Medicine, including cosmetic plastic surgery, is filled with happy, chance discoveries known as serendipitous findings.
The discovery of penicillin, the anesthetic Nitrous Oxide (“laughing gas,”) the blood thinner Warfarin and the alcoholic treatment drug Antabuse were all accidental discoveries.
(Nonetheless, Louie Pasteur once wrote “Chance favors the prepared mind.”
Yet another example is the discovery of Botox – (and later, Dysportt) for use as a facial wrinkle remover.
It happened when ophthalmologist Jean Carruthers, M.D. was using an early form of Botox to treat blepharospasm, an uncontrolled eye spasm and blinking disorder. Jean is married to, and shared an office with, husband Alastair, a dermatologist.
One of Dr. Jean’s patients, after having her eyes treated, asked for an injection of the same medicine into her forehead. Dr. Jean asked why and the patient replied: “It makes all my wrinkles go away.”
The rest, as they say, is history.
(Learn more about Botox and Dysport.)
Latisse itself was a serendipitous finding. In 2001, the drug company Allergan developed a medicated eye drop to treat increased pressure inside the human eyeball. Later, many patients started reporting back to doctors the product also caused their eyelashes to grow longer and darker.
Sensing a promising new market, Allergan studied the anti-pressure drug to find the active ingredient and discovered bimatoprost. A clinical trial was started and completed with good results. Latisse, a medication intended for darker, lusher eyelashes was cleared by the FDA in 2008.
Now, it’s bimatoprost’s turn. How? Women who have complained of sparse or very sparse eyebrows – and have been using the eyelash darkener Latisse once or twice daily — enjoyed seeing their eyebrows become thicker and darker too.
Events circled back to Dr. Jean who organized a study on using bimatoprost to treat thin, scraggly eyebrows. She ran a study on 357 adults of whom 94.7 percent were women with an average age of 54
In the testing, separate groups of study subjects used bimatoprost either once or twice daily.
Results? Both groups reported better eyebrow growth and satisfaction within only one to two months.
(Read the eyebrow darkening study of bimatoprost.)