An eyelash is that short curved hairs growing on the edges of your eyelids. An eyebrow is that short hairs covering bony ridge over your eye. Both serve to protect your eyes from dust and dirt particles. And the med term for their loss is madarosis.
As you age, the thickness and number of your eyelash and eyebrow hairs naturally decreases. However, there are some health conditions that will cause eyelash loss or eyebrow loss to occur, sometimes simultaneously.
Some of the causes of eyelash and/or eyebrow loss are:
- eyelid tumors
- allergic reaction
- vitamin A overdose
- fungal skin infections
- seborrheic dermatitis
- protein, iron deficiency
- toxicity ~ mercury, arsenic
- thyroid disease ~ hypothyroidism
- eating disorder ~ anorexia, bulimia
- hormones fluctuations, menopause
- eye, eyelid infection ~ blepharitis, trachoma
- drug side effect ~ chemo, antidepressant, anti-inflammatory, blood thinners
Drugs used to treat arthritis, depression, gout, heart problems, high cholesterol and hypertension occasionally cause eyelash loss and eyebrow loss. And vitiligo can do the same and cause premature graying of your eyelashes and eyebrows.
The basic treatment for eyelid and eyebrow losses is to discover and treat the underlying cause. Once treated, eyelashes and eyebrows will typically regrow, albeit it’ll likely take upwards of 6 months. In the meantime, using an eyebrow pencil, lining your upper eyelids with eye liner and wearing false eyelashes are the healthiest cosmetic solutions for the duration of your loss.