Category Archives: Cosmetic Procedure Injury

Eyelash Growth Serum Lawsuit

By | Cosmetic Procedure Injury, cosmetic product lawsuit, eyelash growth serum, FDA, Litigation, Personal Injury, prostaglandin analog | No Comments

There are many eyelash growth serums currently on the market that promise to grow your lashes and make them appear darker and more beautiful. You may even have friends that have used these products, resulting in truly a miraculous effect. Unfortunately, the same ingredients that make your eyelashes grow can also cause serious and permanent eye problems.

Several months ago, I had a young woman email me with a nightmare story about how one of these serums, manufactured by a very popular over-the-counter cosmetics brand caused her to suffer permanent eye injuries. After doing some research and speaking with her, I was shocked to find out that the manufacturers of many of these eyelash growth serums do not disclose the real possibility of developing permanent eye injuries after using their products.

I knew immediately that she needed an attorney that is not only good but one that cares about cosmetic injury cases. Over the years, I have been focusing my practice on representing clients who suffered injuries from all kinds of botched cosmetic procedures. I think that I am naturally pulled towards this area of law because I am personally interested in the latest products and procedures that can keep me looking young! So, her situation was exactly the type of case that we love to do at LOU LAW and she was the perfect client to help.

The problem with eyelash growth serums.

You have probably seen advertisements for a product called Latisse (formally Allergan, now an AbbVie brand) which is a prescription lash growing serum. Latisse can only be purchased through a prescription from your doctor because it contains an ingredient considered to be a drug by the FDA called bimatoprost. Bimatoprost is a prostaglandin analog that was discovered to cause eyelash growth as a side effect to its originally intended use which was to treat glaucoma. In treating the eye disease with prostaglandins, scientists noticed that an unintended result of using prostaglandins, such as bimatoprost, caused the users’ eyelashes to grow and darken. This seemingly miraculous discovery had a great commercial opportunity because there are millions of people that want amazing looking eyelashes that are their own.

After Latisse came out, other cosmetic manufacturers began researching alternative prostaglandins that they could put in their own eyelash growth serums to compete with Latisse and give more options for customers desiring the long-lash effect. Thus, Isopropyl Cloprostenate was discovered to be as effective as bimatoprost at extending natural eyelashes. Isopropyl Cloprostenate is a synthetic prostaglandin analog that is used in many over-the-counter lash growth serums.

Unfortunately, prostaglandin analogs are known to cause serious and permanent eye problems.

In addition to eyelid discoloration and iris pigmentation (mostly impacting light-colored eyes), prostaglandin analogs are known to cause permanent blockage of meibomian glands which are responsible for secreting important oils that help clean and moisturize the eyes. People using eyelash growth serums are at risk for developing a condition called Meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD) is a term used to describe a group of disorders, both congenital and acquired, linked by functional abnormalities of the meibomian glands. Permanent side effects from these eye serums include constant dry eyes, eye infections, and recurrence of styes (chalazion and hordeolum) on the exterior and interior eyelids. Here is a great source of information about the effect of prostaglandins on the eye structure.

These awful side effects are well known to eye doctors who treat glaucoma. And there are numerous scientific and medical journal articles out there discussing the correlation between the use of topical prostaglandin analogs and serious eye problems. Yet, the warning labels on many of the eyelash serums containing prostaglandins do not mention anything about the risk of these serious side effects.

Also, it can be hard to find out whether a serum has a prostaglandin analog  because they are not listed as “prostaglandin.” Here is a list of examples of popular lash serums that contain prostaglandin analogs:

  • GrandeLASH -MD Lash Enhancing Serum (Grande Cosmetics) – contains Cloprostenol Isopropyl Ester, a prostaglandin analog;
  • Rapid Lash Eyelash Enhancing Serum – contains Isopropyl Cloprostenate, a prostaglandin analog;
  • RevitaLash Advanced Eyelash Conditioner (RevitaLash Cosmetics) – contains Dechloro Dihydroxy Difluoro Ethylcloprostenolamide, a prostaglandin analog;
  • LiLash -contains Isopropyl Phenylhydroxypentene Dihydroxycyclopentylheptanate, a prostaglandin analog;
  • R+F Enhancements Lash Boost (Rodan + Fields) -contains Isopropyl Cloprostenate, a prostaglandin analog.

