Pimples in the eyebrows are very peculiar. They aren’t very noticeable, which is good, but they can be painful! You may be wondering how they got there, to begin with. This blog post will explain the causes of pimples in the eyebrows and the best way to get rid of them.

pimples in eyebrows

What Causes Pimples On Eyebrows?

So, what exactly causes pimples in the eyebrows? While it seems like such an odd place to get them, their placement makes sense.

These factors can be the cause of pimples on eyebrows:

Excessive Oil

If you suffer from acne, one of the factors that attribute to this is excess sebum (oil) production. 1

This excess sebum is produced from the sebaceous glands in pores all over the skin – even under the eyebrows.

 Blockage of sebaceous glands and colonisation with Proionobacterium acnes leads to acne. 2

Even if it seems strange, a pimple in the eyebrow can be just as common of an occurance as a regular zit. Still, there are other things that can go into play to create a pimple on eyebrows.

Cosmetic Product Buildup

This should be a no-brainer! With brows becoming the focus of the face over the past few years, people are using a lot more cosmetic products in their brows.

Whether it is a brow pencil, brow pomade, brow wax, etc… these products sit in the eyebrows. If you combine it with oily skin, it can create a clogged environment that bacteria thrive in. As a result, an eyebrow pimple forms.

Keep in mind: if you aren’t effectively washing your face every night this can also be a problem. Not getting all the brow products out will also clog and irritate the pores, leading to pimples.

Don’t be afraid to really scrub your brows! Other cosmetic items like foundation, blush, eye makeup, or even the hair products you use can migrate and settle in the brows as well.

Another good point is to make sure you use brushes that have been washed and sanitized to prevent the spread of bacteria as well.

Ingrown Hairs

One last point: what you might think is a pimple in the eyebrow is actually an ingrown hair!

Pseudofolliculitis barbae, also known colloquially as “ingrown hairs” … is a common chronic inflammatory disorder occurring most often in regions of thick hair growth after shaving. 3

Our eyebrows are definitely something that we tend to pluck, wax, or shave. After shaving, the sharp shaved tip of the hair can coil back and essentially grow back into the skin. This creates a very painful red bump that can turn into a pustule, nodule, or even abscess occasionally.

This can make you think it is a pimple – but if you have recently shaved or plucked your eyebrows, that could be a cause.

Now that we know some causes, let’s jump right in to the important stuff. How do I get rid of pimples in eyebrows?

Pimple on Eyebrow Treatment

To get rid of pimples on eyebrows, using a spot acne treatment works just fine! Here are some specific products that are great for getting rid of pimples in the eyebrows.

A quick note: don’t use any acne treatment with benzoyl peroxide in it! This will bleach the brow hairs.


Start with a great cleanser that will wash away the dirt and grime that can cause pimples. Be sure to use one that isn’t harsh or drying on the skin, as this can further exacerbate acne problems.

The CeraVe Renewing SA Cleanser is a go-to to keep skin exfoliated, fresh, and free from breakouts. Wash away impurities and makeup from the brows while also going to town on any active pimples in the eyebrows.

As explained above, acne sufferers tend to have very oily skin. This Tula Keep It Clear Acne Foam Cleanser can help with oiliness. Not to mention the fact that probiotics are so helpful for acne! Check out this blog post I wrote about this subject.

Read More: The Best Probiotic Skincare For Acne + How It Works Like Magic

Acne Spot Treatments For Eyebrow Pimples

Having acne spot treatments on hand for pimples on eyebrows is always handy.

All of the items mentioned below have acne fighting ingredients that you can easily apply if a pimple in the eyebrow strikes.

How To Prevent Pimples In The Eyebrows

It is important to remember, popping pimples in eyebrows is a no-no! This can exacerbate the pimple cycle. If you pop a pimple, they can come back even more inflamed and stay around longer.

Read More: Pimple Keeps Coming Back After Popping? Here’s 4 Easy Fixes

If you find that you are suffering from pimples on your eyebrows, here are some tips from the American Academy of Dermatology Association to help prevent them.

1. Wash twice a day and after sweating.

2. Use your fingertips to apply a gentle, non-abrasive cleanser.

3. Be gentle with your skin.

4. Scrubbing your skin can make acne worse.

5. Rinse with lukewarm water.

6. Shampoo regularly.

7. Let your skin heal naturally. 

8. Keep your hands off your face.

9. Stay out of the sun and tanning beds. 


Don’t forget: if you use makeup brushes be sure they are regularly cleaned and sanitized.

If you pluck, wax, or shave your eyebrows, be sure to also sanitize tweezers/razors before and after using. Also try to exfoliate the skin BEFORE these treatments, not after.

In doing so, you can avoid causing those pesky ingrown hairs.

To sum it up, pimples in the eyebrows are actually pretty common! I hope these tips and tricks help you the next time you happen to get one!

Best, Mia


  1. Makrantonaki, Evgenia et al. “An update on the role of the sebaceous gland in the pathogenesis of acne.” Dermato-endocrinology vol. 3,1 (2011): 41-9. doi:10.4161/derm.3.1.13900
  2. Ayer, J, and N Burrows. “Acne: more than skin deep.” Postgraduate medical journal vol. 82,970 (2006): 500-6. doi:10.1136/pgmj.2006.045377
  3. Ladizinski, Barry et al. “Pseudofolliculitis barbae: a dermatoscopic correlate.” Dermatology practical & conceptual vol. 3,2 53-4. 30 Apr. 2013, doi:10.5826/dpc.0302a07

This content is for informational purposes only, and what has worked for me personally based on my own opinions. I am not a professional/medical doctor, and you should always consult your doctor or dermatologist on what will work best for you. The information presented here is not legitimate, official advice from a professional. If you choose to rely on any information from this blog, you do so at your own risk. Please refer to the “Blog Disclaimer” tab in the menu bar to read more information and the official disclaimer statement.

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