Causes of Pimples on Eyebrows and Best Treatments

The main problem with having a pimple anywhere on the face is that it’s a bit hard to conceal and this can be embarrassing. No need to fret, however, since pimples on the eyebrows can be treated. Pimples on the eyebrows affect both men and women and can either be painful or painless, depending on what caused them. These pimples either appear between, above, below or near the eyebrows. Most of these pimples are not painful unless they get infected.

Effects or signs

Pimples on the eyebrows will mostly clear on their own without medication. If left unchecked, however, they could cause these effects on your body:

  • Swollen eyelids
  • Hair loss on the eyebrows
  • Severe headaches
  • Low self-esteem
  • Bumps with pus on the eyebrows
  • Infected ingrown hairs


What causes pimples below the eyebrow, pimples above the eyebrow and pimples between the eyebrows:

Pimple on eyebrows - between eyebrows
Pimple on and between eyebrows

1. Threading eyebrows

This involves removing unwanted facial hair by using twisted cotton thread to pull out hair from its follicle. The process causes irritation and reddening of the skin that could last longer causing pimple like bumps to develop on the eyebrows.

2. Waxing

Waxing will help you get rid of unwanted hair on the brows but when done incorrectly, it can lead to breakouts. This is due to inflammation, irritation or bacterial infections that could be caused when waxing.

3. Piercing eyebrows

If not done correctly, piercing the eyebrow could cause breakouts. This is if the piercing is done with dirty tools or one fails to take good care of the pierced skin before healing. The wound could get infected causing irritation, pain, swelling or pus. Report to a doctor if you see any of these signs.

4. Allergic reactions

This occurs when your skin reacts to allergens that cause pimples and bumps to appear on the eyebrow.  They make your skin swollen, inflamed, red and with itchy pimples. Some of the pimples can be caused by a reaction to the following:

  • Allergic eczema that resembles a burn and makes the skin itchy, scaly and red with blisters that ooze.
  • Hives
  • An allergy to mosquito bites. The bite causes the lymph nodes to get inflamed. Painful lesions, bruises, and itching are also felt near the bit area.
  • Contact dermatitis. On the eyebrows, these can be caused by an allergic reaction to expired products, products that are sensitive to the skin or those that have harmful ingredients. The products block the skin pores leading to overproduction of sebum. It can also be due to an ingrown hair.
  • Premature aging
  • Deep rashes
  • Psoriasis

5. Problems with the liver

The reason why you keep getting pimples between your eyebrows can be linked to liver problems. This is according to traditional Chinese medicine and face mapping. The liver produces chemicals that aid in digestion, synthesis of proteins and detoxifying the system. It also flushes out waste derived from foods, drinks we consume and oxygen too.

If the liver is working too hard to filter out foods or drinks that are hard to digest like fatty, greasy foods or alcohol, then this shows up in form of acne between the eyebrows. The pimple between your eyebrow is due to the following:

  • Too much alcohol
  • Eating too much greasy and fatty foods
  • Eating late in the night
  • Consuming too much dairy, especially if your digestive system has trouble digesting it.
  • Stress
  • Excessive food consumption that leads to a toxic build up.
  • Not drinking enough water and exposing yourself to toxic environments.

6. Hormonal fluctuations

Eyebrow zits sometimes are caused by fluctuations of hormones in the body. For example, females may see them a week before the menstrual cycle. Eyebrow zits caused by hormonal changes appear deep, sensitive to touch and cystic.

7. Acne between eyebrows

Sometimes the pimples on the eyebrows are cystic acne. These are formed when oil ducts are blocked and rupture. This is usually common with those with oily skin. These are common during puberty but can sometimes be triggered by stress, improper diet or anxiety. Other cause of acne on the eyebrows could be due to using the wrong cosmetics like eyeshadows or foundations that are acnegenic.

Acne on the eyebrows presents itself in different forms, for example:

  • One can get many bumps between the eyebrows. This may or may not be filled with some fluids.
  • Small papules that can either be white or red. This is mostly in teenagers.
  • One very tender and painful pimple. This can be large, hard, tender or swollen. It’s mostly caused by ingrown hair caused by shaving, threading or waxing. Ingrown hair is when the hair grows beneath the skin and fails to penetrate the skin.

8. Thyroid problems

When the thyroid is overactive, it may cause bulging eyebrows, puffy eyelids, and pimples. An underactive thyroid, on the other hand, affects hair growth.

Pimples caused by thyroid problems can manifest in different forms:

  • Numerous bumps that can either be white or red on the eyebrows. They can have pus or not.
  • One single hard cystic pimple between the eyebrows. This is usually very painful and tender when touched.
  • Small red or white papules with a white center.


Pimples mostly become painful when they get a bacterial or fungal infection. Sometimes hair follicles trap sebum, pus, and dead skin cells when growing under the skin. This becomes a perfect breeding ground for bacteria.

You can get rid of a pimple between the eyebrow, under the eyebrow or above the eyebrow at home. You can do this by using a warm compress which helps to increase blood circulation around the area affected. When you do this, blood that contains infection-fighting white blood cells neutralizes the infection. This then speeds up the healing process and relieves pain.

