Latisse Update

So, after much deliberation, I have decided not to do the Latisse challenge.  The reason is because I’m still nursing and Latisse is not FDA approved to be used in pregnant or nursing mothers.  I knew that beforehand and I’ve never prescribed it to a patient who is pregnant or nursing, but my overzealousness to have nice lashes almost got the better of me.  I figured that the amount of Latisse that is systemically absorbed is quite small.  But, when I sat down and really considered it, I realized it just wasn’t worth the risk.  Though I’m not a patient person, I would rather wait 6 months and know for sure that I am not harming my baby.  The only time I used it was when I posted the video.  So, instead I’ve put one of my staff on Latisse and I’ll be posting pics of her every 2 weeksThis is obviously not a picture of my employee’s lashes, but my son, Nikhil has the best lashes, so I just decided to post a pic of him until I get the staff pics uploaded.


Tear Duct Update

On a happy note, Taj’s nasolacrimal duct obstruction has completely resolved.  It’s interesting, it appeared to be worsening one day and then all of a sudden there was no discharge, no tearing.  So, parents out there – continue the massage, it really does work.  I did the Crigler massage much more consistently than the antibiotic ointment or warm compresses.

No more tearing or discharge!



Our renovation is almost over – thankfully!  Thanks to all of our patients who have endured the chaos, mess and cramped temporary reception area as we have renovated over the past 2 months.  Our HEC patients are so great – they tolerated sitting on the ground, their charts being misplaced and all sorts of blunders as we tried to cope with seeing patients while renovating.

Of course, the reno was supposed to be done on Feb 1, by the time I returned from maternity leave.  And, of course, that didn’t happen.  Demolition only began on January 23, so there was no way that it was getting done in a week.  We have never renovated anything before and this was certainly a learning experience.  Lots of delays, items that we had to make sure were done properly.  But, we are getting very excited – the new space will certainly now be large enough to accommodate all of our patients.  Below is a sneak peek at the office.  We have started using the reception area even though we are still waiting for the granite to be installed and there’s a laundry list of items that still need to be completed.  The end is in sight!  Anyone out there survived a recent renovation of your home or office?




















Even baby Taj is helping clean the new shelves!


Many of you have probably seen the commercials for Latisse.  They originally featured Brooke Shields and now Claire Danes and looks like this:

So, what exactly is Latisse, how does it work and does it actually work?

Latisse is the only FDA approved medication proven to grow lashes longer, thicker and darker.  Quite a statement, right?  Well, how did they come up with Latisse.  Latisse is the brand name for bimatoprost ophthalmic solution 0.03%.  And, what exactly is that?  Well, it’s the same medicine as Lumigan, a glaucoma drop.  And, it’s similar to Xalatan (latanoprost ophthalmic solution) and Travatan (travaprost ophthalmic solution).  All three are known as prostaglandin analogues, and are a specific type of glaucoma medicine.  Each differs slightly and is made by different manufacturers.  Well, we ophthalmologists began prescribing these medicines for glaucoma, we noticed that patients reported that their eyelashes got longer.  For men, this was an unwanted side effect.  But, someone had the bright idea of repackaging Lumigan (which you can still buy for glaucoma) and selling it as Latisse.  Instead of placing the drop in the eye as you would for glaucoma, you place it on the lashes (I’ll get to that later).

So, how does Latisse promote your lashes to grow?  Well, that’s kind of unknown.  If you go to the Latisse website, you’ll find this diagram.  All this tells you is that each hair follicle undergoes a cycle of growth and death.  For some reason, Latisse makes the growth phase of lashes longer, but it isn’t known why.

So, on to the third and final, and most important question.

Does Latisse work?

The FDA clinical trials actually proved that lashes did grow significantly with the use of Latisse, after 16 weeks of use.  Here are the pics from the clinical trial.

But, I think it’s more impressive when you see pics of real people using Latisse.

This is Christina, my receptionist.

And, here’s Kelley, one of our technicians.







This is what she says about Latisse:

” I started using Latisse about a year ago and have definitely noticed an improvement in the length and fullness of my lashes.  I have noticed a slight darkening of the skin on my lash line, but I don’t mind.  It looks like I have on a little eye shadow, or perhaps eyeliner, without the hassle of putting it on!  I am using less mascara and can even go without it now and still have long, lush looking lashes!  I am not the kind of person w ho does anything regularly with my hectic schedule, so it’s difficult for me to remember to use it every day, but I have still gotten excellent results.  People compliment me on their beauty when I’m in stores and I always have the same reply, “Thanks, I use Latisse” 

And, last, another employee – Shawna.  She uses Latisse two to three times a week and these are her lashes.

My mother uses Latisse and she barely uses any cosmetics.  She noticed during my wedding when the make-up artist was putting false eyelashes on her that it made her eyes look the way they did when she was young.  She commented that the loss of eyelashes as you age is so gradual, you don’t notice it at first.  Once she started using Latisse, she saw a dramatic difference within 4 weeks (the label on the box says you’ll see a change in 16 weeks, though most of my patients report seeing an increase in lash growth and thickness even within the first month) and it restored a youthful appearance to her eyes.

Before we discuss how to apply Latisse, I want to briefly review the potential adverse effects of it.  It is a medication, which is why only a doctor can prescribe Latisse.  And, I do recommend purchasing Latisse from your eye doctor so that they can perform an eye exam on you before and during Latisse use.

Side Effects

  • Change iris color – this is what most people really worry about and it actually wasn’t shown to happen in the FDA trial at all.  But, the glaucoma medicine (when you put the drop in your eye instead of on the lashes) can cause hazel eyes to turn darker brown.  Blue eyes remain blue and brown eyes remain brown
  • Skin pigmentation – if you don’t apply Latisse correctly or put it on the lower lashes (not supposed to), then you may get darkening of the skin of the lower lid.  This happened in about 4% of patients
  • Uveitis – this is inflammation of the eye.  This is why I like to do an eye exam on anyone who requests a prescription for Latisse.  Many doctors may not and since there are many non-ophthalmologists prescribing Latisse (internists, OB/Gyn, etc, they wouldn’t know how to check for uveitis anyway), it may get missed.  However, I like to be careful
  • Skin irritation or redness
  • Macular edema – this is swelling of the retina of the eye.  Again, this can only be detected by an ophthalmologist or optometrist


How to Apply Latisse

The above is what you’ll find on the Latisse website, but I’ve made a little video to make it easier.  Sorry if I seem a bit serious in here, it’s weird talking to yourself in the bathroom.

The video cannot be shown at the moment. Please try again later.

So, I’m starting the Latisse challenge.  Yes, I know it’s not like a marathon challenge or anything really important, but still…For years, I’ve wanted to try Latisse.  Honolulu Eye Clinic was one of the first clinics in Hawaii to dispense Latisse, but because I was pregnant with my first son at the time, I was never able to try it (it is contraindicated in pregnant and nursing mothers).  But, I will no longer have lash envy of the other women in my office.  I’m going to start using Latisse and will post weekly pictures on the blog and you can follow along.

I almost forgot, right now we have a

Buy one box of Latisse, get one free

So, if you’ve ever wanted to try Latisse, hurry on over to Honolulu Eye Clinic, while supplies last.  Once we run out of the special, we still offer $25 off each box of Latisse.  Yes, Latisse is expensive – $125/ box full price.  But, unlike lash extensions, these are your own lashes and they never look artificial.  I’ve had many patients tell me that once they reach the length they desire, they are able to taper down to using Latisse a couple times a week instead of daily (again, this is not the FDA recommended use of the product).

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