Clients With Unexplained Loss of Outer Eyebrow Hair

by Andrea Darby - Master Medical Tattooist & Industry Educator
Hypothyroid Eyebrow

Occasionally you may encounter a middle aged client who presents for Cosmetic Tattooing with almost complete loss of hair in their outer eyebrows (often the outer 1/3). If there appears to be no obvious reason for the loss of hair (e.g. over plucking or injury) then consider the possibility that the client may be suffering from a thyroid condition in particular a hypothyroid disorder (under production of the thyroid gland).

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The thyroid gland lies in the neck just below the Adam's apple and it has important role in metabolism by regulating how quickly the body burns energy, if the body's immune system begins to function abnormally and attacks the thyroid gland this may result in a hypothyroid autoimmune disorder sometimes called Hashimoto's Thyroiditis.

Other symptoms the sufferer of Hashimoto's Thyroiditis might have are; weight gain, depression, sensitivity to cold, fatigue, fast or slow heart rates, constipation, cramps, dry skin etc.

Click Here to read more about Hashimoto's Thyroiditis symptoms.


Thyroid Gland In Neck

There are other causes of Hypothyroidism that may also cause loss of eyebrow hair such as Iodine deficiency, insufficiency of the Adrenal glands, stress, and hypothyroidism secondary to other types of autoimmune conditions.

Question: What does this have to do with Cosmetic Tattooing?

Answer: After early correct diagnosis and medical treatment it is possible that some or all of the sufferer’s signs and symptoms may resolve including in some instances the regrowth of lost eyebrow hair.

  • If a client/patient requested eyebrow tattooing and they had unexplained loss of their outer eyebrow hair together with some of the more common symptoms of hypothyroidism it would raise the obvious question; have they discussed their symptoms with their doctor?
  • In most circumstances Cosmetic Tattooists are not health professionals and naturally do not have the role or responsibility of being diagnosticians, but if a client has a condition that may resolve with medical treatment then it is prudent to explore that possibility before undergoing eyebrow tattooing.
  • In this type instance a Cosmetic Tattooist would need to make an ethical decision whether to provide the eyebrow tattooing service or to refer the client/patient to their doctor for evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment (if their doctor felt it was indicated). Of course the client could always return for eyebrow tattooing after review by their doctor when they are in a position to make an informed choice about their situation and the likely outcomes from any treatment that was prescribed.

Our preferred choice would be to refer the client to their doctor for an assessment before providing the eyebrow tattooing.

What would you do?

This article was originally published as part of our CT-AIVEP student update program.

Date of most recent revision: 02/01/2013
Original publication date: 06/06/2010

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