All Eyes on Eyelash Loss and How to Get Longer, Fuller Lashes
Many people believe that your eyes are your most valuable asset. When we communicate, we look each other in the eyes to connect and interpret what’s being said. Eyebrows can help you express emotions, such as happiness, surprise or anger. Culturally, we tend to value long, full eyelashes and associate them with good health and attractiveness. They make the whites of the eyes ‘pop,’ working hand-in-hand with your eyebrows to attract attention and focus eye contact.
This article in The Cut breaks down some of the science behind our love of long, lush lashes. It is something that’s deeply ingrained in societies around the world and stretches back thousands of years. It was around 4000 BC that ancient Egyptians used eyeliner and a crude form of mascara to thicken eyelashes in order to call attention to the eyes!
We’ve met with people who lack confidence and have low self-esteem after their lashes failed to grow. Beyond that, having short or sparse lashes can make it hard to keep dust and debris from getting in the eye, and it could be a signal that you have a medical condition that deserves attention.
Inadequate growth of eyelashes is known as hypotrichosis. The American Academy of Ophthalmology offers guidance for people experiencing lash loss, and points to a few primary causes, including irritation from cosmetics, blepharitis (chronic inflammation around the eyes), thrichotillomania (pulling out your eyelashes due to stress) and skin cancer.
The recent article, “The Long Claims Behind Longer Eyelashes,” in The New York Times reported on some of the options available to people frustrated by their eyelash loss. The article describes LATISSE®, the brand name for the medication bimatoprost, which is a prostglandin analogue approved by the FDA in 2008 and remains the only proven medical treatment.
Available by prescription, LATISSE has proven effective at stimulating the growth of fuller, thicker and darker eyelashes. The treatment that can be performed at home with the patient applying the solution daily. After about 16 weeks, or once the optimal results have been achieved, the LATISSE solution typically can be applied less frequently.
As is often the case with hair restoration medications, LATISSE has possible side effects that are important to be aware of. Some patients experience dry, itchy eyes, eye redness or darkened eyelids, among other things. Be sure to get the facts!
We are aware of other over-the-counter products on the market that contain other prostaglandin alternatives as active ingredients and are marketed as having the same result as LATISSE. As noted in The New York Times article, it is highly likely that these alternative treatments have the same side effects as LATISSE, but they haven’t been fully tested.
We know of one product, Lash Boost from Rodan + Fields, that is the focus of a class action lawsuit that claims the side effects weren’t adequately disclosed. That’s the trouble with turning to medical treatments that haven’t been fully tested and proven to be safe, and it’s why we at Arocha Hair Restoration don’t recommend using any medical treatment that hasn’t been approved by the FDA.
We were frankly disappointed that The New York Times did not reference surgical eyelash restoration among the proven treatments for eyelash loss. As the name implies, surgical eyelash restoration is essentially the same technique as a hair transplant, only Dr. Arocha transplants the follicles from the back and sides of the scalp to the eyelids. It is a great option for patients who have irreparably damaged follicles that cannot grow hair.
Even if a patient is not suffering from significant hypotrichosis, a surgical eyelash restoration may be an option for accentuating their overall look with long, luscious eyelashes.
If you have questions about our eyelash restoration procedures, or if you would like to schedule a consultation, please contact Arocha Hair Restoration today.