Inadequate lashes (Latisse)

The first and only FDA-approved treatment that grows lashes longer, fuller, and darker.

Some people have naturally short, thin eyelashes. It’s one of those physical characteristics that’s just programmed into their genes. If you’re one of those people, Latisse can help you have longer, darker, thicker eyelashes—and within four months.

How Does It Work?

Latisse was discovered by accident in 2001. Physicians noticed that a medicated eye drop used to treat ocular hypertension (a condition in which the pressure within the eye is too high) also made patients’ eyelashes grow. After considerable research and study, scientists determined that an ingredient in the medication was extending the growth (anagen) phase of the eyelash’s hair cycle. From that discovery came the development of Latisse, which received the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval for eyelash use in 2008.

How Is It Applied?

Latisse is available by prescription. Before you apply it, you must wash all makeup from your face and remove any contact lenses. Using a special sterile and non-reusable applicator, you then dab Latisse onto the skin along your upper eyelashes. The medication will automatically spread to your lower eyelashes when you blink.

It’s important not to apply the medication more than once a day, and you should never apply it directly to your lower eyelids.

Good results require using Latisse daily for 16 weeks. At the end of that period, you can discuss with your physician whether to continue with the treatment.  If you decide to continue, your physician may recommend a maintenance treatment schedule of every other day.

When Can I Expect Results—and How Long Will They Last?

You’ll notice changes in your eyelashes’ length first, followed by their thickening and darkening.  These changes usually become apparent by the fourth week of daily use, but full results are most visible at 16 weeks.

In a clinical trial conducted by Latisse’s manufacturer (Allergan), the medication was found to be 78 percent effective in lengthening and thickening eyelashes among the 278 men and women (aged 22-78) who were studied. Eyelash length increased by 25 percent, thickness by 106 percent, and darkness by 18 percent.

Latisse’s effects will gradually wear off after you stop using it.

Are There Side Effects?

Latisse has been shown in studies to be well tolerated. The most common side effects are itching and eye redness, but even those occur in only about 4 percent of patients, according to manufacturer studies. Less common side effects include eye irritation and dryness, redness of the eyelids, and darkening of the skin at application sites. A darkening (browning) of the eyes is also a rare side effect. Disuse of the medication can reverse the skin darkening, but any darkening of the eyes may be permanent.

Am I a Good Candidate?

Almost everybody can use Latisse, but you’ll want to talk first with your physician, of course. Individuals with certain eye conditions should avoid its use—as should women who are pregnant or nursing. Your doctor will review your medical history with you to see if you’re a good candidate for this treatment. Be sure to consult with an experienced physician.

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