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Will Botox for Chronic Migraine Resolve Frown Lines?

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Dr. Hardik Soni

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Receiving Botox injections is a common treatment for medical conditions, such as excessive sweating, eyelid spasms, cervical dystonia, and chronic migraine. Injections of these toxins have been an effective preventative measure to control headaches, allowing the patient to have a more improved quality of life. Since it’s also a popular wrinkle treatment, some wonder if a Botox procedure for chronic migraine can also reduce the appearance of frown lines.

So can Botox for chronic migraine remove frown lines? It may somehow reduce its appearance because it also targets the muscles causing the lines. But you may not receive the results you want because it’s not dedicated to that purpose, and it also contains more doses than the medications plastic surgeons use for frown lines, called Botox Cosmetic injections. Consult your doctor if you want to resolve both your chronic migraine and facial lines in one treatment session.

Could Botox for Chronic Migraine Reduce the Appearance of Your Frown Lines?

Your injections for chronic migraine may somehow reduce the appearance of the lines between your brows or glabellar lines – these shots also target the muscles responsible for the lines, such as the corrugator and procerus muscles. Besides, experts first discovered Botox as a preventative measure for migraine when women noticed relief from headaches after receiving injections for their deep wrinkles and forehead lines.

But since Botox for chronic migraine isn’t really done for removing your facial wrinkles at once, you may not receive the results you want for your 11s. The muscles for your wrinkles won’t receive the injections at the right angle, technique, and dose because the treatment is dedicated to chronic migraine only.

Botox for chronic migraine and Botox Cosmetic only have the same active ingredient, botulinum toxin type A. The only difference is that they don’t have the same dose because Botox Cosmetic has lesser units. Another thing you need to note is that Botox for chronic migraine does not have the same dose for your vertical lines, giving you the risks like having droopy eyelids or droopy eyebrows, having an almost expressionless face, and more. 

You can still have your frown lines removed during your botulinum toxin injections if you’ve carefully discussed it with your doctor – they’ll also know how to proceed with both procedures with fewer risks. Patients can receive Botox for chronic migraine and Botox Cosmetic simultaneously, as long as the doses they’ve received are just below 400 units in 3 months. You might have a risk of experiencing serious side effects if you’ve received too many doses of Botox.

How Botox for Chronic Migraine Smoothens Lines and Wrinkles

Caucasian woman getting cosmetic injection of botox in forehead

The botulinum toxin type A from Botox and Botox Cosmetic is derived from bacteria called clostridium botulinum. These are the same poisonous toxins you might find in spoiled food, but if purified and injected into the muscle in small doses, it proves to be safe and helpful. These toxins work well for cosmetic treatments and treating several medical conditions.

How Botox Works

Generally, Botox relaxes the muscles to stop muscle contractions. This action of botulinum neurotoxin is used as a treatment for wrinkles and as prophylaxis to chronic migraine.

For Migraine

Botox has shown positive results in clinical trials for several medical conditions, like cerebral palsy, muscle spasms, dystonia, and more. Its success in critical trials has earned its FDA approval also as a prophylaxis for chronic migraine in 2010.

Chronic migraine is a condition involving headaches for 15 days – 8 days of which are migraine headaches. Patients with chronic migraine also experience neck pain, nausea, severe migraine headache, vomiting, and sensitivity to light and sound.

Botox serves as a prophylaxis for chronic migraine because the toxins interrupt the nerve impulses from the brain that send pain and trigger headaches. The botulinum toxin does this by relaxing the muscles between the brain and the nerve endings at the spinal cord.

Chronic migraine triggers headaches when the brain releases signals that transmit pain to the nerve endings. Botox blocks these signals when injected into the muscles around the face, head, and neck.

Experts are still studying why patients experience chronic migraine, but it’s usually caused by the following:

  • disorder of the central nervous system
  • genetics
  • chemical imbalances
  • vascular irregularities

Chronic migraine may also be just a symptom of a pre-existing medical condition. Botox only serves as a preventative measure and does not treat the root causes of your throbbing headache. But it already provides the patients immense relief because of the reduced frequency of headaches, enabling them to move forward with other treatments for their condition.

For Lines and Wrinkles

Botox Cosmetic is one of the popular treatments for reducing the appearance of different types of wrinkles and lines, such as horizontal forehead lines, eye wrinkles, and other dynamic wrinkles and deeper lines. This solution to wrinkles gives patients a more youthful appearance because Botox relaxes the muscle movement that causes wrinkles.

Where to Receive Injections  

Some Botox injections sites for chronic migraine also target some of the muscles causing forehead wrinkles. Because of this, your treatment may also affect your vertical lines, but it might not give you desired results.

For your chronic migraine, the proper injection placement is the following:

  • corrugator
  • procerus
  • frontalis
  • temporalis
  • occipitalis
  • cervical paraspinal muscle group
  • trapezius

When receiving Botox injections for chronic migraine, it’s important to go to a licensed and experienced injector to ensure accurate administration.

For removing the vertical lines between your eyebrows, your plastic surgeon might inject Botox Cosmetic in the following areas:

  • procerus
  • corrugator supercilii

Botox for chronic migraine treatment may also target the muscles causing vertical lines. Because of this, you may notice a few changes in your frown lines, but you might not experience perfect results – it needs the right dose and the right angle. 

How Much Units of Botox You’ll Receive

Botox for migraine has higher doses or units than Botox Cosmetic. A vial of Botox comes in single-use vials containing 100 to 200 units, while Botox Cosmetic comes in 50 to 100-unit vials.

