Longer, Thicker, Darker Eyelashes: No Surgery Required

By Meghan Yost, Ivanhoe Health Correspondent

Published January 21, 2008 to Ivanhoe.com

ORLANDO, Fla. (Ivanhoe Newswire) — Want longer eyelashes but hate the thought of eyelash surgery? A new drug used to treat Glaucoma can now help grow longer, thicker and darker lashes with dramatic results, sometimes after only two days.

Eyelashes protect the eyes from dust-motes and debris but to most women, they serve a greater purpose: attracting the opposite sex by drawing attention to the eye. As women age, their lashes tend to get shorter and less voluminous. The cosmetic industry is usually the answer to this problem with the countless mascaras, artificial lashes, eyelash tints or eyelash extensions on the market.

Now, Nancy Swartz, M.S., M.D., and her colleague and husband Marc Cohen, M.D., are offering a better way to treat this common beauty dilemma: Lumigan, a topical version of the hormone prostaglandin. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the medication in 1996 for the treatment of glaucoma and three million Americans currently use it.

Two other drugs of its kind exist but Lumigan has shown to be the most effective when used for lash growth. Discouraging to some, Lumigan may result in adverse effects. The less harmful, temporary ones include hyperemia or red eye, which occurs in about 15 to 45 percent of patients, and itchiness, which occurs in about 15 percent. A more permanent side effect, change in iris color, occurs in 1.5 percent of patients. Those with hazel eyes have an even greater risk for this side effect: 7 to 16 percent.

Lumigan works in four ways to improve eyelash appearance. First, the drug increases the amount of lashes by stimulating transition to the anagen or growth phase of the hair cycle. The drug then helps eyelashes grow longer by prolonging the time spent in that phase. As Lumigan induces hypertrophic changes in the follicle, the eyelashes grow thicker and as melanocyte activity increases, they get darker. When applied to the base of eyelashes once a day, results can be seen anywhere from 2 days to several months.

In order to maintain your new lashes, you must continue to use the medication. “If you discontinue the Lumigan, over the following months [your eyelashes] will eventually go back to normal,” Dr. Swartz told Ivanhoe.

In the case of Lumigan, the results speak for themselves. When viewing before and after pictures, there is no question lashes improved significantly, becoming more beautiful, luscious, and attractive.

Back to News and Media