This is a quick online tutorial that explains to prospective San Diego Botox patients how the treatment affects your forehead and eyebrow region.
You should really think about the forehead as two opposing regions. There is the lower forehead that corresponds to the eyebrows, the area in between the eyebrows and the area immediately above the eyebrows.
Then there is the mid to upper forehead that corresponds to all the areas above the lower forehead.
In the adjacent Botox diagram, you see the various muscles that comprise the face – represented as the orange-colored structures throughout the face. In the forehead you can see there are three (3) main muscles in the lower forehead region – the midline procerus muscle and the paired corrugator muscles. The mid to upper forehead is comprised of the two much larger frontalis muscles.
Forehead Muscles & Botox
It matters because these groups of muscles act very differently when it comes to facial movement. For example, when the lower forehead muscles contract (when you move them!), they pull the eyebrows down. This is shown in the adjacent Botox diagram. Go ahead and make a frowned face like you are mad – you will see how your eyebrows get pulled down and inward toward the nose. These muscles are responsible for creating those unwanted ’11s’ that lead so many people to get Botox cosmetic injections. Because these muscles act to pull the eyebrows down, we call them the brow depressors.
In contrast to these muscles, the mid to upper forehead muscles do the opposite. When these muscles contract, they pull the eyebrows up toward the top of your head. Again, try it for yourself. Make surprised look in the mirror and you will see how your eyebrows pull up. You don’t even have to look closely to realize these are the muscles that create all those unwanted horizontal wrinkles across the forehead. We call these muscles the brow elevators.
So in summary, the brow depressors are responsible for making those pesky ’11s’ in between the eyebrows and pulling the eyebrows down. The brow elevators are responsible for making all those horizontal wrinkles across the forehead and pulling the eyebrows up.
Botox works by paralyzing muscles and stopping those muscles from moving for upwards of 3 months at a time. So wherever Botox is being injected, it will predictably stop that muscle.
If Botox is injected in the area of the brow depressors, it will stop these muscles from performing their normal action. That means injected Botox in the brow depressors will stop you from being able to frown. In addition, if Botox is only injected in the brow depressors (the lower forehead only), that would leave the brow elevators without any competition in terms of forehead movement. The end result is that the eyebrows will sit in a new, higher position because we have taken away the ability to pull them down.
The same concept holds true if we only inject Botox in the brow elevators without injecting the brow depressors. In other words, if we inject Botox in the mid to upper forehead only (without injecting the lower forehead), we will effectively paralyze the muscles that keep the brow elevated, or suspended. Therefore, the brow depressors will work without any competition – leading to an eyebrow that may drop down. Yes – Botox injection of the brow elevators will give you a smoother looking forehead because the horizontal lines cannot be made. However, the cost of this in terms of cosmetic appearance is that the eyebrows will sit lower with minimal arching in most patients. This is the explanation behind those Botox patients who have a treatment done elsewhere in San Diego and feel like their eyebrows feel heavier afterwards.
Best Botox Injection
So the best way to inject Botox is to first focus on stopping movement of the brow depressors. In doing this, you will maximize chances that the eyebrow gets what we call is a ‘chemical brow lift’ – arching slightly and elevating the eyebrows. In fact, this alone is why so many women come back to our San Diego office every 3 months for their Botox treatment!
But what about those unwanted horizontal forehead wrinkles? You can certainly inject them with Botox – and we do on a very regular basis in most patients. But you want to be a bit more conservative with the mid to upper forehead muscles when it comes to Botox injection. That is because the goal here is to slow down (or stop) the brow elevators movement, while preserving some degree of mid to upper forehead muscle tone. In doing so, you can maintain some degree of eyebrow suspension so the eyebrow doesn’t drop down.
So there you have it! Now you know how and why Botox works to help rejuvenate the upper face.