For chronic migraine, patients will receive the following units:

  • 10 units into either side of corrugator muscles
  • 5 units into the procerus
  • 20 units into the frontalis divided into 4 areas
  • 40 units into the temporalis divided into 8 areas
  • 30 units into the occipitalis divided into 6 areas
  • 20 units into the cervical paraspinal muscle group divided into 4 areas
  • 30 units into the trapezius divided into 6 areas

All in all, patients will receive 155 units of Botox to ease their chronic migraine. 

The units of Botox Cosmetic you’ll receive for the vertical lines between your eyebrows may vary depending on their severity and your aesthetic goals, but plastic surgeons will usually recommend 20 units.

How to Receive Botox for Migraine and Wrinkles at the Same Time with Fewer Risks

woman cosmetologist directing lamp for facial treatment to lying young woman

Botox for chronic migraine also targets the muscles for your frown lines, reducing their appearance. But it’s important to note that Botox for frown lines would need an accurate injection site or angle for it to have the results you want. You’ll also have risks of serious side effects due to the units of Botox you’ll receive.

The good thing is that you can receive injections of the toxin for chronic migraine and worry lines in one procedure. You just need to inform your doctor and take the necessary steps, like having them assess you to ensure the proper units and injections sites. It’s important to seek a highly trained injector.

1) Consult Your Doctor

If you want to get Botox Cosmetic for your frown lines on top of your chronic migraine procedure, make sure you consult with your doctor. This allows them to come up with a treatment plan that takes into consideration both your aesthetic goals and your medical condition. 

2) Assess Medical History

Your doctor will assess your medical history and confirm if you’re qualified to receive the needed dose of Botox for chronic migraine and frown lines. They will also screen you if you can handle that number of Botox units because you’ll receive many doses for chronic migraine.

3) Ensure Proper Units

Receiving the accurate Botox units if you’re undergoing treatment for your chronic migraine and frown lines is crucial for its success. Patients may receive treatment for both procedures at once, but they must not exceed 400 units within 3 months.

4) Choose Only Highly Trained Injectors

Proper injection placement is also crucial for any treatment involving Botox. Botox for chronic migraine and frown lines has specific locations, angles, and injection techniques where they need to be injected. Because of this, ensure seeking the treatment only from licensed and experienced injectors.

5) Observe for Side Effects

Patients receiving large doses of Botox are susceptible to side effects. It’s important that your doctor will explain to you carefully the side effects to expect and how to treat them. Most side effects from Botox are mild and will heal on their own. Observe yourself post-procedure if you’re experiencing side effects or if these would persist.

Risks and Side Effects from Receiving Botox for Migraine and Frown Lines at Once

Unhappy Young Woman Looking In Mirror And Touching Wrinkles On Her Face

While Botox injections are safe and approved by the FDA, patients can still expect common side effects – this treatment also has possible risks, though they’re usually rare. You might experience mild side effects and serious side effects from Botox injections.

Mild Side Effects

Patients will most likely experience mild side effects as the toxin integrates into the system. These side effects may also be caused by the miniature trauma they’ve received from the injections. Here are the mild side effects patients will likely have from Botox for chronic migraine and frown lines:

  • bruising
  • chills
  • droopy brows
  • dry mouth
  • fatigue
  • flu-like symptoms
  • headache
  • injection site pain, soreness, and swelling
  • nausea 
  • neck pain
  • neck stiffness
  • muscle weakness

Consult your doctor about the proper medications and steps to ease these symptoms. They usually subside after about 1 to 2 days. Contact your doctor immediately if symptoms persist.

Serious Side Effects

In extremely rare cases, Botox and Botox Cosmetic may cause some serious life-threatening side effects. These cases typically happen under the hands of inexperienced providers, so make sure to visit a reputable clinic with a highly-skilled provider to ensure the safety and effectiveness of the procedure. Some of these side effects include: 

  • allergic reaction
  • blurry vision
  • corneal ulceration
  • difficulty in breathing or swallowing
  • droopy eyebrows
  • muscle weakness
  • spread of toxin effect
  • swelling of the throat or tongue

Contact your doctor immediately once you’ve experienced these symptoms, or call the emergency hotline in your area.

Book an Appointment at Ethos Spa for Your First Botox Treatment

Your Botox treatment for chronic migraine may also help reduce the appearance of your frown lines because it also targets some of the muscles causing those lines. But Botox for chronic migraine uses a different medication than what plastic surgeons use for cosmetic procedures. You may not achieve the best results to resolve your lines because the procedure is dedicated to chronic migraine, having a different angle and injection technique. 

The good thing is that you may do the same treatments at once, so inform your doctor if you have aesthetic goals aside from your treatment. Choose a reliable aesthetic clinic that will ensure your safety and give you your desired results, like Ethos Spa. Our doctors will come up with a customized treatment plan that’s tailor-fit to your specific concerns. Get started with your Botox journey and schedule an appointment with us today.

Dr. Hardik Soni

MD, Founder/Lead Physician

About Dr. Hardik Soni

Dr. Hardik Soni is the founder and Medical Director of Ethos Aesthetics + Wellness. His primary focus is on minimally invasive and non-invasive cosmetic procedures including botulinum injection (Botox and Dysport), dermal fillers (Juvederm, Restylane, Radiesse), laser hair removal, chemical peels, and laser skin rejuvenation. Dr. Soni believes in a more conservative approach and his first goal is education. Clients are able to determine the ideal treatments after discussion with Dr. Soni regarding the expected outcomes, cost, as well as risks.

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