Will Botox Between the Brows Cause Bunny Lines?

I've read in celebrity gossip mags that really visible bunny lines can be a result of Botox between the eyebrows. Best example is Nicole Kidman.

Is this really true? Do your nose muscles overcompensate when you "freeze" the muscles between your brows? I don't want the "11s," but I don't want to increase wrinkles elsewhere, either.

Doctor Answers 23

Botox and bunny lines

In general, Botox doesn't cause new lines to form but if you or your muscles are still trying to make certain expressions new muscles and areas may be recruited to do so.  Sometimes lines on the nose are already there but when the areas surrounding them become smoother and less noticeable we become heightenedly aware of other areas we may not have noticed before.  If the bunny lines become bothersome, they are easily treated with a bit of Botox as well.  Many people contract the muscles of the nose as part of regular facial expressions, smiling or squinting--it is definitely not a tell tale sign of Botox.

Dr. Grant Stevens

Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 121 reviews

Can happen

Some patients find that by treating the glabellar region, or “11”, other muscles start to compensate for the diminished movement in that area, for example, the bunny lines region. 

Botox bunny lines

Some people have bunny lines naturally and botox can help smoothen these out, while some patients only seem to get bunny lines after the glabellar muscles are injected with Botox.  The overcompensation does seem to be a reason and this can happen in the lower eyelid muscles when the crows' feet are injected, as is shown in this photograph too.

Ronald Shelton, MD
Manhattan Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 36 reviews

Botox For Frown Lines And Bunny Lines

Following a Botox or Dysport treatment, bunny lines can exist for one of two reasons – either they were not treated, or they have resulted from compensated/recruited muscle activity.

Bunny lines result from contraction of the nasalis muscle. Frown lines occur from contraction of the corrugator and procerus muscles, and this produces the vertical lines (the “11s”) between the eyebrows and the horizontal crease across the upper nose. When many people frown they also contract the nasalis muscle. Since the focus is usually on the “11s”, patients may not notice their bunny lines.

If the corrugator and procerus muscles are treated, but the nasalis muscle is left untreated, the bunny lines will persist (will be unmasked, in some sense) and these are then noticed by the patient. So if the bunny lines are significant then it is best to include these with the initial treatment.

If you ask some patients who have had just their frown lines treated, to “frown” …the lack of feedback as a result of this muscle paralysis often causes them to contort their faces and recruit surrounding muscle groups (usually the nasalis and orbicularis oculi muscles) in an attempt to move those muscles which are paralyzed. This attempt to compensate results in the appearance of bunny lines and crow’s feet. I do not mean to suggest that this is a common problem, but it is possible that some patients are subconsciously moving these muscles more because they no longer sense the movement of the frown. If this problem does arise, it is easy to treat the offending muscles.

A skilled injector should evaluate each patient individually, at rest and during animation, and then make treatment recommendations based upon the patient’s goals.

Best wishes, Ken Dembny

Kenneth Dembny, II, MD
Milwaukee Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Botox for bunny lines

Thank you for your question MackenzieR. Botox is a purified protein used to address wrinkles on the face associated with facial expression. Botox will relax the muscle so when the expression is attempted the muscle does not contract and the overlying wrinkles are not seen. Sometimes when a muscle is relaxed with Botox and a person attempts to make an expression other nearby muscles are recruited to compensate for this. This is sometimes seen when bunny lines appear after the frown lines between the brows have been relaxed. A small amount of Botox in the bunny lines can be used to correct the bunny lines. Please consult with a doctor for specific recommendations. Good luck!

Alex Eshaghian, MD, PhD
Encino Physician
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

Bunny Lines from Botox?

Muscles forming Bunny Lines are different action than ones causing the 11 between brows so should injection of one should not cause the others to form.  One can precisely inject small quantity of Botox/Dysport into the bunny lines to reduce the wrinkles. 

Bunny lines

Many people are unaware of their bunny lines until they have a smooth forehead and smooth crows feet.
The botox did not cause the problem, but rather it did such a good job fixing some lines that those that remain are more noticeable.

Jean Keamy, MD
Westborough Ophthalmologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

Botox and Bunny Lines

Botox may not increase the incidence of bunny lines but when the muscles that cause these bunny lines are the only ones functioning they become more obvious.  They too can be treated with appropriately placed injections of Botox.  Consult a board certified plastic surgeon who specializes in facial injections and can address all of your concerns. 

F. True Lansden, MD
Key West Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 3 reviews

Will Botox Between the Brows Cause Bunny Lines

Botox itself does not cause bunny lines. If bunny lines are visible those can be treated with Botox as well. Best to consult with your local Board Certified Plastic Surgeon to discuss your Botox plans and aethesitc goals. Thank you for sharing your question. Best wishes.

Gregory Park, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 158 reviews

Must admit with or without bunny lines Nicole Kidman is beautiful...

botox doesn't cause lines...but may make muscle contraction more obvious when the surrounding muscles are relaxed and the skin is smooth...sort of like bright headlights...no honks in the day with the sun out but lots of angry oncoming drivers at night...another explanation is the body overcompensating by activating muscles near the ones that don't move...in any event, bunny lines are easily treated with a few units of properly place botox...

Ken Landow, MD
Las Vegas Dermatologist
4.6 out of 5 stars 9 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.