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Want longer, darker eyelashes?

With age, most men lose their hair.  This doesn’t happen to many women, but most women do notice that their eyelashes become ever shorter, thinner, and lighter.

Everyone knows about Rogaine for men (which women can also use for hair loss), but not many people know that there is a great product for eyelashes called Latisse.  Latisse is a topical medicine that you apply every day to the eyelid skin along the base of the eyelashes.  After about 16 weeks, there is a near doubling of eyelash length.  The eyelashes also become thicker and usually become darker as well.  So, you really can grow longer eyelashes and it honestly does not take a lot of work.

Does Latisse REALLY work?

I think that claims for most cosmetic products are wildly exaggerated.  I’m also not easily impressed.  With Latisse, I can say that for most women, the results are very prominent.  What I think is most notable though is that Latisse was found by accident.  The medicine was originally developed as a glaucoma medicine and after awhile many patients were noting that after putting the medicine into their eyes for awhile they were also getting great eyelashes.

The medicine was then reformulated to make Latisse.  The main difference is that it is optimized to apply it to the skin where the eyelashes grow.  This makes it more effective and reduces side effects.

 Side Effects of Latisse

There are a few:

  1. about 4% of patients develop irritation at the application site.  This is temporary and ought to go away when you stop using the product
  2. In some patients the skin becomes darker at the application site.  This is technically a side effect, but many women don’t care about this because its a bit like having dark eyeliner on and tends to make the eyes look better.
  3. It can cause hair growth if applied to other areas of the body.  The manufacturer is probably looking at making this into a product for hairloss because of this side effect.  Some women also use the medicine on their eyebrows, which is an off-label use of the medicine.
  4. When the active ingredient, bimatoprost, is put directly into the eye for glaucoma treatment, a very small number of patients developed darkening of their eye, meaning that people with light brown eyes sometimes notice their eyes getting darker.  The FDA requires warning patients about this for Latisse because it is the same medicine, but iris darkening has not actually been reported for Latisse.  As long as the medicine does not enter the eye, this side effect should not occur.

How long does it take to work?

Great eyelashes don’t grow overnight.  The maximum improvement is seen after 16 weeks.  My wife started seeing a big change after about 8 weeks.

What happens if I stop using Latisse?

Eventually the eyelashes will go back to their natural state.  This shouldn’t occur overnight, but with time it will.  So yes, if you stop using Latisse, you will eventually lose the improvement you have seen in your eyelashes.

How do I get it?

Latisse is available by prescription, so an appointment is needed for a quick, initial evaluation.  It is also not covered by insurance, so the medicine will be an out of pocket expense.

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