By Dr. Eddie Valenzuela

Noticing dryness and flaking around the eyebrows? It could be early signs of seborrheic dermatitis. More often known as dandruff—or as “cradle cap” when presented in babies—this common skin condition can present itself in many ways, including dry, flaky eyebrows. Eyebrow flakes caused by dandruff may require a medicated wash to clear away symptoms.

Dry flaky eyebrows

Dandruff is typically known for those annoying and embarrassing white flakes that build up along the root of the hair and flake onto your shoulders. However, seborrheic dermatitis (SD) can show up just about anywhere on the body, oftentimes without warning. Symptoms of dandruff commonly show up on the nose, ears, and eyebrows.

In addition to eyebrow dandruff, you may also experience redness (or pink-colored patches in darker skin tones), excess grease during or leading up to the breakout, swollen or inflamed skin, and potentially even itchiness and burning.

The exact cause of SD is unknown, though most dermatologists and researchers agree that it has to do the skin’s reaction to an excessive build-up of Malassezia yeast, an otherwise harmless and naturally-occurring microorganism. This belief is due to the fact that when treated with pyrithione zinc, an antifungal zinc complex, most people tend to experience symptom relief.

Researchers have also correlated stress, hormones, genetics, use of harsh cleaners and soaps, dry and cold weather, and certain medications and health conditions to the onset of seborrheic dermatitis symptoms.

Eyebrow flakes on babies and children

In babies and young children, seborrheic dermatitis (SD) usually presents itself differently than it does in older children or adults. The baby version of SD, or “cradle cap,” normally shows up as patches of crusty yellow skin that may sometimes look greasy, red, and inflamed. Most people think of these symptoms appearing on the scalp and forehead, or where a cap would sit, but it can appear almost anywhere on a baby’s body.

It is common to see mild seborrheic dermatitis on eyebrows, the nose, ears, where the diaper sits, in folds of skins, and other moist or greasy areas.

While “cradle cap” can look uncomfortable, it actually doesn’t cause your baby any pain or irritation. However, failing to manage symptoms can cause the area to become inflamed, and scraping of the scaly skin can cause lesions that are vulnerable to infection.

Similar to how dandruff is managed in adults, dermatologists often recommend that parents use a medicated shampoo and wash to ease symptoms of “cradle cap.” Unfortunately, most of these washes aren’t designed with children in mind. Adult washes generally contain harsh ingredients that can be harmful to your baby.

Getting rid of flakes on eyebrows

If you or your child are experiencing dry, flaky eyebrows that won’t go away with moisturizer, you may want to talk to your dermatologist to see if you’re experiencing seborrheic dermatitis. You can effectively manage your SD symptoms using Dr. Eddie’s Happy Cappy Medicated Shampoo and Body Wash, specially formulated for sensitive scalps and children of all ages. Containing pyrithione zinc, a common and safe antifungal that helps to combat the yeast believed to fuel symptoms of “cradle cap,” our medicated wash is free of unnecessary skin irritants, such as synthetic fragrances, dyes, parabens, and sulfates.