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bunny lines

Bunny lines, although they sound cute, are facial wrinkles. In particular, these are the diagonal wrinkles that run from the inner corners of your eyes toward the tip of your nose when you scrunch up your nose as a bunny does. Some people tend to scrunch their nose with every day facial expressions such as smiling or laughing. Over time, this causes bunny lines to become more pronounced or more permanent.

  • Bunny lines that appear only as you make certain facial expressions are dynamic wrinkles
  • Severe bunny lines tend to be always visible, even when the face is expressionless. These are known as static wrinkles and typically require more aggressive treatments.

While there are solutions available to address every stage of wrinkles, the best time to treat your dynamic bunny lines is before they become static bunny lines. We explore the causes, best prevention methods, and treatment options.

bunny lines example
Example of bunny lines (Source: Byrdie.com)

What Causes Bunny Lines?

Bunny lines show up when smiling, laughing, or squinting our eyes. Bunny lines are a result of flexion in the nasalis muscle, which functions to flare or close the nostrils. As we age, collagen and elastin in our skin begins to decline, and the face doesn’t bounce back from expressions the same way it used to. Most commonly, bunny lines begin as dynamic wrinkles in our 20’s or 30’s and become static wrinkles as we age.

You’re more susceptible to bunny lines if you spend a lot of time in the sun, smoke, or are stressed. Sun, smoke and other air pollutants speed up the aging process by damaging collagen and elastin production. So too, can stress. Stress produces the hormone cortisol, which actively breaks down collagen and elastin in the skin.

Preventing Bunny Lines

To prevent bunny lines from forming in the first place, practice the following healthy habits:

Avoid Sun Exposure

UV rays damage collagen and elastin production and speed up the aging process. Avoid spending time in the sun without protection, and never use tanning beds. The best protection is clothing, followed by full-spectrum sunscreen.

Stop Smoking

Smoke and other air pollutants damage collagen production and produce free radicals which are harmful to the skin. If you smoke, stop. Stay indoors on days when air quality is poor where you live.

Stay Hydrated

Keep skin well hydrated from the outside and inside by drinking plenty of water and using a hydrating moisturizer that contains hyaluronic acid.

Sleep Well

Stress and lack of sleep both contribute to wrinkles. Skin cells are restored and healed during sleep, and damaged by stress. Getting a good night’s sleep not only prevents stress, but allows your skin to heal from day-time damage.

Begin an Anti-Aging Skin Care Routine

An anti-aging skin care regimen involves products that exfoliate to promote skin cell renewal, minimize the appearance of wrinkles, and hydrate. Consult with your doctor about which products to add to your personal routine.

Treatment Options for Bunny Lines

There are two primary treatment options for bunny lines. These include neuromodulators such as Botox, Dysport, Xeomin or dermal fillers, such as Belotero or Restylane. The best treatment option for each payment best for you depends upon wrinkle severity and desired end results.

Botox and other Neuromodulators

Neuromodulators like Botox, Xeomin, or Dysport work by paralyzing the muscles that cause wrinkles. When these muscles cease to contract, wrinkles cease to appear. These treatment options work best when targeting dynamic wrinkles, before they have formed deep grooves in the skin.

Too much Botox in the area between the eyebrows can actually cause bunny lines. By paralyzing the muscles of the brow, other muscles around the nose work to compensate during facial expression. This can be avoided by seeing an experienced doctor who will consider the whole face and help you achieve a natural look.

Botox treatments are not permanent, and must be repeated for the best results. Botox typically lasts for 3-4 months, and requires maintenance visits twice a year or more.

Dermal Fillers

Dermal fillers such as Belotero or Restylane are normally used to treat static wrinkles, or wrinkles that have formed deeper, permanent lines on the skin.

Belotero and Restylane are both hyaluronic acid fillers. Belotero has a firm but thin consistency and has been specifically formulated to treat fine lines. It can be used to subtly smooth wrinkles around the nose, and is a good choice for those with thin skin. Restylane is among the most commonly used gel dermal fillers and has long been a go-to for filling deeper wrinkles on any part of the face. It has a softer consistency than Belotero and can be used as a base for the former.

Both types of dermal fillers work by injecting a natural gel-like substance under the surface of the skin to fill wrinkles and smooth the appearance of lines.

Bunny lines do no harm and are a natural part of aging. This does not mean you have to live with them. If nose wrinkles are something you’d like to avoid or change, contact your doctor to learn more.


Timothy McGee, MD

Dr. McGee has been practicing plastic surgery for more than 18 years in all areas of the field, including cosmetic surgery and reconstructive breast and facial surgery. Dr. McGee is board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and the American Board of Surgery. He has numerous hospital affiliations in the Round Rock and greater Austin areas and is a member of the American Society of plastic Surgeons, American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, American College of Surgeons and Austin Smiles.


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Source: WESTLAKEDERMATOLOGY.COM

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