Many say that facial lines and wrinkles are the marks of a life well-lived—that they tell our story through laugh lines that celebrate the times we’ve experienced joy. And this may be true. Yet it’s natural to want to lessen these lines. Called “crow’s feet” for their shape, these crinkles that form at the corners of our eyes can be addressed without invasive surgery. In fact, you can get rid of crow’s feet quite easily.
What Are Crow’s Feet Exactly?
A delicately thin circular muscle in your eye area called the orbicularis oculi pulls the skin in around each eye, and it seems to reflect every emotion, creating the (very) common wrinkles and lines that form at the corners of your eyes when you make facial expressions like smiling or squinting. They can even appear from rubbing your eyes. These lines may stick around when you’re done smiling (called static), or they could appear when you’re making a facial expression only (called dynamic). Static lines tend to be deeper and a little harder to erase.
How Can I Fix Crow’s Feet?
The good news is that crow’s feet, whether static or dynamic, can usually be completely eradicated, at least temporarily. The treatments that can achieve this are simple, safe, and do not require surgery. You can even combine more than one, depending upon your objectives and how deep your crow’s feet are. Here are the treatments that are used most commonly:
Botox for Crow’s Feet
BotoxⓇ, or botulinum toxin, is a highly effective method to fix crow’s feet in about ten minutes. It’s a safe FDA approved injection that works by relaxing the muscle that causes these wrinkles and lines, and it’s especially helpful for those aged 30 - 50 who have smaller dynamic wrinkles that are just beginning to form. In fact, it can temporarily erase some wrinkles completely for about three months, while still allowing you to make complete facial expressions. Starting Botox on crow’s feet when you’re younger also makes good sense because like other wrinkles, they are easier to smooth when they are not as entrenched. Results show up within 48 hours to two weeks, and they last for three to four months. You can also use the injectable DysportⓇ for crow’s feet. It works the same way as Botox.
Related: How Long Does Dysport Last?
Dermal Fillers for Crow’s Feet
Dermal fillers are FDA approved anti-aging treatments that are also highly effective at fighting crow’s feet. Injected into the outer eye area with a tiny needle, these “soft tissue fillers” include treatments like the following, which work well for static wrinkles:
Each varies in how long results last based on their ingredients—but dermal fillers can keep crow’s feet at bay for three to twelve months or more.
Related: How Often Do I Need to Touch Up Dermal Fillers?
Chemical Peels for Crow’s Feet
This type of treatment is also safe and very common. With a chemical peel, a gentle chemical solution removes just the outer layer of older skin, revealing smoother new skin while stimulating your skin to produce more collagen, which helps to strengthen and tighten the skin. Depending upon your desired outcome, you can have one of three types of peels:
- Superficial Peels: These are the lightest treatments, and can be performed by a certified esthetician. They are virtually painless and have very little or no downtime associated with them. You can repeat superficial peels every two to four weeks.
- Medium-depth Peels: These are more significant than superficial, so you’ll need to have your healthcare provider perform a medium-depth peel in their office. They may require some downtime and can cause some discomfort, depending upon the peel. You can repeat a medium-depth peel every six to twelve months.
- Deep Peels: Again, see your healthcare provider for a deep peel, which is the most intense and might require anesthesia. You can repeat a deep peel every six to twelve months.
Laser Resurfacing for Crow’s Feet
Using an ablative laser resurfacing like Forever Young BBLTM, a certified and experienced provider can safely smooth crow’s feet through the power of heat. The laser works by gently heating the upper layers of skin to boost collagen creation, which promotes a smooth, rejuvenated finish. It tightens skin and can have dramatic effects, sometimes making the skin look ten to 20 years younger. Since laser resurfacing might not completely eradicate crow’s feet, many times it’s paired with a treatment like Botox to ensure success. You may need pain medication for this in-office procedure and require dressing afterwards, but it is a simple, quick, and effective treatment. Recovery can take up to several weeks, but results can last for up to ten years.
How to Prevent Crow’s Feet
Luckily, these are easy fixes. But you might be wondering how to prevent crow’s feet from showing up in the first place. Good question. Since these lines and wrinkles affect your skin, the best way to avoid getting crow’s feet is to take good care of that beautiful organ. Most importantly, make sure to protect your skin from the sun, since its rays can break down elastin and collagen and its brightness causes squinting. You can guard against both with UVA and UVB protected polarized sunglasses, sun protective clothing, and a hat whenever possible. Use an SPF 30 or higher sunscreen every day and include it in your moisturizer if possible. Then don’t forget to apply again throughout the day to ensure its effectiveness.
While the sun is a big factor, there are other important ways to care for your skin. Just follow the rules of good health for success: get some exercise every day to increase blood flow and oxygen to your skin. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables with antioxidants to fight off the free radicals that cause aging—and drink plenty of water to keep your skin hydrated. Stay away from tanning beds. Also avoid cigarettes, as the free radicals they produce can hurt your skin by destroying elastin and collagen and creating wrinkles earlier. You can also apply eye creams and moisturizers that hydrate and include antioxidants to fight the effects of aging, like vitamin C. Also, you can take collagen for crow’s feet since it helps plump up the skin and decrease wrinkling.
Erase Crow’s Footprints Now
Even if you need to treat crow’s feet now, you can implement these best health practices to keep them from returning. And although these lines are indeed measures of the joy we’ve experienced throughout our lives, it’s nice to know that we can remove them easily and effectively, while still keeping those memories. If you’re interested in learning more, reach out to us here. At the Center for Advanced Plastic Surgery, Dr. Beverly Fischer and her expert team have been helping patients refresh the skin around their eyes and everywhere for over 30 years. We offer all of these treatments and more to help you look your best and stay ahead of the aging curve. That is definitely something to be joyful about!