Eyelashes were probably not your top priority when going through chemotherapy. Hair loss is a common side effect of the treatment, and unfortunately, and surprisingly perhaps, this includes eyelashes. Lash regrowth can be tricky to encourage, but fear not, there is a new solution at hand!

The FDA has just approved its first prescription drug for eyelash growth and darkening. The product, Latissse, is not specifically aimed at cancer patients, so is not necessarily designed to fit in with effects of all treatment plans. However, it is proven to significantly enhance the growth and fullness of lashes. You must make sure you clear the use of this product with your oncologist. If the answer is “yes,” then you should see results in no time!

How Quickly Does Latisse Work?

The full result can be expected in an average of 14 weeks. During clinical trials, 78% of the participants found that their lashes became significantly longer, thicker, and darker during this time. Initial effects tend to show at around the 8-week mark. 

Are There Any Side Effects?

There are a few potential side effects with this product. However, all of the following side effects subside with regular use …

  • Most common is inflammation, redness, or itching. However, this is usually due to improper application of the product, so make sure you are applying it correctly and carefully. 
  • It may also cause hyperpigmentation, which produces freckles around the eyes. This is generally temporary and can be avoided by, again, careful application of the product.
  • Latisse is also used in some glaucoma treatments. Because of this, it has been known for the iris to develop a permanent brown pigmentation. This is not harmful; the change is purely cosmetic.
How Is It Applied? 

Latisse comes in the form of a solution. This solution is applied on a daily basis with a small applicator brush to the base of the eyelashes before you go to bed. It is most important to first make sure that the area around your eyes is clean and unobstructed. Remove all make up and contact lenses. To avoid contamination, you must not only use a different brush for each eye, but you must also ensure that the applicator brushes are washed thoroughly and stored in a clean, dry place.

What Does It Cost?

The product costs approximately $4 a day. If your treatment lasts the maximum term of 16 weeks, then that amounts to around $450. Some insurance companies will cover it, but others will not, as Latisse is classed as a cosmetic treatment, not a medical one. However, your insurance company may be convinced to cover the cost if your doctor gets in touch to explain why your lash regrowth is a medical necessity. Of course, this all depends on the individual policy of your insurance company.


If lash regrowth is something you would like to look into, why not come in for a consultation with our cosmetics team? To book an appointment, give us a call at (480) 684-1080 or you can drop us an e-mail at commerciofront@luxsci.net.

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Dr. Cheryl A. MacKechnie, MD

Dr. Cheryl A. MacKechnie is board certified in otolaryngology and treats a broad range of ear, nose, and throat conditions. A graduate of the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, she completed her residency in otolaryngology, head and neck surgery at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.