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Causes of Pimples in Eyebrows: Understanding the Reasons Behind Eyebrow Acne

Pimples are a nuisance. An eyebrow pimple well, that’s just rude! While acne is commonly associated with the face, it can occur anywhere with hair follicles, like eyebrows. Various factors, including hormonal imbalances, can cause acne, bacteria, not cleaning your skin, make-up brushes properly and some skin care products.

One of the leading causes of pimples is hormonal imbalances. Hormonal changes can stimulate oil production in the skin, leading to clogged pores and the formation of the dreaded acne. It’s particularly common during puberty and other hormonal fluctuations, like pregnancy or menopause.

Not cleansing your skin can lead to a buildup of dirt, oil, and bacteria, which can clog the hair follicles and cause pimples. Also, using dirty makeup brushes or sharing makeup with your friends can increase the risk of transferring bacteria to your skin.

Let’s dive in and look at why you might be getting pimples in your eyebrows.

Anatomy of Eyebrow Pimples

Hair Follicles

Each hair follicle in the eyebrow has a sebaceous gland attached to it. This gland produces sebum, an oily substance that helps to moisturize and protect the hair and skin. When excess sebum is produced, it can mix with dead skin cells and clog the hair follicle, leading to the formation of a pimple.

Ingrown hairs also cause acne in the eyebrows.  When a hair follicle grows back into the skin instead of out of it, it can cause inflammation and the formation of a pimple.

BTW you can think of your eyebrows as eyebrow hair. Although they are thicker than your hair, they are still basically hair. This goes for any other facial hair, like beards.

Sebaceous Glands

Sebaceous glands can become overactive due to hormonal changes, stress, or certain medications. When this happens, excess sebum is produced, leading to the formation of acne.

In addition, acne-causing bacteria p. acnes plays a role in some types of acne. When the hair follicle becomes clogged, it creates an environment where bacteria can thrive, leading to inflammation and the formation of a pimple.

Some folks are more prone to developing pimples than others. You can do things to stop and manage acne forming, and proper skin care and hygiene practices help.

Hormonal Changes

Hormonal changes are one of the most common causes of acne. It is referred to as hormonal acne. During puberty, the body produces more androgens, which can cause the sebaceous glands to produce more oil. This excess oil can clog pores and lead to pimples. Hormonal changes during the menstrual cycle, pregnancy, and menopause can cause acne flare-ups.

Poor Hygiene

Poor hygiene can lead to pimples. If you don’t wash your face regularly, oil, dirt, and dead skin cells can build up on your skin. It’s important to wash your face twice a day with a gentle cleanser and to avoid touching your face with your hands as much as possible.

 Make sure you’re putting your cleanser on your brow hair. It’s good practice to remove bacteria, pollution, and dead skin cells.

Cosmetics and Hair Products

Cosmetics and hair products can also cause skin problems. Some products contain ingredients that can clog pores and lead to pimples. It’s important to choose non-comedogenic products. If you wear makeup, remove it before going to bed.

Stress and Anxiety

Stress and anxiety can also cause breakouts. When stressed, your body produces more cortisol, which can increase oil production and lead to acne and many other things. It’s important to find ways to manage stress, such as exercise, meditation, or deep breathing.


Diet plays a role in having healthy skin. Heck, it plays a role in having a healthy everything! Eating a diet high in sugar and processed foods can cause inflammation, leading to pimples. Eating a healthy, balanced diet with plenty of vegetables, whole grains and heart-healthy fats ie ‘The Mediterranean diet’, has many benefits not only for the skin.

Treatment Options for Eyebrow Pimples

Topical Treatments

Topical treatments are the most common way to treat eyebrow pimples. They are applied directly to the affected area and work by reducing inflammation and killing bacteria. Some of the most popular topical treatments include:

  • Benzoyl peroxide: This is a powerful antibacterial agent that is effective against the bacteria that cause pimples. It also helps to reduce inflammation.
  • Salicylic acid: This is a beta-hydroxy acid that works by exfoliating the skin and unclogging pores. It is also effective against inflammation.
  • Retinoids: These are derivatives of vitamin A that help to unclog pores and reduce inflammation. They are also effective in preventing new pimples from forming.

Oral Medications

If topical treatments do not work, your dermatologist may recommend oral medications. These prescription medications are taken by mouth and work by reducing inflammation and killing bacteria internally.  Some of the most common oral medications used to treat acne include:

MedicationHow it WorksPossible Side Effects
AntibioticsKills bacteriaStomach upset, diarrhea, yeast infections
IsotretinoinReduces oil production, unclogs pores, and kills bacteriaDry skin, chapped lips, joint pain, depression

Home Remedies

Several home remedies can be used to treat pimples. These remedies are often less expensive and more natural than other treatments. Caution is still needed because something is natural doesn’t mean it won’t irritate your skin. Some popular home remedies include:

  • Tea tree oil: This is a natural antibacterial agent that can be applied directly to the affected area. But be very cautious if you have sensitive skin you should mix 5 drops of a carrier oil such as olive or almond oil with one drop of tea tree oil.
  • Aloe vera: This is a natural anti-inflammatory agent that can be applied to the affected area to reduce redness and inflammation.
  • Warm compress: Applying a warm compress to the affected area can help to reduce inflammation and promote healing.

Prevention of Eyebrow Pimples

Maintaining Good Hygiene

One of the best ways to prevent pimples is to maintain good hygiene. It would help if you cleaned your eyebrows regularly with a gentle cleanser. Avoid harsh soaps or scrubs, which can irritate the skin and cause more problems. Also, avoid touching your eyebrows with dirty hands or rubbing them too hard when washing, as this can cause irritation and inflammation.

 Avoid sharing personal items like towels, washcloths, makeup or makeup brushes, as this can spread bacteria and increase your risk of developing pimples.

Choosing the Right Cosmetics and Hair Products

The cosmetics and hair products you use can also contribute to the development of acne. To prevent this, choose products labelled as non-comedogenic, which means they won’t clog your pores.

If you wear makeup, remove it before going to bed. Always!

Managing Stress and Anxiety

Stress and anxiety can also contribute to the development of many skin issues. To prevent this, try to manage your stress levels by practising relaxation techniques like deep breathing, yoga, or meditation. Also, get regular exercise, which can help reduce stress and improve your overall health.

Eating a Healthy Diet

Your diet can also play a role in developing pimples in your eyebrows. To prevent this, try to eat a healthy diet with plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and heart-healthy fat. Avoid eating too much sugar or processed foods.

Also, drink plenty of water to keep your skin hydrated and healthy.

Wear a broad spectrum SPF 30+ every day, with no exceptions.