The fine lines and wrinkles that develop at the outer corners of the eye—known as crow’s feet for their apparent resemblance to a bird’s toes—are typically more prominent than other types of lines and wrinkles. BOTOX® Cosmetic from our Los Angeles-based team of board-certified dermatologists is an ideal way of treating these lines, but there are also other techniques that can be helpful.
These perpendicular pull lines that branch out from the corner of the eye develop gradually over time as the skin goes through changes. Even if it might seem like the wrinkles pop up overnight, be aware that there are several long-term factors that contribute to their appearance.
The eye area is more susceptible to forming wrinkles because the skin there is 40 percent thinner—and therefore more vulnerable—when compared to the skin on other areas of the face. The main cause of crow’s feet is the tiny muscle contractions that happen each day when making facial expressions, such as smiling. The lines form in areas where the muscles connect to the skin. Frowning from stress, squinting in sunlight, and UV damage can also contribute to the development of these lines.
Crow’s feet are a completely normal part of getting older—and if you’re smiling and laughing a lot, that’s certainly nothing to be ashamed of. Although there are many treatments that are effective for crow’s feet, the best option for you depends on the severity of your wrinkles and the type of results you’re hoping to achieve.
Here are three strategies for ensuring your eye area looks as youthful as possible:
Avoid Sun Exposure
Limit sun exposure by applying sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher each day and wearing sun-protective sunglasses, a hat, or both. The goal is to keep ultraviolet radiation from damaging the skin around your eyes. Wearing a hat or sunglasses—or sticking to the shade—will also prevent you from squinting as much.
BOTOX® can be used as both a preventative measure and a way of softening existing wrinkles. The chemical it contains prevents muscles from contracting so that the skin looks smoother and more refreshed. Getting injections prior to the formation of wrinkles means the skin will stay at rest longer and not fold into creases as often.
For more dramatic results, patients can try in-office laser procedures that help to rebuild collagen in the skin and improve its quality. Because the light energy is so powerful, special eye protection must be worn—and not all laser treatments are ideal for use near the eyes.
Dr. Derek Jones is a renowned Los Angeles and Beverly Hills area dermatologist practicing in cosmetic and general dermatology.