Unless you keep your face perfectly still for your entire life, never smiling, laughing or crying, you’re going to end up with a few expression lines–dynamic wrinkles. Frown lines, which develop between the eyebrows, might be one of the most well-known examples of dynamic wrinkles.
Crow’s feet, sometimes known as laugh lines, are another common type of dynamic wrinkle. Crow’s feet form at the corners of your eyes. They earned their name because they look like the footprints left by crows — pairs of long, forked lines.
When they first appear, crow’s feet tend to be tiny. You might barely notice them. Over time, though, they become more deeply etched in the skin. If you are concerned about these lines, here’s what you can do to improve their appearance or keep them from becoming worse.
Skincare Options for Crow’s Feet
Often, the first line of defense against crow’s feet is to pay attention to how you’re treating the skin around the eye area. As you might know, the skin near your eyes tends to be more delicate than the skin on the rest of your face. It’s more likely to acquire lines and wrinkles sooner.
If you are beginning to feel concerned about your crow’s feet, one way to help soften the skin and slow down the process of developing lines and wrinkles is to try using an eye cream that contains anti-wrinkle ingredient, typically retinol. While eye cream won’t press pause on the aging process and won’t stop the lines from forming, it can help to slow things down.
It’s also a good idea to protect your eyes from things that can speed up the aging process and make wrinkles more likely to form.
Wearing sunscreen near your eyes and on the rest of your face every day will help to protect your skin against the sun’s UV rays, which cause wrinkles. You might also want to invest in a pair of sunglasses with large lenses that also provide UV protection.
If you smoke, now’s the time to seriously consider quitting. Smoking doesn’t just make the skin age faster. Every time you take a puff or exhale, your face makes the expression that makes crow’s feet and other dynamic wrinkles form.
Botox for Crow’s Feet
Sun protection and good skin care are excellent preventative measures against crow’s feet. But what if you’ve already got lines that are fairly deep around your eyes?
One of the best non-surgical ways to reduce the appearance of crow’s feet is with Botox. Botox works by temporarily blocking specific nerve signals to certain muscles. When injected into the area by the eyes, it can help to prevent you from making the facial movements that create crow’s feet.
Occasionally, people are concerned that Botox injections will make them look frozen or will prevent them from making any sort of facial expression. The good news is that an experienced injector has an understanding of where to inject and how much to inject to create a soft, natural look that retains natural expression.
For that reason, it’s a good idea to choose your Botox provider carefully. Ask to see before and after photos of people who’ve gotten the injection to treat crow’s feet, so you have a fair understanding of what your own results might look like.
Will Surgery Reduce Crow’s Feet?
The more severe your crow’s feet are, the more likley you are to wonder if a surgical option is going to be the best bet for you. The answer is likely no.
Surgeries that help to minimize the signs of aging around the eyes, such as blepharoplasty, don’t typically help to smooth away crow’s feet. Instead, a blepharoplasty is focused on reducing droopiness in the upper eyelids or helping to minimize under eye bags in the lower eye lid area.
It might be the case that a different type of injection, such as a filler, is a better option for you if you have very deep crow’s feet. A filler will add volume to the lines but won’t prevent you from making the facial expressions that create them.
If you’re concerned about the appearance of crow’s feet or of other wrinkles and lines on your face, your best bet to is to schedule a consultation with a facial plastic surgeon to learn more about your treatment options. Dr. Michael Schwartz is a double board-certified facial plastic surgeon with a practice in West Palm Beach, Florida. To schedule a consultation with Dr. Schwartz, call 561-228-5888 today.