Frown lines between eyebrows are one of the most common issues that people come into the office hoping to treat. They are also called glabella wrinkles or the dreaded 11 sign.
This is something that’s a very common concern. As we get older we tend to make that frown. I think it maybe starts after you have children because you start getting into scolding them. Other people say it starts right after you get married.
But no matter what causes frown lines between eyebrows, this is an issue that a lot of us have and there is a very simple way to treat it very effectively.
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Cause of Frown Lines Between Eyebrows
But let’s start by talking about the cause of these wrinkles.
The cause of these wrinkles are overactive corrugator muscles and these are muscles that can be found above the eyebrows. When those muscles contract, you can create those vertical wrinkles that we call the 11 sign.
So if the corrugator muscles are the cause of these wrinkles, it makes sense that the solution is to stop those muscles from contracting.
That’s the solution! And how best to do that? Well, you do it with Botox.
How to Get Rid of Glabella Wrinkles
You can use Botox or another neurotoxin like Dysport. These function by weakening the muscles that can create those wrinkles.
If the Botox is injected into your corrugator muscles, within about a week or so, those muscles will weaken and they won’t create those wrinkles anymore. It relaxes them to the point where if you lie on your back and you’re completely relaxed and if those wrinkles smooth out, that’s the type of result you get.
So the Botox or the other neurotoxin will weaken those muscles that create the wrinkles. We typically inject anywhere from about 10 to 20 units of Botox into that area for maximal effect.
The results do last about 3 to 4 months and is typically very well tolerated.
How does a procedure work?
Sometimes people use a little bit of ice to numb that area. The needle is so tiny, it creates so little discomfort, that most people don’t need any type of an aesthetic or anything like that.
We take the tiniest needle and the smallest amount of Botox and just inject it into multiple little areas into that location. It’s tiniest amount of pain, it’s easier than going to the dentist. You can put some ice on it, but most people don’t really do anything.
That’s it, they’re done!
We do recommend that you don’t exercise that day but otherwise, most activities are fine. It does take up to a week for the Botox to really kick in and then you should start seeing things smoothing themselves out.
What are some potential risks of it?
Bruising is definitely a possibility. You’ll definitely have some swelling, although swelling usually is much better within a day or so.
There is a risk of the Botox migrating and going into the upper eyelid. This is very uncommon because we’re fairly far from the eyelid, but if it migrates and goes into the upper eyelid, it can cause the eyelid to droop a bit. That is temporary and if that happens to you, there are little drops that can be prescribed that can help with that.
Those are the main risks that you see with Botox into the glabella area. This is one of the most popular, probably the most popular cosmetic treatment, in many offices for the last ten years because it works so well.
Frown Lines Before and After
Let’s take a look at a couple of examples of results.
Look at her before picture on the left and her after on the right. You can see how things are much smoother afterwards.
Look at before on the left and after on the right. It really just forces you to relax those areas. Like I said, as if you’re lying flat on your back and really relaxed.
This is a male. We’re doing a lot of Botox in men. This is an area that doesn’t typically look done or plastic and it’s very popular area for men when they get these kind of furrows between the eyes, those eleven signs. And it works really well.
So this definitely works very well, whether it’s Botox or another neurotoxin like Dysport.
Another option that people have are injectable fillers into this area and I have a lot of patients that ask me can I inject a filler into my glabella wrinkles.
That is an option that I use as a last stitch resort. Always you want to start with Botox. One big reason why is that Botox affects the muscles which are the cause of the wrinkles, whereas if you inject a filler into those wrinkles, you are treating the symptom.
You’re treating those lines that are left over from those muscles contracting, not the actual muscles themselves.
But the bigger issue with it is a risk of blindness. There are blood vessels in this area that actually can go back to the brain and the eye, the actual eyeball. People have actually gone blind from fillers in that area.
It’s considered a danger zone. If you’re thinking about fillers in the glabella area, you got to be really cautious.
There are some people where these wrinkles have been there for decades, for so long and they’re so deep that even when they lie back in bed and they relax, those wrinkles are still there. If you’re the type of person that those wrinkles are so deep set, Botox won’t completely get rid of them, like you see in these before-and-after photos.
It will still soften the wrinkles, but it can’t make them completely go away.
The way I describe it to patients, it’s like the wrinkles on my palm. It doesn’t matter how much Botox I inject into my palm, those wrinkles will always be there. Even if I stretch my hand out as much as possible, I can still see there are those wrinkles there.
If you’re the type of person that you’ve got these deep furrows and even when you’re completely relaxed, they are still there, once again Botox can work for you, but it may not eradicate the wrinkles like you are seeing in these before-and-after photos.
So Botox or other neurotoxins are by far the best treatments if you’ve got frown lines or glabella wrinkles, otherwise known as the eleven sign.
It’s a very simple procedure, literally the injection takes five or ten minutes. It’s the most popular procedure in many offices.
Rebecca is a licensed aesthetician and certified laser technician with almost 15 years experience in the dermatology. Her life-long passion is making people look good and happy.