In the November 2009 "Make it Happen" column by Steven H. Dayan, MD, and Terri Wojak, the role estheticians play in medical trends is described for several trends. Another trend in both the medical and the spa industries is eyelash growth enhancers. The author describe the first FDA-approved eyelash growth enhancer by Allergan, Inc. called Latisse.
Patients are constantly looking for treatments to improve the appearance of their eyes since it is an area of the face that commonly shows the first signs of aging. Latisse has been shown to enhance the appearance of eyelashes by making them thicker, darker and longer, resulting in a more youthful appearance. This is the first United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved product used for a condition known as hypotrichosis, which means having inadequate lash growth. The product must be prescribed by a health care provider. Results are typically noticed after six to eight weeks of continued nightly application. It is recommended that the product be applied for 16 weeks to gain optimal results. Patients can then use the product on an individual basis to retain results, but it is usually only needed once every couple of days. The exact way this product works is not known, but it is believed to affect the growth phase of hair, known as anagen. Latisse should not be recommended for those with allergies to any of the ingredients in the product or to patients who have a history of eye-pressure problems or glaucoma. Possible side effects are minimal, with the most common being eye irritation, such as redness.
There are also many cosmetic products in the professional spa market that can enhance the look of the lashes. These products have ingredients to nourish and strengthen lashes, promoting further growth. Although these products cannot be compared to Latisse because it is an FDA-approved pharmaceutical, they can be a great adjunct to this treatment.
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The esthetician’s role. After an initial consultation with the medical provider, you can educate patients about how to use the product properly. During this time, before-and-after pictures should be taken, which are important for all treatments, not only to follow patients’ progress, but to also keep a visual record of treatment in case any adverse reactions take place. After recommending Latisse, you should also recommend topical skin care products that enhance the overall appearance of the eyes, including dark under-eye circles. Recommend an eye cream that is vitamin K oxide-based to help increase microcirculation in order to reduce reddish-blue discolorations under the eyes. Other products that can be considered are eye creams that contain peptides to hydrate and tighten the delicate skin around the eyes. To add an extra touch, provide eyebrow waxing services to clients, allowing the eyes to appear more open and inviting. After the results of Latisse are apparent, lash tints can also be performed to further brighten the patients’ thicker, fuller lashes.
* Latisse is a trade name of Allergan, Inc., Irvine, CA