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Sep 26, 2016
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Have you ever noticed small, white flakes on your eyebrows? You're not mistaken; it's dandruff. Medically known as seborrheic dermatitis, the skin condition is often caused by decreased immune defense of the skin and increased oil production.

"Affected areas are itchy and may sometimes have a burning sensation. This skin disease waxes and wanes," says Dr. Joanne Rebullida-Captuero, dermatologist at Aesthetics 101 Dermatology Clinic in Quezon City. "It is commonly aggravated by changes in humidity or weather, scratching, emotional stress, and depressed immune system."

According to Dr. Rebullida-Captuero, people who have eyebrow dandruff also usually suffer from scalp dandruff, as they are caused by the same reason. If left untreated, it could worsen.

"It may spread onto the forehead, around the ears, nape and face, sides of the nose, mouth and even the chin," she warns.

Work on getting rid of those pesky, white flakes as soon as you notice them to avoid further complications. Shampoos, creams, lotions that contain mild steroids, anti-fungal, immune modulators, or a combination of these treat stubborn eyebrow dandruff. They moisturize the dry skin behind brows to prevent flaking.

There are also few home remedies that actually work. Among the recommendations of Dr. Rebullida-Captuero are:

1) Wash skin regularly using mild soap and rinse it very well
2) Avoid products that contain alcohol because this might irritate your skin more
3) Avoid scratching because it could aggravate the situation
4) Use mineral oil, olive oil, or coconut oil and leave it on the affected area for one hour or so, then brush it using a clean comb and wash it thoroughly
5) Take fish oil supplements to help improve seborrheic dermatitis
6) Use aloe vera cream twice a day for four to six weeks to reduce scales and itching of the skin

It is important that you see a board-certified dermatologist once the above measures don't work as it may be a more serious skin condition. The doctor can help determine the cause and prescribe the right treatment.

"Oral medications such as capsules or tablets maybe given to patients that have more extensive seborrheic dermatitis or may have very stubborn dermatitis that doesn't go away with the regular topical or cream treatments," the dermatologist explains.

Seborrheic dermatitis is a long term skin condition and repeated treatments maybe needed before the symptoms go away. Don't be surprised if after few months the eyebrow dandruff is back because it is the natural course of the disease.

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For more on this or other skin concern, visit Dr. Joanne Rebullida-Caputero, MD, FPDS at Aesthetics 101 Dermatology Clinic in 1152 E. Rodriguez, Sr Avenue, New Manila, Quezon City.

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