To treating those caused by threading

  • Use hot water to numb the eyebrows
  • Avoid touching the eyebrows immediately after threading since the skin is sensitive.
  • Relieve irritation by using lukewarm water to wash your face then patting it dry with a clean towel. Apply petroleum jelly to the skin.
  • Use a cold compress of ice cubes. You can wrap the ice cubes in a towel. This will soothe the skin and reduce irritation and itching.

Treating them after waxing

  • apply an astringent to the waxed area to bring down inflammation.
  • use a hydrocortisone cream to reduce swelling and irritation as soon as the swelling or irritation appears.
  • Avoid touching the waxed area since these could spread bacteria.

Treating bumps due piercing

If an infection occurs to the pierced area, get the piercing removed by a professional. If you want to keep the piercing, make sure you do not touch the affected area with dirty hands. Minimize bumping your hand or brush onto the affected area.

To treat a pimple caused by piercing, mix a quarter tablespoon of sea salt with one glass of water and mix. Soak a cotton ball into the solution and hold it on the affected area for 15 minutes. Do not use Neosporin, alcohol, table salt, Epsom salt or peroxide to make the solution. This is because these products dry out the area and irritate the skin. Keep the area clean always and avoid laying on the side of the head with the piercing. If the infection gets pus, see a doctor for an antibiotic.

Other ways and remedies

exfoliate the area if is not infected.

Use a mild exfoliator like a sugar scrub, or a mild facial scrub. Work the scrub really good around the bump to loosen dead skin and any other debris on the pimple. Then rinse the scrub completely

remove ingrown hair if it’s causing the pimple.

This can be done by first finding out what side of the hair has become ingrown into the skin. Get rid of the hair gently by holding skin that surrounds the hair and then using a cotton swab to scrap in the opposite direction of hair growth.

Use tea tree oil or manuka honey.

Wash your face then apply either the manuka honey or the tea tree oil to the pimple in case the pimple is minor.

White toothpaste

Eyebrow pimples can be treated using white toothpaste. Apply it before bedtime and stay with it overnight. Wash the face in the morning.

Lemon juice

Lemon juice contains an antihistamine and antibacterial properties that help fight bacterial infections. Apply fresh lemon juice to the pimple before bedtime and let it sit overnight.

Honey and cinnamon facemask

Mix honey and cinnamon powder into a thick paste, then apply it overnight. Wash off the mixture in the morning.

Over the counter medication for eyebrow pimples

Use products that contain salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide to cure the pimples. Read instructions carefully before use.

Treating a swollen eyebrow pimple

Sometimes the pimple either between the eyebrows or the area surrounding the eyes will swell. This will then be accompanied by itching and irritation. The severity and treatment of the swelling will in most cases depend on the causes.

The swollen eyebrow pimple will form due to bacteria and dead skin cells around the hair follicle. Do not squeeze or pop the pimple as this could increase infection and allow it to spread to other areas of the eye, it could also cause scars.

If the pimples resulted from an injury caused by trauma to the area, one may need to do some suturing. If the cause is minor, then tropical treatments may be used. If symptoms persist after using over the counter products, visit a doctor to get the correct treatment.

Popping pimple on between eyebrows

Sandra Lee, a dermatologist famously known as Dr. Pimple Popper, has posted so many pimple popping videos that now everyone thinks it’s safe to do it. It’s not! She advocates for people willing to pop their pimples to use a warm compress and then wait for the pimple to get the head. If you are going to pop the pimple, use a tool

I actually use an extractor—a comedone extractor. The main thing I want to tell people about using it is, the way to least traumatize an area is to put pressure on it—you really want to rotate around because you’re trying to push all around as a coin. People tend to just push down and pull, and while you might see me pull away, I’m lifting it off the skin. Just give it a little wiggle.”

Once you have popped it, use a topical acne spot treatment with an antibiotic or benzoyl peroxide to treat it. Use something antibacterial on it then leave it alone. Avoid touching.

But I did say, don’t pop it. Katie Wright had to find out the hard way after she popped her pimple on her eyebrows. She squeezed what she thought was an inflamed zit and within an hour her face had swelled up. Turns out Katie’s pimple wasn’t a pimple at all, it was an infection caused by a dirty eyebrow pencil brush. The doctors said that it was as a result of Cellulitis, a staph infection version.

“…instead of having a head like Staph, it affects the deep cellular tissues with no main source to attack,” Katie said. “Since it was on my face, there was a huge risk of it spreading to my brain or my eyes causing me to go blind. Serious shit.”

Self-care ways to prevent them

  • Exfoliate skin before waxing and use mild cleansers for your face
  • Use fresh, clean, and antiseptic things when waxing or piercing eyebrows
  • Eat healthy and drink lots of water
  • Use only a small amount of products on your eyebrows to avoid clogging pores.
  • Manage stress and anxiety using exercise or yoga
  • Use clean contact lenses and glasses.



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