Possible Side Effects of Latisse

Although FDA-approved, Latisse, that's effective in making eyelashes longer, can cause a few side effects. These side effects that may vary from itchy eyes to darkening of the eyelids can be quite bothersome, but often last temporarily.
BeautiSecrets Staff
Did You Know?
Claire Danes, a top American actress, who endorsed Latisse (an eyelash enhancement product) reported reddening of the skin around the eyes. In fact, her makeup artist is said to have observed a purplish tint on her eyelids. This side effect that was noticed initially, however, did not last for more than a week.

Since its introduction in 2008, Latisse has become a rage in the United States. Its sales have gone over the top in recent years, thanks to its ability to enhance eyelashes and make them more attractive and fuller. Latisse, a bimatoprost ophthalmic solution, is basically an eyelash-lengthening drug that provides longer, thicker eyelashes. There is no doubt that it does help boost eyelash growth, but the drug is not free from side effects, some of which can be really annoying.
Potential Side Effects
Itchy Eyes
Application of Latisse can trigger itchy sensation in the eyes that is completely harmless and not a cause for concern. Around 4% of Latisse users have complained about itchy eyes after using the product. So, after application, the user may be seen rubbing her eyes to relieve the irritation.
Eye Redness
This side effect has occurred in a very small percentage of users. Reddening of the eyes usually happens when excess solution applied on the upper eyelid margin spills into the eyes. So, if Latisse is used cautiously, this side effect is unlikely to occur. Moreover, itchy eyes and redness in the eyes are temporary issues that go away after stopping the usage of this product. Latisse mistakenly going into the eyes can also cause dry eyes.
Change in Eye Color
The colored part of the eye losing its natural color with regular application of Latisse is a rarity. So, blue or hazel eyes of a person becoming brown with usage of this product is very rare. The iris may turn slightly darker in people with brown iris pigmentation.
Darkening of the Eyelids
Eyelid discoloration has been reported by few users who had been applying the solution regularly. There have been instances of eyelids turning pink or showing a mauvish tint due to repeated contact of the solution with the skin. The thing is, if you are not careful in applying the solution, your eyelids may get exposed to the product. This can happen every time you use the product, which may eventually darken the eyelids. This darkening effect is prominent just over the eyelash line. This localized darkening usually doesn't last long and goes away within 2 months after the usage of the product has been stopped.
You need to apply the solution as directed to keep that darkening effect restricted to the eyelashes only. For instance, instead of the given brush applicator, if you use the Q-tip or cotton gauze, the solution may accidentally spread to the eyelids repeatedly and eventually increase the risk of forming a purplish or yellowish shade on your eyelids.
Unwanted Hair Growth
Latisse not only makes the eyelashes longer, but can also stimulate hair growth in whichever part of the skin that has come in contact with the product. There have been reports of hair growing on the cheeks and eyelids, indicating that facial areas have been frequently exposed to the solution. So, one has to be very particular when it comes to using this solution. You have to dip the brush in the solution and gently dab it along the base of your upper eyelashes. While applying, ensure that the solution does not trickle down to your cheeks in order to prevent unwanted hair growth.
Ingrown Eyelashes
Latisse does help to lengthen eyelashes, but when they grow too long, it may cause trichiasis, better known as ingrowing eyelashes. As the length of eyelashes increases, the direction of their growth may change. This may cause the eyelashes to grow inwards, eventually rubbing the cornea. These ingrowing eyelashes can cause irritation, redness, and watering of the eyes. This eye problem can also trigger unrelenting scratchy sensation in the eyes.
Allergic Reaction
There are slim chances of allergic reaction to this product. An adverse allergic reaction can cause itchy rash, facial swelling, and breathing problems. In case any of the symptoms of allergic reaction occur, it must be immediately brought to the notice of your health care provider.
  • Although approved by the FDA, Latisse is not an over-the-counter drug. The drug may be available online, but it should be purchased only after consultation with a qualified doctor. For instance, you are deemed unfit if you are sensitive to Latisse or similar drugs.
  • People with upper eyelid infections or eye conditions like conjunctivitis are also advised not to apply the drug.
  • The drug is known to reduce intraocular pressure (IOP); hence, those already taking drugs for IOP reduction need to inform the doctor and discuss whether it would be appropriate to use this drug. This product has been formulated for upper eyelashes only, and hence, it should not be applied on the lower eyelashes.
  • In case you observe that regular application of Latisse is causing eye infections such as conjunctivitis or other ocular conditions that interfere with your normal eyesight, immediately stop using the product.
Although clinical trials have confirmed the safety of Latisse, there are no studies to evaluate its long-term impact on the eyes. In short, despite FDA approval, data on the product's safety is lacking in long-term clinical trials. So, evaluate the pros and cons of the product, and only then make a decision that you feel is right for yourself.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a medical professional.