lose my eyebrows in a diffuse type of loss (from the nose and out) several years ago. They gradually get thinner over month/ years, especially the right one.
Since I got pregnant in january this year the loss started to increase in tempo - my right brow is almost gone by now (half way due to conceiving), 60% of the hair in the brows are gone. I also just recently saw a little "gap" in my eyelashes too. I have no hair loss on the head.

Checked thyroid + all other possible diseases that affects hair growth - etc and its all good. My B12 was low, but they started to give me B12-injections a month ago, lets see if this changes anything. Also I have pregnancy related diabetes.

My doctors cant find anything else wrong with me, several dermatologists ment this is NOT Alopecia because the hairless is diffuse (not "patches" or "spots" and have been gradually .going over years). I wonder of it still can be Alopecia? Or is this Cronic Telogen Effluvium?

Can it be due to stress (high adrenaline/ cortisol levels) over many years? I have been really stressed over many years and I have a lot of heartbeat / panic disorder like symptoms (I recon my adrenaline/ cortisol levels have been very high throughout many years).

I still haven't got any answers on what this is from doctors and Im looking for the trigger.

Have anyone experienced something similar? What can this be? And have anyone experienced regrowth of eyebrows after they were almost gone/ gone?
Avatar universal
I am also experiencing hair loss from brows and head .. anyone has figured out that what is this?
Have an Answer?
Didn't find the answer you were looking for?
Ask a question
Popular Resources
Learn to identify and prevent bites from summer’s most common pests.
Doctors argue for legislation to curb this dangerous teen trend in the latest Missouri Medicine report.
10 ways to keep your skin healthy all winter long
How to get rid of lumpy fat on your arms, hips, thighs and bottom
Diet “do’s” and “don’ts” for healthy, radiant skin.
Images of rashes caused by common skin conditions