Botox for Bunny Lines: Everything You Need to Know

Do you notice little lines crinkling up on the sides of your nose when you smile or scrunch your nose? They’re called bunny lines, and while they can be endearing, many people choose to diminish their appearance with Botox–the powerhouse neuromodulator that’s today’s most popular minimally invasive cosmetic treatment. 

Here, we’re covering everything you need to know about Botox for bunny lines, from how it works to who is a good candidate for the treatment.

labeled diagram showing bunny lines on female's face
Pictured: Bunny lines are the fine wrinkles on the sides of the nose that appear when smiling or scrunching your nose.

What are Bunny Lines?

Those crinkles that show up on each side of the nose when you laugh or scrunch your face? Those are bunny lines. The culprit behind these fine lines is the nasalis muscle, a small but mighty muscle that runs across the bridge of your nose. This muscle is involved in a surprising number of facial expressions, from laughter and squinting to frowning and even scrunching your nose. Over time, all these repeated contractions can take their toll, leading to the development of nose wrinkles.

Initially, facial wrinkles are dynamic, meaning they only appear when you make a specific expression. But that youthful bounce in your skin isn’t forever. Sun exposure and the natural loss of collagen and skin elasticity as we age can cause these dynamic wrinkles to become etched into your skin, making them visible even when your face is at rest. So, while those bunny lines might be endearing when you’re younger, they can become a source of cosmetic concern for some people as they get older.

Watch our expert nurse injector, Sabrina Novak, R.N., explain Botox treatments for bunny lines.

Botox for Bunny Lines

Botox Cosmetic, a brand of botulinum toxin, is a purified protein used for decades in both medicine and aesthetics. In cosmetic treatments, Botox injections target specific facial muscles to reduce the appearance of wrinkles and creases. It works by temporarily blocking the signals sent from nerves to the muscles.

Botox and other neurotoxins such as Dysport, Jeuveau and Xeomin are best known for treating crow’s feet, frown lines and “elevens” between the eyebrows–but they can be used for many other purposes, too.

How bunny line Botox works

For bunny lines, injections are placed precisely into the nasalis muscle on either side of your nose, near the bridge where it meets the eye area. This muscle contracts during various expressions like smiling or scrunching your nose. By relaxing the nasalis muscle, Botox reduces the muscle contractions that cause bunny lines to appear. This not only softens existing lines but also helps prevent new ones from forming by limiting the muscle movement that contributes to wrinkles.

Botox injections into nasalis muscle for bunny line treatment
Botox is injected into the nasalis muscle

Ideal Candidates for Bunny Line Botox

Botox for bunny lines is a safe and effective anti-aging treatment for many people, but it’s not for everyone. To be a good candidate, you should have:

  • Visible bunny lines: Ideal candidates for Botox treatment typically exhibit moderate to severe bunny lines that cause aesthetic concern. If the lines are very faint, alternative approaches, like chemical peels, or simply good skin care practices might suffice.
  • Healthy skin: Botox works best on healthy skin with good elasticity. If you have significant sun damage or very thin skin, a consultation with a qualified injector can help determine if Botox is the right choice for you. 
  • Realistic expectations: While the effects of Botox can be impressive, they’re not permanent. Understand that Botox last 3–4 months and that you’ll need repeat treatments to maintain your results.

Pregnant or breastfeeding women should avoid Botox injections altogether. Patient safety is paramount and Botox hasn’t been studied for use during these periods.

Potential Side Effects and Risks

Botox injections for bunny lines are considered safe and generally well-tolerated, but like any medical procedure, there can be side effects. Most of these are temporary and resolve within a few days. They include:

  • Swelling, bruising or redness: Swelling, redness or minor bruising may occur at the injection sites. These typically fade quickly and can be minimized with proper application of ice packs.
  • Headache: Mild headaches can occur after treatment but usually subside within a day or two. Over-the-counter pain relievers can help manage these headaches.
  • Temporary numbness: You may experience temporary numbness around the injection site, but this should dissipate within a few days.
  • Drooping nose: In rare cases, if too much Botox is injected, the tip of your nose may droop slightly. This is temporary and usually resolves within a few weeks.

To minimize the chance of side effects, choose a highly skilled and experienced injector who is familiar with the delicate facial anatomy. They will ensure proper injection technique and dosage to achieve optimal results with minimal risk.

Can Botox Cause Bunny Lines?

Interestingly, while Botox is often used to treat bunny lines, it can also be a contributing factor to their development. The lines may become more apparent or develop after Botox injections elsewhere on the face, such as in the forehead or around the eyes. 

This happens because when certain facial muscles are relaxed with Botox, other muscles compensate for the reduced movement, potentially leading to increased expression lines in untreated areas like the sides of the nose. 

If you notice an increase in bunny lines after Botox treatments, discuss this with your provider, as adjusting the treatment areas or technique may help balance facial expressions and reduce the prominence of these lines.

How Many Units of Botox for Bunny Lines?

Typically, treating bunny lines requires about 5 to 10 units. The exact amount of Botox can vary depending on the depth of the lines and the desired results, so it’s important to consult with a qualified provider who can tailor the treatment to your specific needs.

The Bottom Line

Botox injections offer a safe and effective way to diminish the appearance of bunny lines. By relaxing the underlying muscle, Botox softens existing wrinkles and helps prevent new ones from forming. 

However, it’s not a one-size-fits-all solution. Ideal candidates have noticeable bunny lines, healthy skin with good elasticity and realistic expectations about the temporary results. Consult with a qualified and experienced injector to discuss your goals, medical history and ensure a natural-looking outcome.

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