Thinning Eyebrows – Can Minoxidil Treat This Condition?
Hair loss is most often thought of as hair that is lost on the scalp, and this can result in a look that is thinning or balding on the head of a person. This is not the only area of the head where hair loss can occur as a loss of hair can also happen in the eyebrows which gives a sparse appearance to this area of the body. Let’s take a look at why eyebrow hair can be lost and if minoxidil can address the condition.
Thinning Eyebrows – Why They Happen
There are multiple reasons why hair in the eyebrows can start to experience hair loss and they include both medical issues and lifestyle choices. Some of the most common eyebrow hair loss causes include over-plucking the eyebrows, alopecia areata, deficiencies in the daily nutrition of a person, and hormonal imbalances. The actual cause of the hair loss in the eyebrows will be determined by a board-certified doctor during a consultation appointment. The doctor should be experienced in identifying hair loss conditions and treating the issue and these medical professionals include hair restoration specialists and dermatologists.
Minoxidil – Can it Be Used on the Eyebrows?
When it comes to treating hair loss in the eyebrows, as well as on the scalp, many patients turn to minoxidil as it is an FDA-approved treatment for thinning hair.
Minoxidil is also known by the brand name, Rogaine, and it was first developed as an oral medication to treat blood pressure. However, it was also discovered that the medication had the unexpected side effect of being able to stimulate the growth of hair. It should be noted that, even though minoxidil has been in use for many decades, the exact mechanism of the action for the medication is still not understood fully by the medical community. There is a school of thought that says, because minoxidil is a vasodilator, it is able to widen blood vessels which can help increase the flow of blood in the treated area. In other words, when minoxidil is topically applied to the scalp of a patient, it might increase the amount of blood flow to the hair follicles which helps them to enjoy a greater amount of oxygen and nutrients.
While minoxidil is approved by the FDA for use on the scalp, it is not approved for use on the eyebrows due to concerns that it might possibly cause some damage to the eyes. Having said that, can it also be used on the eyebrows of a patient? The answer is “Yes” but it needs to be used for this purpose under the professional guidance of an experienced and board-certified doctor. The doctor in question needs to have examined the scalp and learned about the medical history of the patient before making the decision to use minoxidil to treat the eyebrow hair loss condition of the patient.
Thinning Eyebrows – What Results Will Minoxidil Provide?
The extent of the results is often determined by the extent of the hair loss in the eyebrows. There are some patients who have enjoyed an improvement in the density of their eyebrow hair along with a greater amount of time in the hair growth phase (anagen). If the patient wants to enjoy eyebrows that are fuller as well as an increased number of hairs in the eyebrows, minoxidil might be the right choice for that person.
The results provided by minoxidil are not permanent which means the patient will need to be committed to using the medication on a regular basis to maintain the results. If the person decides to stop using minoxidil on a consistent basis, the results will eventually disappear, and the appearance of the eyebrows will return to their pre-treatment appearance.
A person who decides to use minoxidil on the eyebrows should not expect to see instant results as it can take several months for results to start to show in the eyebrows.
Thinning Eyebrows – Minoxidil Research Results
Back in 2021, the results from a study on the use of minoxidil on thinning eyebrows was reported by the Japanese Dermatologists Association in Dermatology and Therapy. During the study, forty-two volunteers took part in a medical investigation of the use of Rogaine to grow eyebrow hair.
The research team applied 2% minoxidil on one side of the eyebrow and a placebo on the other side. This research method was performed for a period of sixteen weeks. The results showed a significant amount of eyebrow hair growth and thickness in ninety-eight percent of the study volunteers while the other study volunteers were unaffected by the use of Rogaine on the eyebrows.
Thinning Eyebrows – Possible Risks of Topical Minoxidil
Anyone who is interested in the use of minoxidil on the eyebrows needs to know that some of the potential side effects include itchiness, burning, and irritation in the area treated by the medication. These possible risks mean the patient needs to be careful and precisely apply the medication to the eyebrows, so it is not accidentally placed on the eyes or even cause hair growth in an area like the eyelids where it is not intended to be placed by the person using minoxidil to treat thinning eyebrow hair.