There are various causes of itchy eyebrows. These include psoriasis, shingles, and allergies.

In some cases, itchy eyebrows may be a sign of a skin condition, an infection, or an allergic reaction. However, often it is something that will go away on its own.

This article will look at what it might mean to have an itch in the eyebrows that will not go away, and when to see a doctor.

There are a variety of health conditions and other factors that may cause someone’s eyebrows to itch. These include:

Seborrheic dermatitis

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Seborrheic dermatitis can cause itchy patches of skin.

Seborrheic dermatitis is a form of eczema. It is a common skin condition, affecting an estimated 1 to 3 percent of the otherwise healthy population, which rises to 34 to 83 percent of people with compromised immune systems.

It is a skin condition that affects parts of the body where there are a lot of oil-producing glands, including the eyebrows.

Seborrheic dermatitis appears as round, red areas that may be slightly scaly and tend to be itchy. People often notice these patches appear on the scalp, but it is not contagious.

People with neurological conditions, such as Parkinson’s, or conditions that affect the immune system, such as HIV, are more likely to experience seborrheic dermatitis.

The most common symptoms of seborrheic dermatitis include:

  • patches of yellow or white crusty, flaking skin
  • itching or burning skin
  • redness
  • swollen skin
  • greasy skin


Psoriasis is a skin condition that can affect the face. This is called facial psoriasis, and it usually appears on the eyebrows, the skin between the nose and the upper lip, the top of the forehead, and the hairline.

For some people, this may look or feel like eyebrow dandruff.

Psoriasis causes thick, red patches of skin with silvery scales. It is an autoimmune condition. This means it is not contagious but happens when the body’s immune system attacks healthy tissues.

People with psoriasis usually find the condition comes and goes. Specific things that happen in a person’s life can trigger psoriasis. These triggers vary from person to person, but they might include:

  • stress
  • skin injury
  • taking certain medications
  • infection


Shingles is a painful rash that can develop on one side of the face or body.

Before the rash appears, people often experience pain, itching, or tingling in the area. This may include one of the eyebrows.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the itch usually happens between 1 and 5 days before the rash breaks out.

A shingles rash consists of blisters that scab over in around 7 to 10 days and clears up within 2 to 4 weeks, according to the CDC. In some cases, shingles can affect the eyes and cause vision loss.

The chickenpox virus, called varicella-zoster virus (VZV), causes shingles. Once a person recovers from chickenpox, the virus stays in the body and can reactivate later on in life. Older people are more prone to shingles.

Symptoms of shingles include:

Allergic reaction

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Itchy skin, sneezing, and coughing can be symptoms

Itchy eyebrows may be a sign of an allergic reaction to a facial beauty product or treatment. More than 50 million Americans suffer from allergies every year.

Allergies occur when the immune system overreacts to a specific substance. Someone having an allergic reaction may experience:

  • itching
  • sneezing
  • coughing

A mild allergic reaction will usually calm down by itself. A severe allergic reaction, however, can be life-threatening. This is called anaphylaxis, and the symptoms include:

  • tingling in the palms of the hands, soles of the feet, or the lips
  • light-headedness
  • flushing
  • tightness in the chest

Contact dermatitis

Contact dermatitis is a form of eczema that develops when the skin touches an irritating substance.

This is a form of allergic reaction that can cause inflammation and dry, flaky skin either immediately or several hours after contact with the irritant. Common irritants include fragrances and metals.

Contact dermatitis can cause itchy, flaking eyebrows if the skin around the eyebrows has come into contact with:

  • shampoo or body wash
  • specific cosmetic products
  • an eyebrow piercing or other jewelry


The American Diabetes Association state that people with diabetes may experience more skin problems than otherwise healthy individuals. In fact, skin conditions can be the first sign of diabetes.

Common skin issues that may cause itching in people with diabetes include:

  • folliculitis, which can cause irritation and itchiness around the hairs in the eyebrow
  • fungal infections, such as Candida, which cause itchy rashes, tiny blisters, and scaling skin
  • poor circulation, which can cause widespread itching, though this usually affects the legs

Head lice

Head lice, or Pediculus humanus capitis, usually live on the scalp.

In some cases, they make their home in the eyebrows or eyelashes. Head lice are more common among children, affecting between 6 and 12 million children in the United States every year.

These parasites feed on human blood and spread by head-to-head contact.

The bites can be itchy.

The other signs to look out for are:

  • a tickling feeling of something moving in the hair
  • difficulty sleeping because head lice are most active in the dark
  • sores on the head caused by scratching
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A doctor may prescribe a topical treatment for itchy eyebrows.

Treatment will depend on the cause of the itching:

  • People can treat mild seborrheic dermatitis with an antifungal cream or a medicated shampoo. More severe cases may require corticosteroid medication or antifungal pills.
  • Psoriasis treatment usually depends on how much of the skin is affected and how badly. Options include creams, ointments, and ultraviolet light therapy. In some cases, a doctor may prescribe drugs, such as methotrexate.
  • Shingles will require antiviral medications. A doctor may also prescribe pain medicines to help with the discomfort.
  • With head lice, all members of the household will need treatment. People can find many over-the-counter remedies. The CDC advise that people wash all bedding, scarves, and hats at temperatures higher than 128.3°F.

Wet compresses, calamine lotion, or colloidal oatmeal baths may help relieve the itching.

Anyone who thinks they may have a skin condition, such as seborrheic dermatitis or psoriasis, should make an appointment with a doctor.

People displaying the signs of shingles should also speak to a doctor as soon as possible to get treatment.

If someone has signs of anaphylaxis, they need emergency medical attention. If they do not receive treatment straight away, there is a risk of seizures, heart problems, or breathing difficulties, and anaphylaxis can be fatal.

Call the emergency services if someone is experiencing:

  • tingling in the palms of the hands, soles of the feet, or the lips
  • light-headedness
  • flushing
  • tightness in the chest

Itchy eyebrows can be annoying, but the itchiness usually goes away on its own.

Itchy eyebrows may also be a sign of a skin condition, an infection, or an allergic reaction.

It is relatively easy to treat itchy eyebrows, either with the help of a doctor or at home. Itch eyebrows are not usually a cause for concern.