Many people don’t realize that eyelashes are both functional and attractive. The purpose of eyelashes is to act as a first line of defense for our eyes, preventing airborne dirt, dust and other debris from reaching the delicate tissues of our eyes. You probably don’t know that when your eyes are closed, your eyelashes form a nearly impenetrable barrier against foreign irritants entering the eyes.
Unfortunately, we aren’t all blessed with naturally thick, luscious lashes. In fact, many people choose to get artificial eyelashes or eyelash extensions to make them appear longer or thicker than they really are. Unfortunately, the challenge of achieving voluminous eyelashes is even greater if you suffer from a condition called hypotrichosis.
What is Latisse?
Latisse is the only FDA-approved medical treatment for eyelash hypotrichosis. This lash serum is administered in the same way as eyedrops and has been shown to increase the proportion of lashes in the growth phase of the hair cycle, meaning that they grow for longer periods of time. This helps to produce longer, fuller lashes in as little as 8 weeks.
Application of Latisse is very simple. After cleaning your eyes and ensuring all traces of cosmetics have been removed, you just apply a single drop of the solution to the base of your upper eyelashes every evening. It’s important not to use the solution on the lower eyelashes as this could lead to excessive hair growth outside of the treatment area. In most cases, patients are recommended to apply Latisse daily for 16 weeks for maximum improvement in the thickness and length of their lashes. Results should start to become visible around 5/6 weeks after beginning the treatment and will continue to improve until you stop using Latisse.
What is hypotrichosis?
Hypotrichosis is a term used by dermatologists to describe a lack of hair growth. It’s not to be confused with alopecia, which is where previous growth has been replaced by hair loss. Hypotrichosis affects the length, number, and texture of the hair, and people who are affected develop dry, coarse and sparse hair. The condition can affect hair anywhere on the body, including the eyelashes. As a result, patients usually have very thin, sparse eyelashes.
In many cases, hypotrichosis is hereditary, but it can also be caused by other factors including:
- hormonal changes (such as menopause)
- inflammation of the eyelids (a condition called blepharitis)
- overuse of eyelash curlers
If you are dissatisfied with the appearance of your eyelashes and you have been diagnosed with hypotrichosis, you may be a candidate for the highly effective, prescription-only treatment known as Latisse.