Over time, you observe the skin on your forehead is not as smooth as it used to be. When these lines or ridges occur on the forehead, they are known as frown lines. Treatment options range from over-the-counter creams to injectable fillers to temporarily eradicate their appearance.
Frown lines also are known as brow furrows—those lines that span the forehead and become more noticeable when you are concentrating or frowning, according to the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive and Plastic Surgery. These wrinkles will naturally occur as you age due to the breakdown of elastic fibers in your skin, according to the Mayo Clinic. Your skin also becomes thinner and more dry as you age, making wrinkles on the forehead appear more pronounced.
Chronic stress can increase your chances of developing or deepening frown lines, according to U.S. News and World Report Health. When you experience stress, you are more likely to frown, and using these muscles can weaken your collagen fibers over time. Stress also causes inflammation inside your body—blood vessels constrict, which restricts needed blood flow to your face. In addition to stress reduction, wearing a daily sunscreen can reduce the damaging effects of ultraviolet rays on the skin. If you smoke, quit—smoking can increase frown lines and cause inflammation.
Skin creams designed to encourage collagen production can help to smooth frown lines, according to the Mayo Clinic. These include topical retinoid treatments. Active ingredients in these treatments, such as tretinoin or tazarotene, stimulate cell growth while encouraging cell turnover. This can make your skin appear smoother and more youthful. These treatments typically are available only by prescription. However, over-the-counter treatments are available. Creams or gels containing retinol, alpha hydroxy acids or other inflammation fighters may help to reduce frown lines with regular application.
A dermatologist or aesthetician can perform procedures that remove dead layers of skin in order to encourage cell growth. Examples include dermabrasion or microdermabrasion, which use a specialized wand to remove dead skin cells, according to the Mayo Clinic. A chemical peel application also can remove layers of skin, encouraging skin healing and revealing new layers of skin underneath. Laser treatments also can penetrate the skin, encouraging new cell growth.
Frown lines make the skin appear creased, with sometimes deep ridges on the forehead. Injectable fillers administered by a plastic surgeon can help to fill the frown line creases. Examples of fillers include botulinum toxin, which can temporarily paralyze muscles that make creases on the forehead, according to the Mayo Clinic. Hyaluronic acid fillers are designed to bind with skin cells and make the areas appear more plump and full, according to DocShop.com. Collagen also can be injected into the frown lines to reduce their appearance, according to the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive and Plastic Surgery. Because fillers differ in terms of results and length of time they are effective, discuss treatment options with your physician.