Everything You Need to Know About Treating Forehead Wrinkles

These miracle-working treatments can help achieve smooth skin on your face.

treating forhead wrinkles
Design by Michael Stillwell

Forehead wrinkles are one of the most common complaints women and men have about their skin. In world of plastic surgery and dermatology, there are a range of treatments available to help achieve smooth, tight skin on your forehead. But with many injectable options available and various types of facials promising radiant skin, how do you know which treatment option is best for you?

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We consulted experts, including Dr. Stafford Broumand, Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon with 740 Park Plastic Surgery and Dr. Paul Jarrod Frank, Celebrity Cosmetic Dermatologist and Founder of PFRANKMD & Skin Salon, for the scoop on how to effectively treat forehead wrinkles.

What are some of the major causes of forehead wrinkles?

There are many factors that can cause forehead wrinkles, ranging from use of various muscles in your face to a loss in skin elasticity that comes with age. "The major cause for forehead wrinkles is the activity of the frontalis muscle which elevates the eyebrows, and therefore causes wrinkles across the forehead," Dr. Broumand said. He adds that a muscle around the eye, orbicularis oculi, can also cause forehead wrinkles when it closes. Specifically, orbicularis oculi can cause radial wrinkles, including crow's feet, forehead lines, and above the eyebrow lines. Two other muscles on your face, the procerus muscle and corrugator muscle, can also cause frown lines or "eleven" lines on the forehead.

As many women and men with mature skin will attest, age is also a factor. "Over time, excess motion, gravity and skin laxity will cause fine lines and wrinkles to form," Dr. Frank notes.

What are the treatment options available to combat forehead wrinkles?

Botox is one of the best ways to alleviate forehead wrinkles. "Botox stops the muscle from working therefore getting rid of the crease," Dr. Broumand revealed. "Over time and with sun exposure, the muscle contracts and causes wrinkles, but Botox will soften them." Dr. Broumand also recommends an ultra sound treatment to help tighten skin on the forehead, and brow lifts, which are small incisions in the scalp's hairline for a smoother look overall.

Dr. Frank states that neuromodulators, a group of cosmetic injections that includes Botox, are generally the go-to treatments for forehead wrinkles. Dr. Frank prefers a product called Xeomin, which is a similar treatment to Botox, because it's "somewhat less potent." Dr. Frank adds that Xeomin allows "for wrinkle reduction but natural movement of the area."

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Who is a good candidate for each treatment option?

Our experts often see patients who are just starting to develop wrinkles on their forehead, and the doctors advise that preventative treatment is a very effective way to combat these wrinkles as they're starting to form.

"If you’re starting to see traces of lines in your mid-to-late twenties or early thirties, it is best to clean your room before it gets dirty," Dr. Frank revealed. "If someone is expressive with their face and prone to getting lines, they should consider exploring a preventative neuromodulator. The later you start the more difficult it is to achieve the ideal results."

Dr. Broumand adds that starting earlier can "keep patients looking young and unchanged over the years." But he cautions against overdoing treatment—with too much Botox, your face won't move in a natural way. "You need to have a little bit of movement, but not an active enough movement which causes wrinkles," Dr. Broumand said. Instead, Dr. Broumand recommends a conservative approach that is "targeted to the wrinkles."

How often should patients receive treatment, and how long does each treatment last?

Dr. Frank advises that patients come in once or twice a year for Botox and fillers. Dr. Broumand, on the other hand, recommends receiving treatment every 10 to 12 weeks, and adds that each treatment lasts three months."I liken it to filling up a gas tank on your car, you don’t want it to get to zero and then fill it up again," Dr. Broumand said. "You try to tend to it before it’s empty."

What results can you expect after treatment?

This may sound too good to be true, but cosmetic injections are miracle workers. After treatment, you can expect a smoother, tighter skin with less winkles. "Botox is a wonder drug," Dr. Broumand said. "It keeps people looking young and when done well and in an experienced practitioner’s hands, it looks very natural."

Dr. Frank adds that it can take a few days to see the full results of your treatment—between three and five total. "Neuromodulators globally minimize age related changes, while maintaining normal facial expression and a natural look," he reveals.

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DESIGN BY MICHAEL STILLWELL

What are the risks or side effects to consider when undergoing a treatment for forehead wrinkles?

The risks and side effects are minimal with an injectable treatment to combat forehead wrinkles. Dr. Frank advises that any risks "are mostly a bad cosmetic outcome—rarely can it negatively affect the shape of the eyebrows or the eyelid muscles." He adds that short term reactions include bruises or headaches, but that both are resolvable.

Dr. Broumand adds that bruising can happen, but a qualified practitioner will work to minimize any potential bruises with "exact placement of the injection." He adds that another side effect from consistent treatment is too much Botox. "Too much can paralyze the muscle too aggressively so that your eyebrows don’t move and you feel your eyelids are a little too heavy," Dr. Broumand told T&C. "However, this effect will wear off over weeks."

How much does each treatment cost?

The overall cost depends on where you get your treatment done, and how much product you use. "Botox can cost as little as $300 to as much as $2,000, depending on how much you put in and where you want the injections done," Dr. Broumand revealed. Dr. Frank noted that most neuromodulator treatments range from $14 to $23 per unit, or $200 to $500 per area.

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Are there any other ways to treat forehead wrinkles?

Beyond seeing a plastic surgeon or dermatologist to administer an injectable treatment, there are other ways to combat forehead wrinkles. Dr. Frank recommends healthy lifestyle choices to keep your skin looking tight and fresh through the years. "Dehydration from alcohol and excessive amount of sugar in one's diet can affect the skin and cause wrinkles down the line," Dr. Frank said. "If you cut these things out in your 20’s and 30’s you will look significantly younger in your 40’s and 50’s. Staying hydrated can help reduce wrinkles and improve skin laxity."

Dr. Broumand also recommends daily use of an easy preventative product—sunscreen. "Always use sunblock," Dr. Broumand said. "It will diminish wrinkles everywhere and slow down the aging process caused by sun damage."

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