Eyelash Growth Treatments Can Work, But Are They Safe?


Brooke Shields is probably better known these days for her new eyelashes than The Blue Lagoon, or her two-year marriage to tennis icon Andre Aggasi. While the average woman many not be able to have her high cheekbones, long, thick eyelashes seem to be available to almost anyone. Numerous brands, such as Latisse, Revitalash and Lumigan, are now on the market. But are they really safe?

Latisse is FDA-approved for growing lashes, Lumigan is FDA-approved for glaucoma but not cosmetic use and Revitalash is not FDA-approved. Latisse and Lumigan contain bimatoprost, a drug used to lower intraocular pressure, and used for patients who have glaucoma. When patients using the drug began to develop long, dark eyelashes, marketing took a turn to the cosmetic industry.

The Lumigan patient information sheet states that between 3 and 4 percent of users experience itching, irritation, or redness or darkening of the skin where used. It also states:

  • LUMIGAN® ophthalmic solution has been reported to cause changes to pigmented tissues. These reports include increased pigmentation and growth of eyelashes and increased pigmentation of the iris and periorbital tissue (eyelid). These changes may be permanent.
  • LUMIGAN® may gradually change eye color, increasing the amount of brown pigment by increasing the number of melanosomes (pigment granules) in melanocytes. The long-term effects on the melanocytes and the consequences of potential injury to the melanocytes and/or deposition ol pigment granules to other areas of the eye are currently unknown.

Well that’s comforting. In addition, hair growth can occur in unwanted areas.

Dr. Shawn Allen, a Boulder, Colorado Dermatologist, commented that -¦because it was designed to lower the pressure in the eye, certain patients may experience complications so it is important that you use the medication as directed.”

On the other hand, many people have been very happy with the results of products such as Latisse and have had no complications or complaints. Brooke Shields will even show you in her time-lapsed infomercial.

In this world of breast, chin, cheek, and tush implants, a little brush across your eyelashes seems pretty benign. But is it?

Image: Laenulfean