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What You Need to Know About Latisse

Latisse is a prescription treatment to grow your eyelashes longer, fuller, and darker.

This is an easy and well-tolerated treatment that involves applying drops to the base of the eyelashes.  Most patients begin seeing some good results within a few weeks, but a full course of treatment lasts 16 weeks.

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How Does it Work?

Latisse is also known as bimatoprost ophthalmic solution 0.03%.  Years ago there was a medication being used for glaucoma, and patients and doctors soon realized that it had a nice unexpected side effect of improving the lashes.

The exact mechanism of how this occurs is still not fully understood, but it is very clear that Latisse causes the lashes to spend a longer time in the growth phase.  Eyelashes (like hair elsewhere) go through various stages where they grow for awhile, then go into a dormant phase, then fall out and start the process all over again.


The Right Way to Use Latisselatisse charleston

There are two options for purchase:  a 3 ml kit or a 5 ml kit

The 5 ml version is a newer option and is more cost effective for patients, but the medication in each bottle is the same.

Each kit of Latisse comes with a generous supply of applicator brushes.  These are helpful in applying the correct dose of Latisse to the eyelashes.  The applicators are disposable and designed for single use.  Don’t reuse them which might increase the risk of contamination.

Use the applicator to apply Latisse to the base of the upper lashes only.  Enough of it will also contact the lower lashes to be effective.  Most patients do this once a day, but if you experience any irritation it is always best to start with use every other day and work your way up gradually.

If you wear contact lenses make sure to remove them before using Latisse, and don’t put them back in for 15 minutes.

Once your lashes get to a length and fullness that you like, you can begin to decrease your use to a level that helps you maintain those results.  If you stop using Latisse completely, your eyelashes will gradually return to their original thickness and length over a few weeks to months.

Side Effects?

The most common side effects are mild irritation in the area where Latisse is applied.  The best option for you if this occurs is to decrease the frequency of using Latisse.  Back off to only 2 or 3 times per week then gradually build up closer to daily use as tolerated.

One theoretical concern with Latisse is that you could get some darkening of the iris or slight darkening of the skin around the base of your eyelashes.  This was really more of an issue with the original form of the medication before Latisse was developed.  That medication (Lumigan) was applied directly into the eye.  Darkening of the iris with Latisse is exceedingly rare and of minimal concern for most patients.

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There are a few eye conditions such as certain types of glaucoma that your doctor should be aware of before you consider using Latisse. If you develop any new or concerning eye symptoms while using Latisse let your doctor know.


Other Options

There really are no great alternatives to Latisse.  There is simply nothing like it out there.

Eyelash extensions are an option that many people choose.  These need to be applied and removed frequently.  Additionally, there is considerable cost involved when frequently replacing new extensions.  The other factor to consider is that eyelash extensions unfortunately often look too artificial.

Eyeliner tattoos can help some people improve their look, but this does nothing to improve the actual eyelashes.


Dr. David Rodwell specializes in facial cosmetic surgery and minimally invasive procedures.  To learn more about your options with Latisse and other products call our office at (843) 628-1415 to schedule a private consultation.