Doctor denies procedure to turn brown eyes blue is ethnically insensitive
3,200 cosmetic procedure doesn”t work in reverse – meaning you cannot turn a blue eye brown”I mean is bleached hair an ethnic issue” asks doctor
A doctor who can turn brown eyes blue has denied that his revolutionary technique is ethnically insensitive.
Dr Gregg Homer, from Stroma Medical in California unveiled his Lumineyes technology which can permanently change a person”s eye colour in just 20 seconds last month.
But as the 3,200 cosmetic procedure doesn”t work in reverse – meaning you cannot turn a blue eye brown – many are questioning if it is discriminatory.
Dr Gregg Homer (left) has denied that his procedure to turn brown eyes blue is ethnically insensitive. Right – An eye towards the end of treatment
When questioned on the issue he told The Times: “Well, number one, I”m Jewish. So that would be a pretty heavy blow to take.
“I mean is bleached hair an ethnic issue”
Blue eyes, which are a recessive trait, are becoming increasingly rare and as a consequence there has been a growing trend for coloured contact lenses.
Despite the 57-year-old denying that the procedure will attract those wanting to emulate blue-eyed stars suchas Cameron Diaz, Elizabeth Taylor and Daniel Craig he can see the attraction.
He added: “Blue eyes are deep, whereas brown eyes are opaque.
“You hear of people with brown eyes who grew up with parents of relatives always saying to theior blue-eyes brothers or sisters, “Oh your eyes are so wonderful!”.
“I think they are beautiful.”
The Lumineye technology works by removing some of the brown pigment from the front of the iris, leaving it blue. In this picture the process has been performed on the bottom half of the eye
The laser energy removes the brown pigment, or melanin, from the top layer of the iris, and the blue eye colour emerges over the following two to three weeks.
It would provide an alternative to those who wanted lighter eyes without resorting to cosmetic contact lenses.
However the procedure – which Dr Homer has developed over 10 years – is irreversible because the brown tissue cannot regenerate.
Stroma Medical has started limited human testing but is seeking up to 500,000 to complete clinical trials.
Ifall goes to plan Dr Homer says the procedure could be available outsidethe U.S within 18 months and inside the U.S in three years, and thousands of prospective clients have already expressed interest.
CEO of Stroma Medical, Doug Daniels, admitted he wasn”t sure about the concept when Dr Homer first told him about it.
“I was very sceptical frankly, but I learned a long time ago that all the great ideas start out as blasphemy,” he said.
A blue eye pigment doesn”t actually exist in nature. Instead, people with blue eyes have a brown pigment, known as melamin, at the back of their irises but have low concentrations of melanin in the front of their irises.
This means longer wavelengths of light are absorbed by the dark back of the eye, while the shorter wavelengths are scattered.
Study leader Professor Eiberg said before this time, everyone had brown eyes.
The mutation of brown eyes to blue represents neither a positive nor a negative mutation. It is one of several mutations such as hair colour, baldness, freckles and beauty spots, which neither increases nor reduces a human’s chance of survival.
Professor Eiberg said at the time: “It simply shows that nature is constantly shuffling the human genome, creating a genetic cocktail of human chromosomesand trying out different changes as it does so.”