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This is an extremely common question for almost every patient who comes to us interested in learning more about Botox. Unfortunately, the answer is not as straightforward as you might think! Treating “the forehead” with Botox (in reality) means that your injector must evaluate and potentially treat three different areas of your upper face. Why? Because simply injecting Botox into a single muscle of the forehead can lead to you looking worse than better!
Most people know that the goal of having Botox is to smooth away lines and wrinkles, look more refreshed and relaxed, and overall, look younger! However, getting good results rests a lot more on where you are injected with Botox rather than simply how many units you’re injected with. Let us explain a little bit more about the anatomy of your upper face to help you understand how we get great results with Botox.
This funny-sounding name is the anatomical term for a set of three muscles that lie between and just above the inner part of your eyebrows. Why do we talk about this area first when trying to understand more about Botox for the forehead? Because most people who want the lines on their forehead treated with Botox will also need Botox in this area too.
These three muscles are the eyebrow depressors—this means that when they contract, they pull the eyebrows down and in. Furrow your brow. That is your glabella hard at work! Now, raise your eyebrows up. That is your forehead or frontalis muscle working! These two muscle groups oppose one another…just like a tug of war. If we relax just the forehead, guess what? The glabella wins and your eyebrows will constantly contract downward which not only makes them look flat and low but also makes your upper eyelids look heavy. The net effect is that you’ll look like a Cro-Magnon caveman!
Most patients seeking forehead Botox will need about 20 units of Botox in their glabella too (60 units if using Dysport). Using this amount typically produces results for 3 to 4 months and balances the eyebrows—maybe even lifting them a bit to give you a more wide-awake and refreshed appearance!
As we mentioned before, the muscle of the forehead is known as the frontalis. It is a broad, sheet-like muscle that extends from above the brows to the hairline. Everyone has a slightly different contraction of their frontalis, which accounts for why there are an array of different forehead lines that you see on people. It’s so important for your injector to watch you lift your brows to see how your frontalis contracts. This helps them better understand two things: where to inject your Botox and how much you will need.
While some people need more on the outer edges and less in the middle, others need the same amount spread evenly across the entire forehead. Yet another reason why there is no “standard” number of Botox units that are used in the forehead.
The range that we tend to use at Celibre is anywhere between 8 and 20 units. Yes, it’s a wide range! But that should impress upon you the importance of your injector taking an individualized approach to your treatment. It can also help explain why you need more or less Botox than your best friend or your sister!
The Crow’s Feet
While not everyone needs this area treated when they get Botox for the forehead, many people should consider having it done at the same time. Just as the glabella is an inner eyebrow depressor, the circular muscle that encircles the entire eye, the orbicularis oculi, is an outer or lateral brow depressor. Shut your eyes and squeeze them tight. That is your orbicularis oculi muscle—and it’s extremely strong!
Relaxing the outer part will not only help smooth away the lines that extend from the corner of your eye it contracts (with smiling, squinting, etc.), but it will also slightly lift the outer edge of your eyebrow. The combination of these two effects can really enhance and complement the results that you’ll get from your forehead Botox.
Here’s one last piece of information for you to consider: a good Botox injector knows the right number of units to give you beautiful, long-lasting results. Think about it. What good is a “great deal” on Botox if you only see results for a few weeks? Wouldn’t you rather pay a bit more, but see your results last 2 to 3 months?
Many Botox practices will do this to trick their patients into thinking that they are “getting a good deal”. But in the long run, these patients simply end up going back more to get the same results and may even spend more money than if they were simply treated with the correct dosage in the first place!
We know that budget concerns are a high priority for most patients, but here at Celibre Medical, we respect your budget by providing long-lasting results and balancing your best results with what you can spend. We won’t waste your time and money on sub-par dosages of Botox.