Prostaglandins (Pg) are a group of lipid physiologically active substances that are enzymatically formed in the body from certain essential fatty acids and contain a 20-membered carbon chain. Prostaglandins are found in virtually all tissues and organs.
Interestingly, Aspirin, Indomethacin and Ibuprofen are inhibitors (substances that slow down or prevent the course of any chemical reaction) synthesis of prostaglandins, blocking the synthesis of prostaglandins, so they slow down hair growth.
Any woman has sex with a large number of prostaglandins, which guarantees a good reduction of the uterus during childbirth. Also, prostaglandin in its natural form is contained in the male semen. Due to prostaglandin secretion by the cervix, it is believed that sex can stimulate the onset of labor.
Prostaglandin F2α (PGF2α / Prostaglandin F2alpha) is a precursor of prostaglandins for eyelashes.
Prostaglandin F2α (PGF2α / Prostaglandin F2alpha) is commonly used in medicine in obstetric practice. Means with synthetic analogues of prostaglandin F2α (PGF2α) were created artificially and were initially used in ophthalmology to reduce intraocular pressure (IOP) and to treat glaucoma.
What are the prostaglandins to stimulate the growth of eyelashes on the market?
Bimatoprost (bimatoprost) is a prostamide, a synthetic analogue of prostaglandin F2α. Bimatoprost is a synthetic product originally created artificially to reduce intraocular pressure (IOP) and to treat glaucoma. It is structurally similar to other prostaglandins, including latanoprost, travoprost and unoprostone, but has an ethylamide group instead of an isopropyl group in the C1 carbon of the alpha chain. Bimatoprost has been proposed as a substance belonging to the naturally occurring class of fatty acid amides, which are better known as prostamides; (prostaglandin, ethanolamide).
Bimatoprost (bimatoprost) is sold in the USA, Canada and Europe under the brand name Allergan, under the trademark Lumigan (Lumigan) in the form of a drug for the treatment of glaucoma, and also in the form of a cosmetic product for lengthening eyelashes under the trademark Latis (Latisse).
Latanoprost (latanoprost) is a synthetic analogue of prostaglandin Pg F2alpha (F2α / PGF2α). Latanoprost (latanoprost) is also widely known as Xalatan, produced by Pfizer. Annual sales of approximately $ 1.6 billion dollars.
The patent for latanoprost (latanoprost) expired in March 2011, and at least one generic (from generic – non-brand, generic) version of LATANOPROST solution from the manufacturer Mylan Pharmaceuticals Inc. Widely available in the USA.
Travoprost (travoprost) is a synthetic analogue of prostaglandin Pg F2alpha (F2α / PGF2α). Travoprost (travoprost) is also known under the brand names Travatan (Travatan) and Travatan Z (Travatan Z), produced by Alcon (Alcon), and also Travo-Z (Travo-Z), produced by Micro Labs.
Unoprostone (unoprostone) is a synthetic analogue of prostaglandin Pg F2alpha (F2α / PGF2α). Its isopropyl ester (isopropyl ester) – unoprostone isopropyl (unoprostone isopropyl), known under the brand name Rescula – eye drops, 0.15% – for the treatment of glaucoma and eye pressure.
The amazing side effect of prostaglandins is the growth of long eyelashes.
Patients using drugs with prostaglandin F2α analogues (PGF2α / Prostaglandin F2alpha), such as travoprost (travoprost), latanoprost (latanoprost) and prostamide drugs (bimatoprost (bimatoprost)), have been observed to have a very interesting side effect. This effect consisted in picturesquely long, dark, fluffy eyelashes, so luxurious and dramatic, that they could easily be confused with false or enlarged.
Prostaglandins in cosmetology and hypotricia (hypotrichosis) of the eyelids.
Latis (Latisse) – a gift from the company Allergan (Allergan), has already given the world Botox (Botox).
Naturally, drug companies were quick to take advantage of this, and on December 5, 2008, after clinical studies of Lumigan eye drops as a cosmetic, Allergan ensured that the American Food and Drug Administration (FDA), or rather Its Dermatologic and Ophthalmic Drugs Advisory Committee (Committee for Dermatological and Ophthalmologic Drugs) voted in favor of recognizing bimatoprost, the main ingredient of drops, suitable for use in cosmetology as Twa for lengthening and eyelash utemneniya.
Thus, drops of Latis (Latisse) belonging to the Allergan brand, the main active ingredient of which was bimatoprost (bimatoprost), became the first patented product for lengthening eyelashes allowed by the FDA for use in the United States as a means to increase eyelash growth.
The FDA (Food and Drug Administration – American Food and Drug Administration) is quite a serious organization and it allows for the use of only those drugs whose safety is not questioned or the risk of complications is insignificant compared to the expected benefits. The FDA allowed the use of the drug solely for cosmetic purposes in patients with hypotricia / hypotrichosis of the eyelid.
Benefits of using prostaglandins for eyelash growth
What benefits do we get using bimatoprost and other prostaglandins to increase eyelash growth? It is noted that bimatoprost and other prostaglandins cause lengthening of eyelashes and thickening of the hair-eyelashes, make them stronger and thicker, and also increase the pigmentation of eyelashes.
How do eyelash growth products work with prostaglandins? What is the mechanism of action of prostaglandins?
Despite the presence of the mechanism of metabolism of prostaglandins and prostaglandin receptors in the hair follicles, the mechanism by which prostaglandins and prostamides trigger the growth of eyelashes is not quite clear.
There is a version that hair growth is caused by prostaglandins and prostamides due to a change in the eyelash growth cycle, namely due to the induction of the anagen phase in the telogenous phase of eyelash follicles. Analogs of prostaglandins can also prolong the anagenic phase of the growth of eyelashes, which accordingly leads to an increase in the length of eyelashes.
