Why We Get Crow’s Feet (and What to Do If They Bother You)

Crow’s feet are fine lines or wrinkles that can develop around the outer edges of the eyes. Although they are small, they can give the eyes a noticeably tired or prematurely aged appearance.

Like some of Dr. Joshua Greenwald’s facial rejuvenation patients, you may be wondering  what causes crow’s feet — and what can be done to minimize their appearance. Below, the NYC plastic surgeon discusses the causes and treatments for crow’s feet.

Causes of Crow’s Feet

Crow’s feet develop because of repeated facial expressions, particularly smiling, squinting and frowning. When the facial muscles contract to form these expressions, it creates tiny crinkles in the skin around the eyes. Over time, these crinkles become deeper and more prominent. They may be apparent even when the face is at rest (i.e., in a neutral expression).

Other factors, like genetics, sun exposure and smoking, can accelerate the formation of crow’s feet and make them look more pronounced.

Can Crow’s Feet Be Prevented?

Although there is no way to completely avoid getting crow’s feet, certain measures may slow down their development and make them look less severe:

  • Protect your eyes from the sun by wearing wraparound sunglasses with 100 percent UV protection
  • Do not smoke
  • Get enough sleep

Treating Crow’s Feet

There are a few different ways Dr. Greenwald can treat crow’s feet, depending on their severity.

Botox injections are a safe and effective way to minimize the appearance of mild crow’s feet. Small amounts of Botox are injected into targeted muscles around the corners of the eye’s; the injectable temporarily relaxes the muscle, and the overlying line or wrinkle becomes less visible. Botox results last three to six months, on average.

Another treatment option for crow’s feet is laser skin resurfacing around the eyes. Dr. Greenwald can use laser light to gently ablate (i.e., remove) the outer layer of damaged, wrinkled skin to reveal smoother, less wrinkled skin. The heat from the laser also stimulates the production of collagen and elastin for more youthful looking skin.

Chemical peels also involve removing the outer layer of wrinkled skin, albeit through a different mechanism. A topical solution is applied to the skin to cause it to slough off.

Get Smoother, Youthful-Looking Skin

For more information about minimizing the appearance of crow’s feet, please schedule a consultation at our practice by calling (914) 421-0113 or (212) 518-1642 or sending us an email today.