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Cosmetic Dermatology

Frown Lines

Frown lines are a common aesthetic complaint for many patients. When patients visit California Skin Institute to treat frown lines, they often have several concerns about the problem. Their first complaint is that the lines between their eyebrows have become very pronounced. Like a number of other wrinkle types, this can make an individual feel self-conscious. However, frown lines have the added effect of creating a perpetually-tired, or even angry, appearance. In fact, many patients who visit our providers suggest that the most upsetting part of developing these lines is their friends and coworkers routinely telling them that they look tired and asking if everything is okay.

How Frown Lines Form

The formation of frown lines can be attributed to several factors, including repetitive muscle movements and a decrease in skin elasticity.

Through regular movements of the muscles responsible for frown lines, the wrinkles between your eyebrows become deeper. Unfortunately, many individuals don’t even realize that they are making these movements on a regular basis. Fast emotional reactions that result in immediate physical facial movements can be almost imperceptible to the individual making them.

Secondly, as we age, the skin produces less vital proteins, like collagen and elastin. These are essential for skin elasticity, as they provide the support network that allows the skin to snap back into place.

The combination of facial muscle movements and the loss of skin elasticity can eventually lead to very pronounced frown lines that can make a person look perpetually angry or tired, even when they are completely relaxed.

How to Treat Frown Lines

To help patients reduce the appearance of frown lines (also known as glabellar lines), California Skin Institute providers can use a variety of treatment methods, including:

  • Neuromodulators: One of the treatments for frown lines is the use of neuromodulators, like Botox, Dysport, and Xeomin. These injectable treatments rely on Botulinum toxin A to temporarily relax the muscles at the treatment site. By relaxing the muscles responsible for the wrinkle, neuromodulators can significantly reduce the appearance of frown lines for 3-4 months.1 Virtually painless, these treatments can be performed quickly but must be administered by an expert medical provider, to ensure that results look natural.
  • Dermal Fillers: Another approach for treating frown lines is the use of dermal fillers, like Juvederm, Bellafill, and Restylane, among others. These fillers help create support under the skin, which will smooth out the wrinkle. In some cases, California Skin Institute providers may suggest a combination of fillers and neuromodulators. Fillers will provide the support under the skin, while the neuromodulators will slow the further development of these lines.
  • Specialized Technologies: For some patients, specialized skincare technologies may also yield positive results for treating frown lines. For example, Thermage is a radiofrequency treatment that may strengthen collagen fibers, to improve skin resiliency against wrinkles. Another potential treatment option is Ultherapy, which uses ultrasound waves to improve skin elasticity and diminish facial wrinkles, including frown lines.
  • Face Lift: In cases where frown lines are severe and are accompanied by other age-related changes in the facial structure, a brow lift can provide a dramatic improvement in appearance. By tightening the forehead skin, the patient can experience long-term results that also look natural.

Customized Treatment of Frown Lines

Because there are many potential treatments for frown lines, it’s important to work with an expert medical provider who understands the nuance of each approach. Each treatment has its own unique strengths and effects, which makes it important to consider each approach in relation to your specific facial structure and the severity of the frown lines.

To take the first step toward treating frown lines, please call a California Skin Institute practice near you, or request an appointment by filling out the Contact Form, below.

References: 1. Botulinum Toxins for Facial Lines: A Concise Review. Nicholas J. Lowe and Philippa Lowe


This is to be only used as an educational piece and individuals should not use it to self-diagnose a condition or problem. Treatment results will vary, talk to a practitioner to see if any of these treatments or procedures are right for you.

Treatments for Frown Lines

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