One common concern when getting Botox injections is the effect it has on the eyebrows. Your eyebrows are lifted by the muscle in your forehead, the frontalis muscle. So what does that have to do with your Botox results? The mechanism behind Botox's ability to improve wrinkles involves the muscles. You may be wondering... how are muscles and wrinkles related? Your muscles contract causing your skin to wrinkle up when you make different facial expressions. Overtime, this can lead to fine lines and an aged appearance of the skin. When Botox is injected into a muscle it relaxes it, leaving it less capable of wrinkling up your skin when you are making facial expressions.
Back to the forehead muscle, the frontalis... The frontalis muscle lifts your eyebrows up. Overtime, this causes horizontal wrinkles to run across your forehead. Botox can be injected into the frontalis muscle to reduce these wrinkles. The extent of which these wrinkles can be corrected depends on multiple factors.
1. Location - if the wrinkles are within one fingerbreadth (1.9cm) above the tail of your eyebrow, you may not be able to remove them using Botox. Why? Because Botox injected into this area can cause the eyebrow to drop and look unnatural, and asymmetrical.
2. The severity of the wrinkle - How do you determine the severity of a wrinkle? Here is a quick and easy way you can try at home: without raising your eyebrows, can you see the wrinkles still? Or can you only see the wrinkles when you raise your eyebrows? If you can see the wrinkles even when you aren't making any facial expressions, this is a more severe type of wrinkle, a static wrinkle. One Botox treatment often times will not resolve these wrinkles. However, consistent treatments at 3 months intervals overtime can lead to improvement. Wrinkles that can be seen even when the face is at rest are called static wrinkles. Wrinkles that are only seen when the face is making an expression are called dynamic wrinkles. Static wrinkles take more than one treatment and extended time to improve.
3. The current state of the eyebrow - there is a condition called "Brow Ptosis", which is the decent of the brow and brow fat pad and typically occurs with advancing age. If you are already experiencing the falling of the eyebrow due to expected signs of aging, Botox in the forehead horizontal lines is not recommended. Even Botox injected into the proper areas of the frontalis (forehead) muscle will cause some degree of Brow Ptosis, so it isn't recommended to treat when Brow Ptosis is already present.
That being said, Botox can also lift the eyebrow if injected into the glabella. The glabella is a group of muscles located between your eyebrows. When injected into these muscles, Botox relaxes these depressor (downward pulling) muscles, causing a slight lift. Injecting in this area also corrects the vertical frown lines between the eyebrows, also known as the "elevens". Botox can be injected laterally at the tail of the brow to also provide a subtle lift.
So when you think Botox, don't just think wrinkles, think about positioning and how that can also improve the youthful appearance of your face!