Alternatives to botox for the "11" wrinkles between eyebrows?

I'm 28 and now have a wrinkle from frowning between the eyebrows. I know that with time it will become deeper. I have read botox is FDA approved for this area, but the serious side effects and even the possible eyelids drooping really worries me. What is the best treatment to prevent and/or treat the "11" wrinkles?

Doctor Answers 5

Fillers and implants are good alternatives to botox for frown 11 lines.

The frown lines between the eyebrows often need both botox and fillers for the best results. Permanent implants do good in this area as well as temp. fillers. Sincerely, David Hansen,MD

Beverly Hills Dermatologic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

Wrinkles between eyebrows

Although botox works extremely well for the "11" frown lines between the eyebrows, you can alternatively use fillers or laser for the area. Hylaform gel can be injected into the area to improve wrinkles. Also if the wrinkles are present at rest, laser can be used to help smooth the lines.

Michael Horn, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 57 reviews

Alternatives to Botox for 11s

The two alternatives that Dr. Weiner notes are indeed those I would discuss as well. ThermiRase I have concerns with at this point only because it's NOT as temporary as Botox so any issues could be longer-term should you have any. Frotox is still not used in the states, but is in studies for approval. Most issues with Botox have to do with people selecting non-qualified injectors or looking for a "deal" rather than experience. Millions of people have been treated safely with Botox, for over a decade. If you seek a good, experienced injector, any issues should be negligible. 

"This answer has been solicited without seeing this patient and cannot be held as true medical advice, but only opinion. Seek in-person treatment with a trained medical professional for appropriate care."

F. Victor Rueckl, MD
Las Vegas Dermatologist
4.6 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

I really wouldn't worry about Botox in the "11's" but there are alternatives, ThermiRase and Frotox.

There are 2 alternatives to neurotoxins for the frown lines.  The first is using radiofrequency to ablate the nerves that cause the muscles to contract.  This is promoted by the company ThermiRase.  It gives a long term correction (a few years) but will cost you in the $1500 range.  The other technology uses a freezing solution to cause injury to the nerves and this has been dubbed "Frotox".  I don't think this is available yet in the states.  I think it also isn't giving as long a result - months.  I wouldn't worry about dropping brows if just injecting the 11's and you go to an experienced injector.  There are millions of people who have had Botox treatments.

Steven F. Weiner, MD
Panama City Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 41 reviews

Instead of Botox for the 11's

Certainly Botox has the longest history for erasing those mid brow frown lines. Proper injection makes a big difference and most experienced injectors seldom see any lid drooping (used to be more common before the injection techniques were changed).

But it IS a toxin and if the idea of that is disturbing, then your options are reduced. But, before Botox there was - and still is - a little product called Frownies that theoretically trains you not to frown. The stiff paper is glued to the skin and makes muscle contraction more difficult while wearing it. Obviously best used at home alone or when you sleep but it's usually day events that have your frown going. Does that take the place of Botox? Certainly not, but it's something you could try if you want to go the completely noninvasive route.

Other options might be to consciously relax - place a mirror at your desk to check your frown activity and every so often stop what you are doing and close your eyes. Literally TELL yourself to relax and to stop frowning.

There is a topical product in FDA trials that is developed for the crows feet. That would eliminate injections in that area but won't address the glabellar muscle that gives you the 11's.

Fillers alone probably won't be the best option since you'd still be contracting muscles and creating the lines.

Frowning is a habit and like any habit, requires some conscious effort to change.

Rebecca Fitzgerald, MD
Los Angeles Dermatologic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 22 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.