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Glabella Lines Condition

Glabella lines are the short vertical lines found between the eyebrows and extending up the central forehead for a centimetre or so.

They are often the first wrinkles to appear on the forehead even as early as the mid 20’s. They make the person look older and slightly angry.

Initially glabella lines are intermittent, only apparent when the person frowns. These are called dynamic lines. With time the glabella lines gradually become deepened and more permanent so that there is always a static element present.

Glabella lines are particularly deep looking because the skin in the glabella is thick compared to the eyelid skin at the outer end of the eyes which is very thin and develops the finer wrinkles called crow’s feet.

Glabella lines are created by the dynamic action of the underlying muscles, the corrugator supercilliaris, the procerus and the depressor superciliis. When these muscles are well developed they pull the central ends of the eyebrows inwards and a downwards, causing the furrows.

Glabella lines are sometimes called No. 11 furrows as they are line parallel lines.

Depending on each person’s musculature, their angle and shape can vary.

Ageing gracefully

As the person gets older, other lines can appear such as the horizontal forehead muscles, from frontalis muscle lifting the eyebrows upwards, often when there is excess upper eyelid skin. The crow’s feet at the outer corners of the eyes develop in the early to mid-30’s. If these lines are all in balance, many people don’t mind and are happy to age gracefully, especially if the overlying skin is healthy and of good quality.

Medical conditions

People with medical conditions such as thyroid eye disease where the eyelids look very open or retracted, can have particularly deep central glabella lines as they are trying to pull their eyebrows.

People with sensitive dry eyes and any form of blepharospasm can use their glabella muscles more and get deeper glabella lines.

External factors

People exposed to high levels of sunlight, smokers, pollution, can have worse glabella lines. Even mood can worsen the glabella lines as a truly angry person constantly frowning will indeed have more glabella lines.

However, having glabella lines does not mean the person is angry, and that is one reason treatment is so often sought, as the face is giving false interpersonal signals.

Symptoms

Glabella lines make the patient feel tired and angry. The effect of constantly contracting the glabella muscles contributes to headaches and central forehead heaviness.

Cosmetically the glabella lines make the patient look angry or cross.

The glabella lines also make the upper face look heavy as the muscles to the sides of the lines bunch up instead of looking refined, open and relaxed.

The peri-orbital area is the first place people look as they look at your eyes, an open relaxed appearance is attractive. Many people change their hairstyle to hide the glabella and forehead lines.

Treatment

Botox (Botulinum toxin A) is used to treat Glabella Lines.

Miss Jane Olver

Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon
Oculoplastic Eyelid & Lacrimal Specialist

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