Often lash growth serum products do not warn about the side effects of prostaglandin analogs. If you look at the FQ&A’s and other labeling materials of the most popular lash growth serums, you will find that not only are side effects such as dry eye, styes, discoloration, Meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD), are not mentioned, to your surprise you will probably find that the companies state that their products are completely safe and side effect free. I have seen the manufacturers make bold statements that their prostaglandin analog lash serums are cosmetics and not prescription drugs, therefore no serious side effects should be expected.

Eyelash growth serums are drugs, not cosmetics because they contain prostaglandin analogs.

On April 18, 2011, the FDA issued a Warning Letter to Lifetech Resources, LLC the manufacturer of RapidLash Eyelash Renewal Serum (“RapidLash”), NeuLash Active Eyelash Technology (“NeuLash”), and NeuveauBrow Active Eyebrow Technology (“NeuveauBrow”) explaining to the company that the company’s labeling and promotional materials of the over-the-counter lash and brow growth serums that contain prostaglandin analogs are illegal. The FDA stated that “ ‘RapidLash’, ‘NeuLash’, and ‘NeuveauBrow’ are misbranded under section 502(a) because their labeling makes misleading statements regarding the product’s safety and also fails to reveal material facts with respect to consequences that may result from the use of the product.” Although the letter threatened “legal action without further notice… seizure and injunction” if the company does not correct the numerous violations cited in the letter, the product continues to be sold today.

How are these products being sold without a prescription and without proper warnings?

The answer is simple: No one has stopped them. The FDA seems to have a bark that is worse than its bite. Although it can threaten legal action, it is restricted by limited authority in the cosmetics realm. Cosmetic manufacturers are not required to get approval from the FDA before selling products in the United States. As long as a manufacturer uses the right language in describing its product, it can easily avoid enforcement proceedings by the FDA. If the product is labeled for “cleansing, beautifying, promoting attractiveness, or altering the appearance” and not for treating an undesired condition, the product may continue to be sold on the market as a cosmetic.

This is exactly what happened with RapidLash. The manufacturer’s lawyers adjusted the language in the labeling materials and the product continues to be sold over the counter as a cosmetic, despite its prostaglandin analog ingredient.

Eyelash Growth Serum Lawsuit

If you suspect that you may have suffered an injury after using an eyelash serum, you should talk to your eye doctor about the products you have used and the ingredients it contains. Your doctor will help you identify if there is a correlation between the specific ingredients in your lash serum and the eye condition that you have been experiencing.

You have the right to file a lawsuit for your eye injuries resulting from eyelash growth serum.

If you have suffered injuries from using an eyelash growth serum containing a prostaglandin analog, you have a right to sue the manufacturer. There are several  theories of liability under which you can bring a lawsuit against the eyelash growth serum manufacturing companies, including product liability, negligence, misrepresentation and concealment, and other applicable state and federal laws.

Our law firm handles cosmetic injury cases and represents clients against product manufacturers. If you would like to have your case reviewed by an attorney at LOU LAW, contact us today at 1-855-554-6534.

Med Spas Without Medical Pros

By | Cosmetic Injury, Cosmetic Procedure Injury, Personal Injury | No Comments

I want to address a very disturbing trend that I am seeing emerge in the medical spa world.  Patients are being treated by unqualified office staff at medical spas, with no supervision by any medical professionals.

In my Cosmetic Procedure Injury practice, I have talked to a number of clients that report the same situation. They go to a medical spa for a cosmetic procedure, which they fully except to be performed by a medical professional such as a Physician, Nurse Practitioner, or Physician Assistant but they never actually meet with anyone other than non-medical staff members, who consult with the patients, perform the procedure, and even deal with post-procedure complications. The patient never knows that the person with whom they are dealing is not a medical professional. The office staff wear scrubs and speak authoritatively about the medical procedures. It is not until the patient gets injured and seeks the advice of an experienced attorney that they find out that the person performing the procedure is not licensed to do so.

