Eyelashes are more important than we might think. These short hairs that jut from our eyelids actually protect our eyes from debris, namely dust and dirt. That said, eyelashes are most commonly associated with beauty. Those with lashes that are thin, extremely short, or missing suffer from a condition called hypotrichosis and might feel self-conscious about their appearance. There are a number of reasons an individual might have frail or missing lashes, including genetics, diseases that cause hair loss like alopecia areata, or hair-loss inducing treatments like chemotherapy. Whatever the reason, if you want thicker, bolder eyelashes, Latisse© might be right for you. But what is Latisse, and how can it thicken your eyelashes?
Latisse is the branded name for a variation of the FDA-approved drug called bimatoprost (or Lumigan), which was originally manufactured to treat glaucoma and other forms of eye pressure. Doctors after discovered that bimatoprost yielded a side effect that encouraged hair growth in some patients, specifically in the eyelashes. So, the drug was eventually also marketed as an eyelash hair growth solution and labeled Latisse. Latisse must be prescribed to patients and cannot be purchased over the counter. The drug is self-administered in the form of an eye drop.
Like so many phenomena in medical science, the actual mechanics behind how and why Latisse works remain elusive. As of now, doctors and scientists can only point to the results and confidently say that Latisse can indeed produce thicker, longer eyelashes, and more of them. This may have to do with the properties of bimatoprost, Latisse’s active ingredient, which are fatty and help remove excess aqueous humor in the eye. Perhaps by relieving this pressure, eyelashes can enjoy a longer growth period, and many patients will see the growth of more eyelash hairs than before.
Of course, this explanation is still speculative. However Latisse works, though, there’s no denying that it can give patients thicker lashes gradually over the course of several months with proper administration.
The question remains, though: Just how effective is Latisse at growing, thickening, and lengthening eyelashes? The answer will vary from patient to patient, of course. For the most part, though, Latisse takes its time to start working, and patients must stay on top of their treatment schedule to get the best results. The average patient might not notice a difference in their eyelashes until three to four weeks after beginning Latisse eyelash growth treatment. A full treatment cycle lasts about 16 weeks (or four months). Allergan, Inc., the company that manufactures Latisse, ran clinical trials that found after these 16 weeks average eyelash length increased by 25%, thickness increased by 106%, and darkness went up by 18%.
Proper application is key. Latisse should be applied only directly to the upper eyelid, not the lower. The medication should be taken every day and will continue working as long as it’s taken. Once treatment ends, the patient’s eyelashes will gradually go back to the way they were before receiving the Latisse eyelash treatment.
If you’re willing to wait a little while for longer lashes, Latisse is currently the best option on the market. Of course, like any other medication, Latisse has its share of potential side effects and warnings, including red, itchy eyes, darkened eyelids, hair growth in other areas, dry eyes, iris pigmentation, and more. That’s why you should speak with your dermatologist or doctor before deciding if Latisse is right for you.
At Premier Dermatology, our team of cosmetic, medical, and surgical dermatologists aim to provide patients with the knowledge and treatment options to help them achieve healthier skin and boost their confidence. To learn more about our providers and all the services we offer, contact us today.