What are frownies, frown lines?

The area between the eyebrows is compressed by the corrugator muscles and the depressor muscles around this area like procurus and the upper fibres of obicularis occulii. These muscles kick in when we frown to convey anger, confusion or concentration. They are also used (and overused) by those who squint because they need glasses but don’t wear them, those who could do with sunglasses more often and those that work in front of computers for long periods.  Repeated movement of these muscles over years can result is 1-5 permanent vertical lines that remain even when the muscles are not engaged. As these muscles are primarily to convey anger, so lines in this area can give an angry or ‘fed-up’ appearance, even when you are  in a good mood!

What is the treatment for frownies, frown lines?

There are two areas to treat the lines in this area. Firstly the muscle groups involved can be weakened using a muscle relaxing treatment. This technique is particularly effective and natural and often is enough to settle things. The aim is to still allow the muscles to contract, but not as much as previously, to prevent the folds from appearing as strongly and as frequently.

The second method of settling the lines is to use a dermal filler that fills in the areas where volume loss has happened(the creases). Dermal filler is injected about 1or 2 mm below the surface of the line. Usually a moderate viscosity (relatively but not too thick) filler can be used for these purposes.   The result of the filler is to lift the base of the line by as much as is injected. Lifting up the base of the line results in a less visible line.

Often only one of the two treatment techniques is needed, and the filler is only reserved for the really established lines that don’t settle with muscle relaxation.

How long does the treatment for frownies, frown lines take?

Treatments take from 5-10 minutes to carry out, and are performed by a doctor. The actual ‘injection part’ of the treatment can be as short as 30 seconds.

Does it hurt?

Treatment in the Glabella is surprisingly painless for most people, described by patients as ‘just a pinch’. Officially treatment in this area is classed as between a 2 and 3 on the ‘1-10 pain scale’.  This is equivalent to somewhere between a mosquito bite(2/10) and a paper cut(3/10).   A lot of people would consider the pain level to be similar to squeezing a spot.

Are there any side effects?

The side effects associated with treatment in this area are quite limited, and it is important to aim to use the least amount of product to get the desired effect in order to minimize the small chance of these.  Common needle side effects include temporary (5-10 minutes) swelling and redness, less commonly bruising, and then much less commonly again, product specific side effects which your doctor will discuss with you before treatment.  This area is closer to the eyelids than other treatment, so your doctor will take care to stay at least a centimeter away from the eyelids to reduce the risk of any dropping of the eyelids.  Best practice is to under treat and add more later if it is needed, rather than over treating and waiting for the excess treatment to wear off.  We encourage all clients to return for a review appointment with the doctor 2-4 weeks after treatment.