Eyebrow Acne: How to Handle It

Overview

There are a few possible causes for a pimple on your eyebrow, but the most common is acne. Acne happens when hair follicles get clogged with oil and dead skin cells.

Acne affects about 80 percent of people under the age of 30 at some point. Fortunately, pimples on your eyebrow are easy to treat. It’s also possible to prevent acne breakouts before they happen.

Causes of eyebrow pimples

Acne

The hair follicles in and around your eyebrows can easily become clogged. Inside each hair follicle there’s an oil gland that produces a substance called sebum. Sebum traps dead skin cells and plugs up the follicle, often trapping bacteria underneath. This can lead to several different types of pimples, including:

  • Whiteheads. These are closed pimples under your skin’s surface.
  • Blackheads. These open pimples look black from melanin (not dirt).
  • Papules. These bumps are usually red or pink and feel tender.
  • Pustules. Pimples that have a pocket of pus on top are called pustules.
  • Nodules. These large, painful pimples penetrate deep into the skin.
  • Cysts. Large, painful cysts are filled with pus.

All types of acne are treatable but some are resistant to home treatments and require the help of a dermatologist.

Beauty products

Irritated hair follicles and pores around your eyebrow area might be caused by hair or face products you’re using. If your hair can brush across your brow line, styling product on your hair can transfer into your pores.

Consider washing or replacing the applicator you’re using for foundation, powders, or brow and eye makeup. Since makeup is applied directly to your skin and often stored in places that get warm or humid, bacteria may develop in the container. If any of your makeup over a year old, you may want to replace it.

Ingrown hairs

It’s possible to develop an ingrown hair, especially if you regularly shave, pluck, thread, or wax your eyebrows. Ingrown hairs happen when hair curls and remains under your skin. This can cause inflammation.

Symptoms of ingrown hairs include:

  • small red or pink bumps
  • small bumps with pus on top
  • a darkening of your skin
  • pain or tenderness
  • itching
  • visible hair stuck under your skin

Ingrown hairs can happen anywhere, but they’re most common in places where coarse, curled hair grows.

Hair removal strategies increase your risk of developing an ingrown hair. Shaving leaves hair with a sharp edge, which allows it to pierce the skin more easily. Although it’s better than shaving, tweezing often leaves a fragment of the hair behind.

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