Can Smile Lines Be Treated with Botox?

If someone has really pronounced smile lines on the face, how can they be treated?

Doctor Answers 27

Smile Lines and Botox

Patients will often ask me if I can "get rid of this line" in regards to facial lines and wrinkles that may not necessarily contribute to the appearance of age or fatigue.
My strong feeling about the softening of facial lines and wrinkles is this:
  • if it doesn't 'age' you, and it doesn't make you look tired or worried, then don't spend your hard-earned money trying to make it go away.
  • Some lines actually do add warmth and character to the face, and an older face with NO lines usually looks a bit odd.
  • Some smiles that may add age to the face can be treated conservatively with Botox.

Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 97 reviews

Smile lines around the eyes, also known as "crow's feet"...

Smile lines around the eyes, also known as "crow's feet", are among the best areas treated by Botox. Approximately 10 to 12 units of Botox per side are required for good correction of the smile lines.

Michael A. Persky, MD
Encino Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 32 reviews

Fillers are best for treating smile lines

Since Botox relaxes muscles, it is not good to use for smile lines because it would affect your ability to smile!  So, fillers are usually the best solution for these lines, like Restylane or Juvederm.  Lasers may also be utilized in some cases. 

Kimberly Butterwick, MD
San Diego Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

Treating smile lines

Smile lines ("crows feet") around the eyes may respond very well to Botox. Other smile lines such as the ones over the cheek/midface area and nasolabial line don't usually respond very well to Botox. In many patients, a filling material with hyaluronic acid works better in those areas, instead. A discussion with your surgeon will help you figure out what would be best for your face.

Deason Dunagan, MD
Huntsville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

Botox for Smile Lines

The answer to your question depends on how you define smile lines. Two practitioners that answered this question focused on different areas, one the mouth and the other the crow's feet (sides of eyes). The crow's feet (the wrinkles on the sides of the eyes that are accentuated when we smile) are excellent candidates for Botox and in most cases, we can achieve complete resolution of these lines using Botox.

But if the smile lines you are referring to are the creases that exist between the sides of the nose and the corners of the mouth, then Botox is not an option and dermal fillers like Restylane would be a great choice.

Harold J. Kaplan, MD
Los Angeles Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Botox for smile lines

Thank you for your question. Botox can help with the smile lines, but I is important to define where the lines are. Some patients refer to the crows feet (outer eye skin) as smile lines and Botox is very effective here. Some refer to the nasolabial folds as the smile lines. Fillers are much more effective here and Botox is not.

Botox For Smile Lines

Botox is used for smile lines around the eyes. If you want your smile lines around your mouth treated it is best to use fillers such as Juvederm or Restylane.

Botox smooths out crow's feet; fillers help with lines around the mouth

Thanks for your question. Botox is particularly good at smoothing out crow's feet, the lines around the eyes, whereas injectable fillers are great for the lines around the mouth (Botox relaxes your muscles, so it would affect your smile). Botox and fillers should be injected by a certified plastic surgeon or dermatologist; ask for a consultation so they will be able to tell you what would give you the best results.

Cory Torgerson, MD, PhD, FRCSC
Toronto Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 68 reviews

Smile lines at the corner of your eyes

If the wrinkles at the corners of your eyes appear only when you make a facial expression, like smiling, then Botox would be more suitable. Botox treats "dynamic" wrinkles.

Fillers would be better for you because the wrinkles are visible even when your face is in a neutral expression. This means that they are "static" wrinkles, and fillers is the right treatment to smooth them away.

Smile Lines & Botox

 When patients smile, lines of animation occur throughout the face. These lines occur primarily in the peri-orbital and peri-oral regions. When smile lines occur around the eyes, they are commonly known as crow’s feet. Smile lines that occur around the mouth or also known as laugh lines. These lines have different causes and therefore require different treatments.

 Crow’s feet occur because of contractions of the orbicularis oculi musculw which results in wrinkles at the outer corner of the eye. These expression lines are effectively treated with botox. This treatment is associated with excellent clinical results and high levels of patient satisfaction.

 In contrast botox isn't effective for treating laugh lines. These lines are more effectively treated with injectable dermal fillers. When this approach is utilized patients report high level of satisfaction.

If you're concerned about these problems, it's important to consult a physician with experience with injectable fillers and botox. This physician should be able to formulate a plan that addresses your concerns.

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.