How can I regrow my eyelashes after chemotherapy?

Eyelash regrowth after chemotherapy

A study has shown that bimatoprost, often known as the brand name Latisse, can contribute to faster than normal eyelash regrowth following chemotherapy. This is great news for chemotherapy patients, it means you can have better than ever eyelashes and go out to face the world looking wonderful!

Dr Glaser study

A study conducted by Dr Glaser, Professor of Dermatology, was carried out on 130 patients that had recently finished chemotherapy and had lost most of their eyelashes.

96 used bimatoprost (Latisse) every day for 12 months. 34 used a placebo of sterile water for 6 months before changing to bimatoprost (Latisse) for the final 6 months.

After 16 weeks 37.5% of patients that used bimatoprost (Latisse) had eyelashes that were significantly longer when assessed by a team of doctors compared to only 6.8% of patients that were using the placebo (just using water). This suggests that Latisse grows eyelashes back after chemotherapy.

After 12 months, 90% of all patients had significantly longer eyelashes compared to the 16 week mark.

Eyelash samples were taken and measured before (straight after chemotherapy) and after 12 months of treatment with bimatoprost. They found that the average improvements were a 180% increase in thickness, 28.5% increase in length and 14.4% darker eyelashes.

These percentage increases are very dramatic because their eyelashes were very small after chemotherapy. This paper suggests that Latisse after chemotherapy is a safe and effective treatment.

If you’d like to read the full study, please visit this link:

Larger Japanese study

A 2014 study led by Dr Harii, Dr Arase and Dr Tsuboi in Japan looked at 209 people using bimatoprost, also know as Latisse, to regrow their eyelashes. It was a comprehensive and detailed multicenter, double-masked, randomised, parallel-group, vehicle-controlled study. This means that it took place with participants from multiple hospitals, used a placebo and neither the doctors or patients knew whether a placebo was being used. This gives the results a lot of strength due to the high level of diligence used to design the study.

It was split into two parts and ran for five months. Study 1 was conducted at eight centres in Japan with subjects who felt that their eyelashes were short and wished for longer lashes. The second group was carried out at nine locations in Japan with subjects who had short eyelashes after chemotherapy and wished to use Latisse to regrow them. Three centres participated in both studies and the full study ran for 10 months.

The results were an overwhelming success. Five months of use lead to 78.6% of subjects noticing a significant in their eyelash size using the Global Eyelash Assessment score compared to the placebo. To confirm these results the scientists used close up high resolution pictures to measure the changes of eyelash length, thickness and darkness. The average growth for the cosmetic participants was a 24% length improvement, 44.8% thickening of the hair and 8% darker lashes. An example is shown below:

Latisse chemotherapy eyelash regrowth

A questionnaire asked the participants for their thoughts afterwards and the results demonstrated a high level of satisfaction in all treatment groups, especially those using Latisse after chemotherapy.

An interesting part of the paper was the safety review. The incidence of adverse events was similar between the group using bimatoprost and the placebo group, with the vast majority described as mild in severity. None of the adverse events reported as moderate or severe was considered by the investigator to be associated with the study treatment – for example, a case of appendicitis was concluded to not be associated with the study. An eye examination was conducted on all participants and showed no concerns or changes to eyesight. A series of blood tests gave no changes either.

The final conclusion was as follows:

“In summary, the current studies demonstrated that bimatoprost 0.03 % applied topically to the upper eyelid margins is effective in producing longer, thicker, darker, and more prominent eyelashes in Japanese subjects who have hypotrichosis (shortness) of the eyelashes, with a favourable safety profile supported by ophthalmic examination.”

The full paper can be found here:

Written by Dr Tom Walker

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