Are prostaglandins effective for the treatment of alopecia areata (alopecia areata)?
Although prostaglandins are effective in increasing the growth of healthy hairs, its effectiveness in alopecia areata (alopecia areate) is questioned, and the protective effect is not well understood in patients with loss of eyelashes due to chemotherapy or radiation. There are studies that describe the good results of using prostaglandins, including latanoprost and bimatoprost in the treatment of eyelid affections for alopecia areata in an 11-year-old patient suffering from alopecia areata with bilateral eyelash loss. At the same time, a poor result was reported from topical treatment with latanoprost and bimatoprost to improve eyelash growth in patients with alopecia areata. From here we conclude: everything is very individual.
Means for the growth of eyelashes with prostaglandins existing on the market
At the moment, prostaglandin drugs can be divided into two categories: eye drops for glaucoma and specialized for prostaglandins.
Many people, fearing possible side effects from using drops from glaucoma, use conditioners for. Forgetting one thing – many of these conditioners contain prostaglandins and their analogs.
Thus, to the prostaglandins (with their side effects) in this case are added numerous irritating substances (already with their side effects), which further enhances the possible undesirable consequences. Therefore, the replacement of drops from glaucoma on the conditioner to stimulate the growth of eyelashes (with prostaglandins in the composition) is not an option if you want to avoid side effects.
It is worth taking a careful look at the ingredients list to make sure that you use a natural conditioner (serum or serum) for the growth of eyelashes. The absence of prostaglandins does not mean that the bottle in your hands does not contain other irritating substances.
The advantage of glaucoma drops is that they contain a pure preparation without any irritants and additional preservatives. Buying a bubble drops, you save a lot, because you do not pay for “theoretically working” (and possibly not acting in any way on the growth of eyelashes) substances, emulsifiers, thickeners, fixing substances, etc. Having disassembled the most famous conditioners that stimulate eyelash growth. You can see that these useless substances occupy most of the tube purchased. In addition, it can be verified that some components are only theoretically useful, but no clinical trial has confirmed any positive effect in practice.
However, conditioners for the growth of eyelashes have several advantages: a comfortable eyeliner brush or (a little less convenient) brush-brush for applying to the eyelashes and the edge of the eyelid at their roots. Of course, you can use a brush from the liner, or a brush from the mascara, or a separate brush from the cosmetic set. With a hard brush for a liquid eyeliner, it is very easy to apply the agent at the roots, a brush with a bristle makes it harder to adjust the application accuracy, brushes for mascara apply the agent along the entire length of the eyelashes (which is good for a natural conditioner, but unnecessarily for drops from glaucoma, where the substance needs to be delivered to the roots hair).
Conditioners also contain additional proven practice substances that nourish and care for the skin and hair of the eyelashes, antioxidants, various anti-inflammatory and soothing ingredients.
How to use products for growing long eyelashes with prostaglandins
The recommended dose – a single application before going to bed on the skin of the upper eyelid only at the base of the eyelashes. The use of tools with prostaglandins more than once a day does not accelerate the growth of eyelashes and does not increase the effect of the drug.
Side effects occur when it drops into the eyes, so the main method of dealing with side effects is to use the drug very carefully and apply it on the base of the eyelashes. Avoid getting the drug inside the eye or lower eyelid.
- permanent darkening of the iris;
- permanent darkening of the eyelashes;
- temporary change of skin pigmentation around the eyelashes / darkening of the eyelids;
- thickening of the eyelashes (meaning the thickening of the hair itself);
- redness and discomfort of the eyes;
- blurry vision;
- burning, itching during use;
- hair cutters can become so long that there will be a “growth” of hairs and a feeling of “scratching” at the same time.
The most common side effect after using eyelash growth products is itching or redness of the eyes, which occurs in about 4% of patients. If this happens, then it is worth while (or completely) to stop using the drug.
Changes in skin pigmentation around the eyelashes and darkening of the eyelids can be reversible. Increased pigmentation is associated with an increase in melanogenesis without the proliferation of melanocytes or inflammation. This effect is more common when using bimatoprost compared to latanoprost. To reduce the likelihood of such side effects, you should wipe the eyelid skin after instillation of the drops. The patient is recommended to wipe off all possible solutions and mascara from the area of exposure of the drug.
It is possible to change the color of the iris, which may be due to the fact that the drug gets directly into the eye. This effect of changing the color of the iris is likely to be permanent. Increased pigmentation of the iris may be associated with an increase in the size of melanin granules and, secondarily, with increased melanogenesis. In older patients, eye color changes more significantly. Patients with hazel-colored eyes or mixed-colored eyes are more likely to change eye color than homogeneous blue eyes or brown.
According to Allergan, patients using Latisse (Latisse) as a cosmetic product, there was no darkening of the iris, however, “patients should be warned of a potential increase in brown pigmentation of the iris, which is likely to be constant.
If you are afraid of side effects, you can try the products with latanoprost first, as softer and less annoying. According to research by the University of Maryland Medical Center, side effects are much more likely to occur when using bimatoprost and travoprost than when using latanoprost.
However, bimatoprost in most cases is able to increase the length of the eyelashes to a greater extent than latanoprost. In one unpublished, randomized, placebo-controlled, multicenter clinical trial, 278 patients applied one drop of bimatoprost (n = 137) or placebo (n = 141) to an elevated eyelid at the base of the eyelashes once in the evening for about 16 weeks. Eyelashes were assessed by length, thickness and pigmentation. In the group with bimatoprost, the results were significantly better than the control group.
Prostaglandin drugs are glaucoma medications that must be used with great care and only after consulting an ophthalmologist.