What You Need to Know About Latisse

 What You Need to Know About Latisse

If eyes are the window to our soul, what are eyelashes? Full and defined eyelashes are a natural beauty accessory that Latisse® can make even better.

What is Latisse®?

Latisse® is an FDA approved topical medication that can enhance the natural beauty of your eyelashes. The drug contained in Latisse®, bimatoprost, treats a common cosmetic condition called eyelashe hypotrichosis. Hypotrichosis is a blanket term for when your hair is inadequate in thickness and definition. When the condition affects hair on the upper eyelid, eyelashes are less than stellar. Hair is thinner, appearing wiry and sparse with larger gaps between follicles than is natural.

There are temporary solutions to this condition, such as makeup or extensions, but Latisse® is a much more effective eyelash length treatment. Even if you don’t have hypotrichosis, Latisse® is an excellent way to boost your eyelashes quickly and safely without the need for extensions.

How Does Latisse® Work?

Latisse® uses the drug bimatoprost, which until recently was primarily used to treat symptoms of glaucoma. In liquid form, eye drops containing bimatoprost relieve pressure in the eyes that can cause vision loss. Latisse® is applied nightly to the upper eyelid skin with a brush tool and promotes eyelash growth while also working to darken the lash, heightening contrast.

For full results, Latisse® should be applied once nightly for two months. With maintenance therapy, less frequent but well-timed use of Latisse® thereafter can keep your eyelashes fuller and longer. Latisse® is only used on upper lashes as application to lower lashes can cause hair growth outside of the treatment area.

Currently, Latisse® is commonly used as a cosmetic treatment, but for some people better eyelashes are necessary for keeping eyes healthy. The purpose of eyelashes is to protect the eye from foreign substances like dust, dirt, and other particulates. Eyelashes also work to trigger the eye’s response to close when coming into contact with objects, protecting your eyes from trauma. People with alopecia areata of the eyelids have shown some promising reactions to Latisse®, but further study is necessary to prove its validity as an alopecia treatment. People undergoing chemotherapy have fared better, and the drug can often help return eyelashes for people who lost them from the treatment.

The Potential Side Effects of Latisse®

Our eyes are sensitive, and as such, using any medication on or near the eyes should be approached cautiously. There are possible side effects from using Latisse®. These side effects become much more likely when using non-prescription treatments that promise improved eyelash growth. There are many different products available that allegedly treat and promote inadequate lashes, but these can be incredibly dangerous. A dermatologist should explore treatment options with you and know your medical history before prescribing Latisse®.

Even when prescribed and applied as recommended, side effects can occur, but most are temporary and subside when use is terminated. Common Latisse® side effects include itchy and red eyes, and for some people, eyelids can become darker in pigmentation. Each of these symptoms will go away with disuse of Latisse®.

One potentially permanent side effect is a darkened, brown spot forming in the colored part of your eye—the iris. While very uncommon, the results are permanent. This change does not impact your vision, however. If Latisse® is applied improperly, it can run down from the treatment area and cause unwanted hair growth. It’s important to follow your dermatologist’s recommendations for applying Latisse® and only using the recommended amount each night. If use of Latisse® is discontinued, eyelashes will usually return to their normal state.

You don’t need the daily fuss of expensive and time-consuming products to have healthy, beautiful eyelashes. If you want to explore the possibility of using Latisse®, reach out to your New England dermatologist today!

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