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Longer Eyelashes with Latisse?  Is It Safe during Pregnancy?

Longer eyelashes have been the universal symbol of beauty, especially since a woman's eyes greatly affects her whole appearance. Thicker and longer eyelashes enhance one's beauty, and it's no secret that men find women's eyes as one of the most important features of a beautiful face. Some women would take bold steps to acquire that beautiful, luscious long eye lashes no matter how uncomfortable they may be whether it involves placement of fake eyelashes or application of eyelash extensions.

Longer Eyelashes (Photograph Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)

What is Latisse?

Latisse, a prostaglandin analog, was previously used as an eyedrop to treat glaucoma. The patients being treated for glaucoma with Latisse were found to have thicker and longer eyelashes. After this discovery, several cosmetic companies started adding this prostaglandin analog to their mascaras illegally and touted them as eyelash-lengthening products. The FDA subsequently banned these companies from the illicit use of this prescription medication in cosmetic products. Allergan, the maker of BOTOX, received FDA approval in 2009 to manufacture Latisse as prescription medication to lengthen eyelashes.

Is Latisse Effective in Lengthening your Eyelashes?

  • Clinical studies have shown that after 16 weeks of use, there's a 25% increase in eyelash length, and 106% increase in lash fullness.

  • Improvement of eyelash length can be seen as early as 8 weeks, and may continue to improve up to 16 weeks.

Is it Safe to Use Latisse?

  • It's safe to use Latisse but there are precautions that need to be taken.

  • Latisse cannot be use when one is wearing their contact lens since one of the ingredients in Latisse (benzalkonium chloride, a preservative) may be absorbed into the contact lens.

  • Patients with glaucoma who are already undergoing prostaglandin analog treatment should take extra precaution since Latisse may bring their "eye pressure down" lower.

Is Latisse Safe During Pregnancy?

  • The use of Latisse has not been tested during pregnancy.

  • Animal studies have shown an increase in miscarriage if taken in higher doses.

  • Studies have also shown that bimatoprost (Latisse) was also detectable in breast milk.

  • Thus, Latisse is not recommended during pregnancy and after pregnancy when one is still breast feeding.

Side Effects of Latisse

  • Increased brown coloration of the iris of the eye may occur, especially in patients with hazel eyes.

  • Mild itching of the eyes

  • Redness of the eyelids

  • Bloodshot eyes

  • Brown discloration of the skin where the Latisse is applied.

Emmanuel De La Cruz M.D., PLLC

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