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Author: Sean Kenniff, skenniff@wfor.cbs.com

Q: As I’ve gotten older my eyelashes have thinned. Why is this, and what can be done about it?
A: Long thick eyelashes are one of the hallmarks of youth, particularly for women. And according to Dr. Alan Bauman, a hair restoration surgeon from Boca Raton, it’s common to experience a little eyelash thinning with age. “Sparseness or thinness in the eyelashes is very similar to hair loss,” Bauman said, “And there are many potential causes, but age and genetic factors seem to be the most important.” Poor nutrition, hypothyroidism, autoimmune diseases and certain medications can also lead to brittle lashes, or loss of lashes. While mascara can help accentuate them, fake lashes often do more harm than good. Bauman says removal of fake lashes often removes healthy eyelashes along with their follicles. For severe cases, Bauman prefers an eyelash transplant, a surgical technique he helped pioneer. “The procedure is microsurgical. It’s done under local anesthesia. We harvest the scalp follicles from the back of the head, and we implant them in the lid, and they grow like a seed for a plant,” he said. During the 45-minute procedure one to two dozen hair follicles are transplanted into the upper eyelid. But Bauman cautions, since hair follicles are being transplanted, the new lashes grow like regular hair, and they need to be trimmed and trained*. Dr. Sean Kenniff is a neurologist who covers health issues for WFOR CBS-4. The advice in this column is not a substitute for consulting a physician. Reach him at skenniff@wfor.cbs.com.

Comments by Dr. Bauman, re: …eyelashes thin with age

December 2006: Today, the procedure takes about two hours and we are implanting about 30-40 lashes per lid on average.   Trichotillomania (hair pulling complusion) and eyelash extensions seem to be common causes of non-age related lash loss.   For more info on eyelash transplantation, visit www.eyelash-transplant.com.
Sincerely, Dr. Bauman

*Each individual's treatment and/or results may vary

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Disclaimer: *All patient or client images, videos and testimonials are based on the personal experiences of our patients and represent individual diagnoses, medical conditions, goals and results. Every individual case is unique therefore, results may vary from person to person. All testimonials are provided voluntarily by our patients and clients without monetary compensation and all photos and videos have been consented to for public release and have not been altered in any way. The content contained herein is for education only and should not be considered medical advice. Medical advice may only be given through a one-on-one, private consultation with a physician.

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