FDA Warns About Eyelash Thickener Claims

eyelash, eyelashesThe U.S. FDA has warned Allergan Inc. that the Web site for its eyelash thickener Latisse is misleading. The site downplays or fails to mention risks associated with the product.

The Latisse site either doesn't mention potential side effects including bacterial eye infections, allergic reactions, excess hair growth outside the intended treatment area, and permanent changes in iris and eyelid pigmentation, or presents them in very small text.

The drug is approved to make eyelashes thicker, fuller and darker. Latisse, or bimatoprost, was already on the market as a treatment for glaucoma.
Dr. Mercola's Comments:

The FDA approved Latisse, an eyelash-thickening drug, last December as a treatment for hypotrichosis, a condition in which no hair grows on your eyelid. The drug, which contains the same active ingredient as the glaucoma drug Lumigan, was also touted as a solution for those who have lost their eyelashes due to chemotherapy and other medical treatments.

But even a quick visit to the Latisse Web site will leave you with a different impression altogether. The site features a video of actress Brooke Shields gushing over her thicker, denser lashes thanks to Latisse, and even has a feature to send a Latisse e-card to your friends!

No wonder the FDA is cracking down on this Web site for downplaying the risks of the drug and misleading the public, as you would not see the side effects unless you did a bit of digging or read the fine print at the bottom of the page.

So what are you risking in exchange for the thicker, fuller and darker eyelashes that Latisse promises? The possible side effects include:

  • Increased brown pigmentation of the colored part of your eye, which is likely to be permanent

  • Darkening of your eyelid skin

  • Hair growth in other areas of your skin that Latisse frequently touches

  • Itching sensation in your eyes and eye redness

  • Difference in eyelash length, thickness, fullness, pigmentation, number of eyelash hairs, and/or direction of eyelash growth

  • Dryness of your eyes

  • Bacterial eye infections

  • Allergic reactions

Further, if you stop using Latisse your eyelashes will return to their previous appearance over several weeks or months, so you’d have to continue using this drug virtually forever if you wanted to maintain the effects.

But to risk changing the color of your eyes and the skin around your eyes, growing hair where it’s not supposed to be and suffering from infection, itching, redness and dryness in your eyes … just to plump up your lashes?

That is a very steep price to pay.

Get Healthy Lashes, Naturally

I believe your best bet for growing thick, healthy lashes is actually something I have been beta testing for some time now. It is a product that is essential polypeptide growth factors derived from healthy adult stem cells.

No, I am not using it for my eyelashes as that is not a problem for me, but I am using it to recover the hair on my head and I have been VERY impressed with the new revised formula that was released earlier this year. My bald spots are slowly but surely getting filled in with real hair.

So the same solution can easily be used for eyelashes. We are currently working with the researchers to make the product as green and healthy as possible, and free of any unhealthy preservatives. It is unclear when this product will be available. All I know at this time is that it is more than six months out.

What you can do in the meantime, and will only synergize with the polypeptide growth factors when they are available is to eat a healthy diet, ideally according to your nutritional type. This will give your body the nutrients it needs to grow a healthy lash base.

Another tip you can try is to apply a few drops of olive oil to your eyelashes before bed, which may help to give them added strength and thickness. Also be careful when applying mascara and using eye makeup removers, as vigorous rubbing may cause your lashes to fall out.

Synthetic chemicals in your eye products can also lead to dry and brittle lashes, so look for natural alternatives.

Also, if you’re a woman who uses false eyelashes often, be aware that the glue, and removal process can damage your lashes -- and you may end up pulling out many of your natural lashes when you rip the false ones off.

How Far Will You Go to Achieve Outer Beauty?

In 2008 there were over 10.2 million cosmetic surgical and nonsurgical procedures performed in the United States, according to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery.

Since 1997, the overall number of cosmetic procedures has increased 162 percent!

While some of these procedures proceed without a hitch, many others do not. Surgical cosmetic procedures carry the risks of unnecessary, major surgery, while even non-surgical treatments like Botox can cause respiratory failure and death.

If you are unhappy with some aspect of your appearance, be it wrinkles, the shape of your nose or the fullness of your lashes, I would strongly recommend you seek to resolve this feeling on an emotional level before resorting to a medical procedure that could damage your health.

A poor-self-image can be addressed very safely and effectively with a tool like the Meridian Tapping Technique (MTT). MTT is basically the process of "psychological acupressure,” based on the same energy meridians used in traditional acupuncture to treat emotional and physical ailments -- but without the needles.

Instead, tapping with your fingertips on specific meridians on your head and chest, along with voicing positive affirmations, helps to clear out emotional blockages from your system, thus restoring your mind and body's balance. I'm sure you realize that emotional health is absolutely essential to your physical health and healing -- the two are inseparably linked, and when you heal your emotional health you’ll come to appreciate the beauty in yourself right now.

Looking to Get Even More Beautiful?

If outer beauty is important to you, I recommend achieving it from the inside out. So along with releasing your negative emotions with a tool like MTT, I recommend you trigger your inner fountain of youth by:

By consuming large amounts of whole, unprocessed, healthy raw foods that are loaded with antioxidants, you can help to slow down the speed at which signs of your real age show up.

In fact, one of the reasons I started vegetable juicing is that I would see 75-year-old women in my practice who looked like they were 40 years old with virtually no facial wrinkles.

It’s also important to cut back on sugar. Diets high in sugar increase free radicals and oxidative stress, and lead to signs of premature aging.

You should also get plenty of animal-based omega-3 fat, such as krill oil, to help normalize skin lipids and prevent dehydration in your cells. This keeps skin cells strong and full of moisture, which can help to decrease the appearance of fine lines.

Physical activity is an excellent way to relieve tension and ward off the physical consequences of stress. Studies have shown that during exercise, tranquilizing chemicals, endorphins, are released in your brain, making exercise a natural way to bring your body pleasurable relaxation and rejuvenation.

Regularly catching only a few hours of sleep can hinder metabolism and hormone production in a way that is similar to the effects of aging and the early stages of diabetes. Plus, your body needs high-quality sleep to help it deal with stressful situations.

These are the healthy tips that can help you get a beautiful glow, naturally, both on the inside and the out.

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