To protect yourself, you should always check whether the person performing your cosmetic procedure has a Florida medical license with the Board of Medicine or any kind of license with the Department of Business & Professional Regulation.

In Florida, even electrologists who are licensed to work with lasers, to remove unwanted hair, are required to be under the direct supervision of a physician and the physician is required to personally meet with the patient for at least the initial consultation. It is logical that whenever someone is using a medical device to administer a procedure on a patient, they must either have a medical education or be under the close supervision of someone who does.

Unfortunately, as more medical products are becoming available for minimally invasive cosmetic procedures, and cosmetic procedures outside of a plastic surgeon’s office are becoming more popular, physicians are feeling more comfortable delegating the task of administering these procedures to their non-medical staff. Physicians are driven by the money they save on lower-cost staff, which are much cheaper to employ than qualified medical professionals. Many medical spas are owned and managed by non-medical entrepreneurs that do not understand the need for a well-supervised practice, led by a hands-on medical professional.

Many times in my practice, I have seen a single physician “supervise” multiple medical spas around town, where the physician’s sole job is to sign charts without ever seeing a single patient. These absentee supervising physicians are completely oblivious to what is going on in the clinics that they “supervise” and do not know whether the employees performing the medical procedures are following protocol, properly administering the procedures, and adequately advising the patients of their risks.

In our practice, we have seen injuries that have resulted from a variety of cosmetic procedures including, CoolSculpting, lasers, chemical peels, injections of Botox and injections of fillers, just to name a few.

Treating patients without an appropriate license is not only dangerous, it is illegal. If you have been injured after undergoing a cosmetic procedure in a medical spa, call us today to discuss your case with our experienced attorney at 855-554-6534.

Injecting Too Much Filler = Liability

By | Cosmetic Procedure Injury | No Comments

First of all, I want to start by saying that I personally think that injectable cosmetic procedures are great. Botox and Dysport can effectively relax wrinkle-prone areas of the face and give eyebrows a slight and happy lift. Dermal fillers such as Juvederm and Restylane (or any other brand name) can dramatically enhance lips and fill deep wrinkle lines. If done correctly and with utmost care, injectables can keep both men and women looking young and feeling great about the aging process. Injectables can also creatively solve many cosmetic concerns (such as filling deep acne scars) without the need for invasive plastic surgery.

BUT… I want to address a serious problem that I see as an attorney handling cosmetic procedure injury cases. Upselling units.

This is the general scenario:

A patient makes an appointment at a med spa or a doctor’s office to find out more information about an injectable product. The patient’s intention is to collect information about the procedure such as the risks that should be considered, the amount of units necessary, the cost of the procedure, the difference between products on the market, etc. Although the patient is open minded about undergoing the procedure, their intention is to consult with a knowledgable professional before doing so. When the patient gets to the office, they are met by pushy staff that pressure the patient into undergoing the procedure immediately. Sometimes, the office even has a promotional rate for buying more injectable product (more units). At the time of the consultation, no actual  information about the product is provided. The patient still has many questions about the cosmetic procedure they are about to undergo. The patient ends up purchasing more units of the injectable product than they actually need. And the injector proceeds to over-inject the patient with too much product, causing lasting injuries.

Over-selling units of injectable product leads to injuries. It is a reckless practice and in my opinion, simply unethical. Med spas and doctors’ offices are incentivized to sell more units because they charge by the unit. The more units they sell, the more profit they make!

Injecting too much filler can result in arterial occlusion, cutting off blood supply to the skin and causing the skin tissue to die (necrosis). Injecting too much botulinum or injecting it in places that do not need it, can cause loss of muscle function, drooping lids or eyebrows, and even double vision. Some consequences of over-injecting resolve over time, while others have permanent effects.

Most people trust their injectors and believe that the injector will act in their best interest. And many injectors do a great job of caring first and foremost about their patient’s health and happiness. But, unfortunately in my practice I have seen a number of examples where profits take priority over a person’s well-being.

Therefore, it is always wise to do your own research. Check out reviews about the clinic and the product before making an appointment. Write down your questions and make sure you get clear answers to every single one before agreeing to the procedure.  And most importantly, if you feel confused or uncertain about something, do not be afraid to say “let me think about it” and go home.

 

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