Background: Many women desire prominent eyelashes. In December 2008, bimatoprost ophthalmic solution 0.03% was approved for the treatment of hypotrichosis of the eyelashes in the United States.
Objective: To review eyelash physiology and the proposed mechanisms by which the topical pros-tamide product bimatoprost enhances eyelash growth.
Methods and materials: Clinical and preclinical studies pertaining to the efficacy, safety, and mechanisms of action of bimatoprost are presented.
Results: Treatment with bimatoprost increases the percentage of eyelash follicles in anagen at any one time. This probably accounts for its ability to lengthen lashes. Bimatoprost-induced stimulation of melanogenesis appears to result in darker lashes and, at the same time, appears to increase the size of the dermal papilla and hair bulb, affecting lash thickness and fullness. Such effects, largely demonstrated in animal studies, are consistent with the results of a recent Food and Drug Administration phase III clinical trial. The favorable safety profile of bimatoprost in human subjects is probably secondary to the limited exposure of ocular tissues resulting from topical application at the base of the upper lashes.
Conclusion: By influencing the eyelash hair cycle and follicles, bimatoprost ophthalmic solution 0.03% is a safe and effective means of enhancing eyelash growth. Dr. Cohen has served as a consultant and clinical trial participant for Allergan, Inc.
© 2010 by the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery, Inc.