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Latisse - For Eyelash Growth
What woman alive doesn’t wish for thick, long, dark, luxurious eyelashes? Lashes frame the eye, accentuating color and clarity, and . . . after all . . . the eyes are the windows to the soul . . . and, those windows should be surrounded by beautiful frames.
Up until just a few years ago, there was really not much to be done if lashes thinned or lightened – something that eventually happens to everyone with age. However, even worse than getting older, are those poor souls who develop hypotrichosis – the technical term for thin, short lashes – earlier in their lives.
Products to cosmetically overcome this problem abound, from two-step lash building mascaras, to false eyelashes, to individual clumps of artificial lashes glued to the eyelid. All of these promise the illusion of darker, longer, thicker lashes, but, alas, all methods are temporary, and to maintain the illusion, must be re-applied daily.
History of Latisse for Eyelash Growth
Like so many great things, Latisse for eyelash growth was discovered quite accidentally, as a side-effect of a glaucoma medication: Bimatopros is a prostamide, marketed as Lumigan by Allergan in the US and Canada. It has been used by over eleven million patients world-wide since its inception. These once-daily eye drops are used to reduce the progression of glaucoma by increasing the outflow of aqueous fluid from the eyes, thereby reducing the intraocular pressure of the eye. It was approved by the FDA in 2001, and numerous research studies since that time have proven it to be a very effective drug for the treatment of glaucoma.
However, it didn’t take very long for patients using Bimatopros to reduce intraocular pressure to start reporting an increase in the thickness, and length of their eyelashes, as well as a darkening of lash color, after only a few months of using the drops.
These reports prompted more research to determine if this drug would be a likely candidate for approval by the FDA as a cosmetic treatment specifically to increase eyelash growth. After a number of research studies, approval was given in 2009. The resultant cosmetic formulation is marketed as Latisse, and is applied to the upper eyelids with a sterile applicator once a day, before bed. Users report noticeable lash growth within 3-4 weeks, reaching a maximum level in 16 weeks. Studies reported that there was a 25% increase in the lash length; a 106% increase in lash thickness; and, an 18% increase in darkened lash color. For graphic examples, there are some startling before and after photos to be found on the internet demonstrating the dramatic results achieved by those who use Latisse.
Do note, however, that these effects cease upon discontinuing use of the product.
How to Obtain Latisse for Eyelash Growth
Latisse requires a prescription for purchase, or at least, that’s the way it’s supposed to work. However, it is apparently readily available without a visit to the doctor’s office or a written prescription. Where? On web sites (the largest source), at spas and facial salons, at health clubs and fitness centers, and in some states, at the front desk of your plastic surgeon’s office – with or without ever having been examined by a physician.
The best argument against obtaining Latisse without a prescription is that contraindicating conditions in your medical history could preclude using Latisse for eyelash growth. These include pregnancy, existing skin infections of the upper eyelids, some heart medications or antibiotics, and severe allergies. Seeing your physician is the only sure way to guarantee that you can safely use Latisse as regards these conditions, and this is the best reason not to get your Latisse from your health club, facial consultant, or anonymous web site.
How Much are Those New Lush Lashes Going to Cost?
Latisse for eyelash growth is not inexpensive by anyone’s standards. Average cost of a month’s supply of this drug is $120 – though on line it, and products that claim to be the same thing, can be found, ranging from $89 to $150 per month. Then take into consideration that in order to maintain desired results, Latisse must be applied on a regular basis for the rest of your life. There are reports that some customers have been able to cut this to three times a week without an appreciable decline in results, but the manufacturer’s recommendation is for use at least every other day. Since Latisse is considered a drug for cosmetic use, the cost is not covered by insurance.
What are the Possible Dangers Associated with Latisse?
Even when only approved for glaucoma treatment, there were some side effects reported that would be considered undesirable, such as reddening of the eyes, itching, burning, and general irritation, which after a short period of time could facilitate bacterial eye infections. Blurred vision has also been reported. Additionally, the previously mentioned contraindications to use should be taken into consideration before deciding to use Latisse.
More side effects have emerged as using Latisse for cosmetic purposes has increased, and although those noted above are the most common, there are some more alarming reactions that can occur.
Most common is a darkening of the pigmentation of the upper and lower eyelids. This appears as a purplish discoloration in these areas, and is possibly permanent. One woman reported such a discoloration on her upper lids, but was not concerned because it looked more like eye shadow than anything else. She did get worried when it appeared as darkened areas under her lower eyelids. This type of discoloration may or may not fade with discontinuation of the product and passage of time.
Another possible side effect is the potential for darkening or browning of the iris of the eye – it could, in fact turn your blue or green eyes brown, and this change is deemed likely permanent.” Couple this with the reddened, bloodshot appearance of the whites of the eyes, and this becomes a pretty grim prospect. Possible unwanted hair growth has been noticed in customers who have been a little careless in applying the product, and have gotten it on their skin. In fact, as part of the product information, the customer is advised to blot off any unwanted liquid from areas other than the upper eyelid.
Is Latisse for Eyelash Growth Right for You?
First and foremost, don’t forget that Latisse is a drug for cosmetic use that technically requires a physician’s prescription to obtain. It is not just another cosmetic product sold over the counter. In 2009, total sales of Latisse came to $73.3 million, and reached $140 million in 2010. Future sales are anticipated to reach over $500 million per year. There are risks involved, but over 11 million customers and scientific studies indicate that the occurrence of side effects is rare.
Take into consideration that, like any drug, there are some people who will not be able to use Latisse for eyelash growth due to pre-existing conditions, medication use, or allergies. This only emphasizes the need to consult a physician before using Latisse.
Next, carefully consider the possible unwanted side effects that could occur, weighing them against the benefits. If a person has brown eyes, they might not care if they get a little browner, but if someone has a unique eye color– for instance Elizabeth Taylor’s violet eyes – the risk of color change may be too great, no matter how slight it may be.
Latisse for eyelash growth offers amazingly lush, thick, dark lashes, and has been deemed quite safe for use for this cosmetic purpose by the FDA. The choice to use it or not should be carefully considered based on all of the facts available as well as whether it is affordable in the long term.