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Happy Birthday Latisse: 5 Years Old

As a member of the Allergan Latisse advisory board I recently returned from Dallas for an advisory board meeting.  We discussed the past 5 years of Latisse and how it has interacted in cosmetic surgery practices.  We also discussed many details surrounding aesthetic treatment of the periorbital region.

Women put a lot of energy into beautiful eyelashes.  Most men have no idea of how much time, money and products go into having beautiful lashes.  Some women are born with great lashes and they are lucky.  Even the lucky ones will notice aging changes in the lashes, so virtually all women (younger or older) wish for longer, thicker and darker lashes.  This is why the mascara and eye makeup business is a multibillion dollar industry.

Prior to 5 years ago, there was no FDA approved drug or means of obtaining more aesthetic eyelashes.  Like many cosmetic discoveries such as Botox, Latisse happened quite by accident.  For over a decade, ophthalmologists were treating glaucoma patients with a drug known as bimatoprost.  This drug was safely used for lowering intraocular pressure.  Patients were using a drop in the eye and were successfully treated, but there was an unusual side effect; the eyelashes on that eye grew longer.  No one ever really thought much of this phenom, and patients were simply told to trim their lashes.

Then…..someone at Allergan said “hey, millions of women want longer eyelashes, so why not?”  After much research and testing, the FDA (in 2008) cleared this drug for cosmetic use and it has since been marketed as Latisse.  For the first time in history, women could obtain thicker, darker and longer eyelashes without any surgery, procedure or makeup.  It is easier than brushing your teeth.  The user simply places a single drop on the upper lash at bedtime (and like your Chia Pet in the 1980’s) sit back and watch it grow.

The drug has proven extremely safe and I have not seen a single side effect in the many hundreds of patients I have treated with it.  Although there are reports of iris darkening in green eyed patients with the drug when placed directly in the eye for glaucoma patients, I have not seen a single case of this in my practice and I am one of the larger Latisse prescribers in the country.  It has truly been a simple and safe treatment and women love it.  I have also used it successfully on post chemotherapy cancer patients who lost brows and lashes and this accelerated the growth.

New thoughts and trials are on the way to see if this drug is also applicable to eyebrow growth and most important to me for balding!  Bring it on Latisse, I am 20 years behind on combing my hair!

If you have not tried Latisse, it is a safe and effective treatment.  We perform an eye exam and history and dispense the medication in the office.  A new 5 ml size is available for $159 that will last for 6 months.

What happens when you stop using Latisse?  Just like hair coloring, when you cease its use, you slowly revert to your original state.

Although it may seem like an insignificant improvement, contemporary cosmetic facial surgeons realize the importance of periorbital rejuvenation.  We treat excess eyelid skin, fat and wrinkles, so why overlook the lashes.  Surgeons and patients can enhance the results of any eyelid or eyebrow procedure by using Latisse.

Happy Birthday Latisse.  For more information on eyelid rejuvenation visit


Joe Niamtu, III DMD

Cosmetic Facial Surgery

Richmond, VA

Office Address

Joe Niamtu III, DMD
11319 Polo Place
Midlothian, VA 23113

Office Hours

Monday - Friday
8:00am - 5:00pm

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