Don’t Dismiss Acne Between Your Eyebrows

Wondering what those pesky breakouts between your eyebrows could mean? You’re not alone. Acne in this area is common, but the causes behind it are often misunderstood.

Let’s explore the hidden meanings behind eyebrow acne and what you can do about it.

Common Causes of Acne Between the Eyebrows

There are a few key culprits that typically lead to breakouts between the brows:


Stress causes your body to produce excess cortisol and other hormones that can overstimulate oil glands on the skin. This leads to clogged pores, inflammation, and acne.

The area between the eyebrows tends to be sensitive to these hormonal fluctuations. As stress goes up, stubborn breakouts often follow.

Hormonal Imbalances

Hormonal acne along the brow line is common in adolescents and adults. Fluctuations in androgens and other hormones can rev up oil production and clog pores.

In women, hormone changes related to menstrual cycles or contraceptives can trigger monthly breakouts.

Using Makeup or Sunscreen

Cosmetics, skin creams, and sunscreens contain ingredients that can clog pores and lead to eyebrow acne. Using oil-based products or not removing makeup completely exacerbates the problem.

The area near eyebrows tends to collect residue easily. Diligent cleansing is key.

Understanding the Connection Between Stress and Eyebrow Breakouts

Let’s dive deeper into why stress often manifests as bothersome blemishes between the eyes.

Acne mechanica is a type of acne caused by excess pressure, friction, or repetitive contact with an area of skin. The furrowed brow expression associated with stress puts constant tension along the eyebrows, leading to breakouts.

Stress also triggers systemic changes, like:

  • Increased oil production
  • Hormonal fluctuations
  • Inflammation

These factors make the skin more prone to clogged pores, bacteria growth, and inflammation – the perfect recipe for acne brewing between the brows.

Ways to Reduce Stress-Related Breakouts

Managing stress through regular exercise, meditation, getting enough sleep, and relaxing hobbies can help minimize eyebrow acne flare-ups.

Using a gentle, non-comedogenic moisturizer free of pore-clogging ingredients can also prevent excessive oiliness and soothe irritation.

Seeking Emotional Support

Seeking counseling or joining a support group can also relieve emotional stress that manifests physically. Having a safe space to process challenging emotions can reduce clenched muscles and furrowed brows.

How Hormonal Imbalances Can Lead to Blemishes Between the Brows

Hormones like androgens, insulin, cortisol and others directly impact oil gland production and inflammation. When these hormones are out of balance, acne is a common side effect.

Underlying Causes of Hormonal Acne

Common triggers of hormone fluctuations include:

  • Puberty
  • Menstrual cycles
  • Pregnancy
  • Birth control pills
  • Thyroid disorders
  • PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome)
  • Stress

In these situations, androgen hormones are often elevated, revving up oil production and repetitive breakouts.

Testing for Imbalances

Getting blood work done to measure hormone levels can identify deficiencies or excesses contributing to acne. Your doctor may check levels of:

  • Estrogen
  • Progesterone
  • Testosterone
  • DHEA
  • Insulin

If imbalances are found, medications, supplements, or diet changes can help normalize levels and reduce related skin flare-ups.

Treatment Options

For women struggling with monthly breakouts, dermatologists may recommend birth control pills or medications like spironolactone to block androgen receptors in the skin and keep breakouts at bay.

Consistent use of medicated acne spot treatments with ingredients like salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide can also help dry out the stubborn blemishes that crop up along the brow.

The Link Between Diet and Eyebrow Acne

Emerging research shows a clear link between diet, blood sugar spikes, and acne. Foods that rapidly raise blood sugar levels increase inflammation and oil production – two key factors behind pesky pimples of all types.

Common Triggers

Foods most often linked to inflammatory, hormonal breakouts include:

  • Refined carbs: White bread, cereals, pasta, etc.
  • Sugar: Candy, soda, flavored yogurts, etc.
  • Dairy: Milk, cheese, yogurt, whey protein powder
  • Trans and saturated fats: Fast food, fried items, etc.

Tips to Improve Your Diet

Limiting your intake of acne-triggering foods and focusing on a nutrient-dense, anti-inflammatory diet centered around whole foods may help minimize breakouts between the brows. Helpful strategies include:

  • Choosing whole grain carbs instead of refined varieties
  • Eating more fruits and vegetables
  • Increasing healthy fats from olive oil, nuts and seeds
  • Staying hydrated with water and herbal tea

The Role of Probiotics

There also appears to be a gut-skin connection, where an imbalance of gut bacteria triggers inflammation that can lead to acne. Taking a daily probiotic supplement may help restore healthy bacteria ratios and reduce acne.

When to Seek Medical Advice for Persistent Breakouts Between the Eyes

While periodic acne along the brow line is common, long-lasting or severe cases may require medical support. See your dermatologist or doctor if you experience:

  • Painful, cystic breakouts that don’t respond to over-the-counter treatment
  • Acne accompanied by dark patches or scarring between the eyebrows
  • Breakouts along with irregular menstrual cycles or unwanted hair growth, which could signal a hormonal imbalance like PCOS

A skin specialist can help diagnose any underlying factors and craft a tailored treatment plan. Prescription-strength creams, antibiotics, or hormonal medications often clear up stubborn eyebrow acne when other measures fail.

Don’t be afraid to ask for second and third opinions if a treatment plan doesn’t make sense or work for you. Every dermatologist has a unique approach, and it takes patience to find what clicks.

Don’t lose hope if you’ve tried everything but still struggle with recurrent blemishes between your brows. With expert guidance, you can get to the bottom of what your eyebrow acne is trying to tell you and find real relief once and for all.