Spock Eyebrows: What They Are & How to Avoid Them
The name might be funny, but Spock eyebrows are no laughing matter. Named after the famous arch-eyed Star Trek character, Spock eyebrows — also known as Spock brow or Joker eyebrows — happen when Botox® is injected in the wrong part of the lower forehead and brow area.
We’re not singling out Botox. Any neuromodulating medication derived from botulinum toxin type A, including Botox®, Dysport®, and Xeomin®, can cause Spock eyebrows.
Though technically temporary, Spock eyebrows can persist for months after Botox treatment, so it’s best to avoid them in the first place.
What Are Spock Eyebrows?
Spock eyebrow is a common side effect after Botox treatments for forehead lines, glabellar lines, or brow lifts.
Characterized by a pronounced outward arching of the eyebrows, the condition appears within a few days of treatment. It lasts until the medication dissipates, typically four to six months.
Spock eyebrow is caused by uneven Botox treatment that throws the delicately balanced forehead muscles out of whack. It happens when Botox is injected into two forehead muscles — the procerus muscle that runs up the middle of the forehead from the nose and the corrugator muscle that runs along the top of each brow — but not the frontalis muscle itself, which makes up most of the forehead’s muscle mass. With the procerus and corrugator muscles paralyzed, the frontalis muscle pulls upward and outward on the brow, creating the distinctive arched effect.
How to Prevent Spock Eyebrows From Botox
Preventing Spock eyebrow is not as simple as adequately dosing the frontalis muscle. Each patient’s forehead anatomy is different, and over-injecting the frontalis muscle can cause other problems.
In fact, some well-trained Botox injectors prefer to perform forehead Botox treatments in two sessions: an initial round of lower-dose injections followed by a touch-up round 10 days to two weeks later. This allows for finer-tuned, more customized results and reduces the risk of an initial overdose that can’t be reversed with subsequent injections. (The only remedy in this case is to wait it out over a period of several months.)
Can Spock Eyebrows Be Reversed?
As is often the case in aesthetic medicine, prevention is the best cure for patients who don’t want Spock eyebrows. Working with an experienced Botox injector who has completed more forehead and brow treatments than they can count is the surest way to reduce your risk of unwanted side effects and complications, including Spock eyebrows.
But even the most experienced Botox injectors can make mistakes. Is there anything you can do if you do begin to notice Spock brow after your Botox treatment?
Yes, Spock eyebrows can be reversed with follow-up Botox treatment. But you’ll need to be patient.
While Spock brow becomes apparent within the first few days after treatment, botulinum toxin type A can take up to two weeks to take full effect. As soon as you notice an arch in your brow, make your follow-up appointment for at least two weeks out from the initial treatment date.
Your original provider should offer corrective injections at no additional charge, but if they refuse or you’re not comfortable working with them anymore, look for another injector with good patient reviews. They may offer free or discounted corrective service in the hopes that you make them your regular aesthetic medicine provider.