Crow’s feet are tiny wrinkles that can appear at the outer corners of your eyes. Crow’s feet are a common sign of skin aging that can begin to appear on your skin as early as your mid or late 20s.
What are Crow’s Feet
Crow’s feet are affectionately referred to as laugh or smile lines, and while that’s beautiful, you don’t have to live with the lines that stay put long after a smile fades. As we age, our skin loses elasticity and no longer springs back into place after continued movement. Advances in medical science allow us to reverse the signs of aging, giving you a natural and relaxed look, without the lines.
What Causes Crow’s Feet
Before learning how to get rid of crow’s feet, we first need to understand what causes wrinkles. By getting to the bottom of crow’s feet causes, you’ll be best equipped to prevent their formation and keep clear of those fine lines which radiate from the corners of your eyes. Sometimes these pesky wrinkles are known by the name of “laugh lines”, “expression lines”, or “character lines” because they’re caused, in part, by our habitual facial expressions.
But how do temporary muscle contractions when smiling or squinting result in permanent fine lines? Let’s take a look at the science behind wrinkle formation to understand.
Your skin is composed of three layers: the outermost epidermis, the inner dermis, and the subcutis beneath the skin. When we refer to “wrinkles”, we’re talking about the creases or depressions seen on the epidermis, but the real action goes on below the surface.
How do you prevent crow’s feet?
First things first: Always wear sunscreen! “You want to start wearing SPF 30+ daily. And if you’re near or in water or very active, make sure you’re wearing a waterproof formula,” she adds. You’ll also want to start moisturizing eye creams containing proven ingredients like niacinamide, retinol, and vitamin C. Ones with hyaluronic acid can also help plump skin and fill in fine lines.
What is the best treatment for crow’s feet?
Botox: My go-to treatment for crow’s feet is a Botulinum Toxin (Botox), but Dysport, Jeuveau, and Xeomin all work well in this area, too,” she explained. “Botox works by blocking the release of acetylcholine, a chemical needed for muscle contraction. I typically inject the outer corners of the eyes, but some patients also get a tiny amount injected in the muscle band below each eye. By stopping contraction, the creases and wrinkles temporarily disappear.” Davis says the treatment can deliver natural results and last up to four months.
Fillers: Dermal Fillers can be used in the under-eye area to fill in hollows and lessen shadows. Only the lightest of fillers should be used here,” she said. “My favorite is Volbella. Fortunately, it contains lidocaine, a local anesthetic, so treatment isn’t too painful. Many of my patients come in 30 minutes earlier, anyway, to sit with a topical anesthetic cream to lessen pain further.”
Crow’s Feet Treatment
The treatment you choose will depend on the severity of the crow’s feet and your desired outcome. In some cases, you may want to try a combination of treatments.
Topical creams: You can fight fine lines and wrinkles with both prescription and over-the-counter topical creams. Tretinoin (Retin-A) is widely used to fight the signs of aging because it stimulates the production of new skin. There are also many antiaging moisturizers that are similarly effective. They may help reduce the appearance of fine lines around the eyes, but will not improve deep crow’s feet. The results of topical creams are usually seen within 24 weeks.
<strong>Botulinum toxin (Botox): Botox works to smooth out wrinkles caused by repetitive muscle contractions that happen when you make facial expressions. This treatment is very effective for crow’s feet.
Botox is best suited for people age 30–50 whose wrinkles are just starting to develop. It’s not effective on the deep wrinkles common among older adults.
Botox is injected directly into the affected area with a small needle, which causes the muscles to relax. Botox prevents the muscles from contracting, which can reduce the appearance of wrinkles or cause them to disappear entirely. Botox is particularly effective in people with dynamic wrinkles.
Botox will not keep you from making facial expressions. It will only target those muscles around the eyes that are causing your crow’s feet. The effects typically last about 3 months.
Chemical Peels: Chemical peels can improve the appearance of crow’s feet and promote younger, healthier-looking skin. This is accomplished by putting a chemical solution on the face that removes the outer layer of old skin, leaving behind new, smoother skin.
There are three different types of chemical peels:
Superficial peels can be done with a certified esthetician, but deeper peels should be done in your healthcare provider’s office. The effects of the peel and the recovery time involved will depend on the type of peel you get.
Superficial peels are relatively painless and require little or no downtime. Deeper peels can be very painful, and may even require anesthesia. For best results, superficial peels should be repeated every 2–4 weeks and medium-depth peels every 6–12 months until the desired results are achieved.
Dermal fillers are injected directly into crow’s feet with a small needle. The different injectale fillers available have slightly different components, and some are more permanent than others. Talk to your healthcare provider about which one is right for your skin type.
Dermal fillers are particularly effective for static crow’s feet, which appear constantly, even when the face is at rest. The effects of dermal fillers usually last anywhere from 3–12 months, but they can last longer.
Laser Resurfacing: Ablative laser resurfacing is a procedure that removes the upper layers of skin, revealing newer, younger-looking skin. Laser resurfacing works well for crow’s feet because it heats up several layers of skin, which promotes collagen production. Increased collagen production can help the skin around the eyes heal in a smoother, more even way.
You may be given pain medicine before the procedure. The procedure involves a laser wand focused on the face. Your face may be wrapped in dressing for several days after the procedure. Complete healing can take several weeks.
Laser resurfacing tightens skin, and claims to make you look 10–20 years younger. Results last for up to 10 years. Laser resurfacing may not completely eliminate crow’s feet, so doctors may combine it with other techniques, such as Botox injections.