Latisse for thin eyebrows secondary to thyroid problems
The thyroid is an important organ found in the neck that produces a group of hormones that have a wide range of effects upon the human body. The most commonly known hormone that it produces is called thyroxine which comes in a variety of forms and exerts a range of effects.
Its most significant effects impacts upon the metabolism of cells. Having too much thyroid hormone results in a condition known as hyperthyroidism and causes symptoms due to this increased metabolism such as anxiety, increased heart rate or tremor. Having too low a thyroid level is known as hypothyroidism and can result in weight gain, depression and fatigue. Sometimes a person can have either high or low hormone levels and not display any symptoms.
If you feel that you may be suffering from thyroid dysfunction then it is important that you talk to your doctor. They will ask you a series of diagnostic questions and can perform a series of simple tests. If you do require treatment then it is usually straightforward and should greatly improve your quality of life.
Thyroid dysfunction is an enormous topic with a wide range of symptoms due to the far reaching effect that the organ has but for this article I will focus upon its effect on hair.
Both high and low levels of thyroid hormones can cause changes in the condition of hair. Some people find that the hair becomes fine and brittle, others notice an overall thinning of their hair while some have significant hair loss. These symptoms can be isolated to one area, such as the scalp, or all hair can be effected at once.
Thinning of the eyebrows, particularly the outer third of the brow, is relatively common and easy to overlook. Medically it is known as the ‘Sign of Hertoghe’ or ‘Queen Anne’s sign’ and the reason that it effects the outer third more than the rest of the brow is currently unknown. Hair does naturally thin with age and it is easy to put eyebrow loss down to this, but if you ever feel that you may be affected by a thyroid problem then you should talk to your doctor.
When people have hair loss due to thyroid dysfunction, they usually find that it improves after a few months of treatment. Unfortunately, some will not be able to return their eyebrows to a level that they are satisfied with and may consider alternatives.
Bimatoprost, commonly known in America by the brand name Latisse, is an option. Latisse can be used to help eyebrow loss and comes as a topical treatment that is applied to the skin of the brow. The liquid soaks in to the hair follicle and stimulates it to increase its growth. This results in a hair that is thicker and darker.
Latisse was originally used as an eyedrop for glaucoma, a condition in which the pressure within the eye is raised, but doctors noticed that it had the useful effect of eyelash growth. Since then, it has underwent clinical trials for this cosmetic application and gained FDA approval in 2008. Studies have now been conducted on its use for eyebrow growth and the results have been promising.
For example, a 2013 concluded that the treatment “improves the appearance of eyebrows noticeably more than vehicle, without side effects”.
Although there has not been as much research on its use on eyebrows, the treatment has helped many people that have thinned eyebrows due to thyroid problems. We hope that more evidence will grow with time to support its use.
If you have any questions on treatment for eyelash or eyebrow growth then please contact us and we are more than happy to help.
Written by Dr Tom Walker