Frown lines

Frown lines may convey negative expressions such as anger, even when one is not angry. Reduction of frown lines through anti-wrinkle injections and dermal fillers provide a more relaxed facial appearance and reduce the likelihood of being misinterpreted as being angry when one is not.

Article medically reviewed by Dr. Gavin Chan (MBBS, cosmetic physician, liposuctionist)

Dr. Gavin Chan

Templestowe Lower and Berwick Clinics

Dr. Gavin Chan has a background in intensive care, anaesthesia, and emergency medicine. Since 2004, Dr. Chan has provided cosmetic procedures, including anti-wrinkle injections, dermal fillers, liposuction, fat transfer, skin needling, and laser treatments. He is a doctor trainer for various dermal fillers and anti-wrinkle injections.
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Frowning is a facial expression that conveys the negative expression of anger, even when one is not angry. Frowning is produced by two main muscles – the corrugator supercilii and the procerus muscles. The corrugator supercilii muscle runs along the length of the eyebrows, and draws the brows together. It creases the skin between the brows to create one or two vertical lines that may become ingrained should frowning be frequent or strong enough. Secondly, there is the procerus muscle which runs vertically between the brows and on contraction causes bunching of the skin and a horizontal line across the bridge of the nose, which again, can become etched in if use of the muscle over-utilised.

Anti-wrinkle injections can be used to relax the muscles that cause frowning and help to reduce the intensity and severity of this expression. They work by preventing the transmission of the nerve signal at the neuromuscular junction, the connection point of the nerve and muscle. The anti-wrinkle injections are strategically injected into around 3 to 7 points along the length of the muscles that cause frowning. Onset of action is from 4 to 7 days depending on the type of anti-wrinkle injection used. Aesthetic improvements occur after this point, and generally last for 3 to 4 months on average. Frown treatment with anti-wrinkle injections is one of the most popular cosmetic procedures worldwide and are TGA and FDA approved for this indication. Its popularity is also likely to be due to its simplicity and effectiveness, and is often the first cosmetic procedure many patients have. Side effects or complications are very uncommon, and all resolve themselves, owing to the naturally reversible of the treatment.  Diffusion of the anti-wrinkle injection into adjacent areas such as the upper eyelid is an example of a complication that occurs in less than 1 in 100 patients , and causes partial droopiness of the affected eyelid that usually takes a few months to resolve completely. The likelihood of this complication can be reduced through appropriate injection techniques/depths, as well as limiting exercising or massaging the area post-treatment.

Anti-wrinkle injections to the frown muscles can also improve our mood. Investigators at the Hannover Medical School in Germany found in 2014 that our emotions are expressed by facial muscles, which in turn send feedback signals to the brain to reinforce those emotions. Treating facial muscles with anti-wrinkle injections can interrupt this cycle.

For frown lines or wrinkles that are more permanently etched in, dermal fillers may be required. Unlike anti-wrinkle injections, dermal fillers do not affect the contraction of the muscles. Instead, they help to lift the skin and wrinkle and fill in lost volume. The effect is mostly immediate after injection, and a smoothing of the area is seen. Dermal fillers can be injected into this area using a cannula, which is like a needle with a round (rather than sharp) tip. The arterial supply to the area between the brows can be compromised through the injection of dermal fillers, and this can lead to necrosis (death) of the skin, and scarring. Cannulas, alongside good injection technique, help to avoid this complication.

For estimate volumes of dermal filler and/or anti-wrinkle units required and costs for this treatment please visit the Cosmetic consultation and treatments pricing page.

Case Study 1

This patient presented to Victorian Cosmetic Institute with concerns of the way her frown lines made her appear. She is a happy and joyful person and wanted her face to reflect her kind nature. The results is a youthful and natural appearance with no surgery. The static lines have been smoothed using dermal filler and reduced the cause of her frown lines with anti-wrinkle injections.

jackie before frown

Frown and forehead before and after (1)



The doctors at Victorian Cosmetic Institute take the time to discuss your personal requirements and preferences. Our doctors are highly experienced in anti-wrinkle injections and dermal fillers.

Making that first phone call about any cosmetic procedure can be a confronting task – many of our patients have preferred filling out our online enquiry form. We can then contact you with an understanding of the results you are hopeful of achieving and ensure the treatment is appropriate.

Otherwise, you can phone us directly on 1300 863 824.

Dr. Gavin Chan
Dr. Gavin Chan

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Other Concerns: Face

Other Concerns: Injectable

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