What are Glabellar Lines & How to Get Rid of Them?

What is glabella?

The glabella is the flat area between the eyebrows and above the nose. It may refer to the skin or the bone underneath. Rhytids that appear in this area are called glabellar lines and range from fine lines to deep furrows, slightly extending up the central forehead. Because these lines occupy a central position in the face, they attract the most attention. Glabellar lines are sometimes called frown lines.

Glabellar lines can easily make a patient appear angry, tired, anxious, or fearful. These rhytids are often deemed socially undesirable because they often wrongly reflect the actual mood of the individual. Contrary to popular belief, glabellar lines are not only prominent on aged skin; people in their mid-20s are also susceptible in developing these lines.   

Causes of glabellar lines

These hyperfunctional lines may be dynamic or static. Initially, the lines only appear when frowning, scowling, and squinting or even when someone is intently reading or listening. Overtime, the lines gradually deepen and become permanent (static). Compared to other facial wrinkles that result from sun damage or age-induced collagen depletion, the main causes of glabellar lines are repetitive movements and muscle contractions. The corrugator supercilii, the procerus, and the depressor supercilii are the group of muscles that moves the medial brow. They are thought to be the main contributing factor in the formation of glabellar lines.

Glabellar lines treatment

Cosmetic and surgical treatments are commonly sought to erase or reduce the appearance of these wrinkles. The use of topical creams, chemical peels, and laser abrasion has been utilised to treat glabellar lines but none of these treatment options can directly address the hyperkinetic activity of the muscles underneath nor are they as effective as dermal fillers and botulinum toxin.

  • Botulinum toxin (Botox, Xeomin, and Dysport)

Botulinum neurotoxin type A is often used to treat glabellar rhytids caused by muscle contraction. It works by weakening muscle contractions in the area, thereby preventing the formation of wrinkles.

  • Dermal fillers (Juvederm, Restylane, and Belotero)

Facial fillers are also effective in reducing the appearance of glabellar lines but can also be used in combination with botulinum toxin. The filler fills or plumps the gaps in the skin, while the neurotoxin prevents the progression or worsening of glabellar lines.