What else can I do and take to help with eyebrow hair growth?
November 20, 2012 11:38 AM   Subscribe

I have adult onset psoriasis. My eyebrows have been thinning because of it and small bald spots in my brow are becoming more and more visible. I have been using T-Gel to prevent it, applying castor oil at night to see if it helps my eyebrow hair grow back, and not tweezing. What else can I do and take to help with eyebrow hair growth?
posted by anonymous to Health & Fitness (15 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
You need to go to a dermatologist and have this taken care of with all of the expensive creams, unguents and gels.

Psoriasis is an auto-immune disease and you can't ignore it or throw some tar at it and hope that it goes away.

As for the eyebrow cosmetic aspect of things. I use a brow brush. Looks very nice, even if I inadvertantly wax off half an eyebrow.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 11:52 AM on November 20, 2012 [1 favorite]

Biotin supplements (5000 mcg) and Revitalash applied once daily have nicely filled out my once-patchy brows. Took about three weeks to start seeing results.
posted by ladybird at 11:52 AM on November 20, 2012

Nthing the visit to the dermatologist. You might also try Emu oil for the eyebrow loss.

Also, just a fyi, biotin supplements can cause cystic acne in those who are susceptible!

(i learned this the hard way)
posted by skye.dancer at 11:59 AM on November 20, 2012

There are prescription eyelash growth topical treatments that also work on eyebrows - like Latisse. Visit a dermatologist.

You may also be interested in eyebrow powder or pencil - done right, it can look very natural.
posted by insectosaurus at 12:18 PM on November 20, 2012 [1 favorite]

Are you getting sun? Direct sunlight on the skin without sunblock often helps psoriasis.
posted by parrot_person at 12:21 PM on November 20, 2012

Steroid cream, stat.
posted by thelastcamel at 1:01 PM on November 20, 2012

Revitalash is expensive. Careprost is the same thing (bimatoprost opthamalic solution) but 1/10th the price.
posted by zoomorphic at 1:09 PM on November 20, 2012 [1 favorite]

You can actually put Latisse on your eyebrows. It's expensive and I have found it to work if you apply every other day and once a day rather than twice every day.

What do you do for your skin at night? Your evening regimen could make a big difference. Exfoliate once every two days and apply something that will moisturize heavily at night.
posted by Yellow at 1:13 PM on November 20, 2012 [1 favorite]

I have alopecia universalis (a related autoimmune condition) with some associated psoriasis. You should see a dermatologist to get a proper treatment recommendation, but when my alopecia was still at the areata stage (that is just losing small patches of hair), topical corticosteroid creams did help somewhat to regrow the hair (they may also help with the psoriasis). Over-the-counter hydrocortisone creams are good, but a dermatologist can prescribe stronger preparations which may be more effective (and also advise you on potential side effects).
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 1:31 PM on November 20, 2012 [1 favorite]

Dermatologist. There's a lot of talk on the internets about difficulty in treating psoriasis that may be justified but is also very demoralizing. You could be someone who has good luck with the very first topical treatment prescribed -- I've seen it happen, and it only took one visit to the dermatologist (so the costs weren't too outrageous, even without insurance.)

It'll probably take long enough to get your appointment scheduled that you'll have time to save the money for it (ask up front what an office visit will cost).
posted by asperity at 1:32 PM on November 20, 2012

nthing the eyebrow pencil in the meantime -- A cheap Cover Girl pencil with a smudger at the end, just to shade in the skin where your brow should be, the skin that stands out in contrast -- practice a little to tone down the contrast between your brow and the missing hairs. Once you get the knack, no one will be able to tell you 'helped' them.
posted by MeiraV at 2:39 PM on November 20, 2012

I have adult-onset scalp psoriasis. Washing my hair with a generic clobetasol (steroid) shampoo twice a week works like a charm. Doesn't even itch anymore.
posted by Afroblanco at 5:03 PM on November 20, 2012

this is going to be controversial, but... I include it as an FYI to the hive mind.

i was diagnosed with psoriasis a while ago. i had a bunch of it. what i actually did to cure myself was to fast for 30 days. i had nothing but water for 30 days. after that the psoriasis was gone. fasting apparently suppresses your immune system and it's an ancient/biblical style cure for autoimmune conditions. some people have also had luck with fasting for rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune conditions, etc. it sucked but i have been psoriasis free now for 2 years.

BUT, most people are not total freaks like I am who like to experiment on their bodies, so i can share what i learned at the doctor's office and through my own research. IANYD, you should go see a doctor.

yes, corticosteroids work great, but you can't use them on very large parts of your body or for a long time. they can thin the skin and cause rebound flare ups. it really depends on your specific case. so depending how much psoriasis you have, here are some other options.

you can take biologic immunosuppresants (enbrel, etc.). they're super expensive and kind of dangerous. probably best for people who have psoriasis over most of their body.

for large patches, eg elbows, an old (1950's) cure is the topical chemotherapy agent fluorouracil (5FU). this drug kills rapidly dividing cells as all chemo agents do. it targets psoriatic cells. you can't use it on eyebrows b/c it will make your eyebrow hair fall out. however if you have any annoying patches on your limbs, it might be worth a try there. there are a bunch of published studies on this, but it has since fallen out of favor for various reasons. the main reason it's fallen out of favor is that people want fast treatments, and corticosteroids will make your psoriasis go away fast, whereas you have to apply 5FU regularly for months and will have irritated skill throughout. however -- corticosteroids are not permanent solutions, while 5FU can work for a very long time or even be permanent. so show the studies. another issue with 5FU is that some people have deadly toxicity with it, and you should have a bunch of testing done first from a doc who is experienced with it.

if that is too wacky for you, then there are a bunch of non steroidal topical agents that have some some effectiveness similar to corticosteroids in studies. Tacrolimus and pimecrolimus (tacrolimus is the one I got) are topical immunosuppressants. They work especially well with a strong retinoid like tazarotene to help absorption. Like 5FU, tacrolimus and tazarotene will take a long time, on the order of weeks or months, to work. However they are longer term solutions than corticosteroids. Topical corticosteroids will thin the daylights out of your skin with long term use. If you don't like the corticosteroids or are getting rebound flare ups, I'd suggest trying tazarotene + tacrolimus. It might work on your eyebrow but you have to be careful of your eyes. You can also add topical cyclosporine or injected cyclosporine. That is another immunosuppresant that can act locally, and can be used in combination with the above.

Lastly there have been good reports of taking a bunch of vitamin D (which is an immunomodulator) and advil regularly.

If the creams are too expensive, you can buy all of the things I mentioned at alldaychemist.com from India for pretty inexpensive. You can also get your careprost there which can help with eyebrow hair regrowth.

IANYD! As the others have said, go see one who specializes in psoriasis.
posted by kellybird at 5:49 PM on November 20, 2012 [3 favorites]

My husband switched from TGel to TSal at the dermatologist's recommendation, and it's worked like a charm. TSal is over the counter, right next to TGel. Doctor also told him to leave it on his scalp/eyebrows for five minutes before washing it off. Good luck!
posted by summerstorm at 9:09 PM on November 20, 2012

I'm not sure if this might aggravate your condition, but as far as encouraging growth goes, you could try stimulating the hairless areas. My eyebrow lady suggested this for me to fix the sins of a particular waxer who had rendered me rather lopsided. Take a clean, new mascara brush (like the disposable ones makeup artists use) and lightly massage your brow area every day for a few minutes. I can't say it's a miracle cure, but it has at least accelerated the re-growth process for me.
posted by Mrs. Rattery at 4:15 AM on November 21, 2012

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