Thin, overplucked eyebrows could be reversed by new drug

There’s a new drug that may just bring your brows back. (Photo: Getty Images)
There’s a new drug that may just bring your brows back. (Photo: Getty Images)

If you’ve spent a little too much time in front of the magnifying mirror with a pair of tweezers, only to find that you’ve seriously overplucked your brows, we’ve got some good news.

An exploratory study conducted by Rophe Pharma found that the topical drug RPHE-7193 helps stimulate hair growth in the areas where eyebrow hair growth has ceased. According to the company’s press release, RPHE-7193 was developed after the company realized that no drug had previously been approved to treat thinning eyebrows in women. The drug appears to work similarly to monoxidil (Rogaine), according to Rophe Pharma, resulting in “more volume with thicker eyebrows after 4-6 weeks of treatment,” according to the release.

Robert Gadimian, founder and president of Rophe Pharma, tells Yahoo Lifestyle: “The mechanism of action has not been studied yet, but most probably it stimulates the hair follicles since we see the same effect on the scalp hair.” (Based on this promising new research, the company is also launching a study to see whether RPHE-7193 can stimulate eyelash growth in women, giving Latisse a run for its money.)

The topical drug, which is in a gel form, is initially applied to the brow area one to two times a day. But you’ve got to keep using it to maintain those Cara Delevingne-like eyebrows. “As with any other drug, if the subject stops using it, the effect will fade away,” says Gadimian. “But we assume that after the eyebrow is regrown, the maintenance dose will be three or four times a week instead of twice a day.”

As Kristina Goldenberg of Goldenberg Dermatology in New York City points out, many people — particularly women — are guilty of overplucking their eyebrows to get a “clean look.” That can result in bald spots in some. “When eyebrow hair is repeatedly plucked, the follicle where the hair grows from becomes damaged,” Goldenberg tells Yahoo Lifestyle. “If this is continued for an extended period of time, scar tissue replaces the follicle altogether and prevents the hair from growing back.”

Drugs like RPHE-7193 may be the answer to getting fuller brows back. But it’s not the only option. After its success at growing longer lashes, some have tried using Latisse off-label to boost thinning brows and fill in bald patches.

“Some women do report mild improvement with Latisse,” notes Goldenberg. “A more effective way to help eyebrow hair grow back is by injecting platelet-rich plasma (PRP) into the eyebrows. PRP contains growth factors that can stimulate weak hair follicles to start growing hair again. I usually recommend doing the treatment three times one month apart. The earlier the treatment is done the better — before any scarring has developed.”

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