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New Hope for the Follicularly Challenged

September 14, 2011

Hair Loss Treatment MiamiIs it possible that the medication that gives you thick, long, luscious lashes can also give those that are follicularly challenged (aka balding) on the scalp some new hope? Allergan, Inc. announced today that it is beginning phase 2 trials of Latisse (bimatoprost) as a therapy for hair loss and expects to have results as early as next year.

Latisse was originally developed as Lumigan (bimatoprost), a medication to treat glaucoma. It was noted that patients using this medication started to grow longer, thicker, and darker lashes as a "side-effect" of the medication, and thus Latisse was developed and received FDA approval in 2008 to aid in eyelash growth.

Unlike the eyedrop for glaucoma, which is applied directly into the eye, Latisse is applied using specially designed applicators along the upper lash line nightly. Results take approximately 12 weeks, but thickening of the lashes has been reported as quickly as four weeks.

We know it is amazing for lashes (and I have actually seen it work for eyebrows- of course this is off-label and not FDA-approved.). I personally had to cut my lashes with a scissors they were so long. So on principle, it should work for hair-loss. I am excited to see the results of these studies, and would love to have a new treatment option for my patients with hair loss (other than Propecia and Rogaine of course).

Although I don't recommend running to your doctor for a prescription to drop on the scalp, as I doubt it will work that way, I will be keeping my eye out for these results of these and further studies. For now, we will just have to be content with beautiful lashes. See your dermatologist for a prescription.

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