Frown lines are the vertical lines that develop between the eyebrows as we age. Sometimes, they will be referred to as the “elevens”. The medical term for these lines is glabellar lines. They are caused by the procerus and corrugator muscles. These muscles contract when we scowl or when we are squinting. Sun-damaged and volume loss also play a role in the development of frown lines.
When we are younger the skin is thick enough and has enough elastin so the skin fold goes away when the muscles relax. As we get older, the skin loses collagen and elastin. The glabellar lines may remain even when the muscles are relaxed. Some patients will begin noticing the frown lines in their early twenties.
Frown lines can have a social impact as well. It is not uncommon for patients to complain about being asked why they are mad or sad. They are frustrated with being asked if they are OK. Treating the glabellar lines can give the appearance of being happy and even more youthful.
- Quit Smoking – Smoking increases the speed at which we lose collagen and elastin as we age but also plays a role in our body’s ability to produce collagen.
- Sun Protection – of course, this is always better to start when we are younger but it is never too late to protect skin from sun damage. EltaMD has a great selection of sunblocks to be used on all skin types.
- Botox / Dysport – These products are the most common ways to treat frown lines. They relax the muscles that cause the lines and the skin will generally repair itself. These will need to be injected every 3 to 4 months to maintain your results.
- Dermal Fillers – Fillers such as Restylane, Juvederm or Bellafill can be used in patients where the Botox or Dysport did not get rid of the furrow completely. It is very important to only use a provider familiar with the anatomy in the area as it is possible to inject an artery and cause ulceration of the skin.