Though some of us may be pleased with our smiles, our high cheekbones or our dimples, very few of us are delighted with our crow’s feet. Crow’s feet are the fine lines that form around our eyes as we age. These lines get their name from the way they radiate like the toes of a crow.There are two types of crow’s feet: dynamic and static.
As you might expect, dynamic lines are caused by motion. They result from the contractions of the muscles beneath them. Static lines, on the other hand, are present all the time. While BOTOX® is a fine treatment for dynamic lines because it relaxes the underlying muscles, the static lines of crow’s feet require other treatments such as laser procedures and chemical peels. As with any dermatological treatments, whether administered for medical or cosmetic reasons, you should consult with an experienced, capable dermatologist both for safety reasons and to get the best possible aesthetic results.
What causes crow’s feet?
There are many reasons you may develop crow’s feet, including
- Squinting, whether because of visual difficulties, spending time in glary surroundings without sunglasses, as a result of a tic, or just because of a nervous habit
- Smoking, which damages both collagen and elastin fibers and interrupts the flow of blood and oxygen to the skin
- Sun exposure which may not only cause you to squint but, over a long period of time, will damage your elastin and collagen leading to lax, wrinkled skin
- Menopause during which hormonal changes dry the skin and decrease the layer of fat under the skin, lessening the skin’s elasticity
The darker your skin, the fewer crow’s feet lines you are likely to have because your increased melanin protects you to a greater degree from harmful ultraviolet radiation.
Treatments for Crow’s Feet
As previously mentioned, treatment for improvement of crow’s feet depends on whether the crow’s feet are dynamic or static.
How BOTOX Works on Dynamic Crow’s Feet
Because the dynamic wrinkles of crow’s feet result from repetitive muscle contractions, they respond well to injections of Botox. Botox temporarily relaxes the muscle underlying the area around the eye (orbicularis oculi). As the muscle relaxes, the wrinkles smooth out. They disappear gradually over a period of about 2 weeks. Although the treatment lasts for 3 to 6 months, repeated treatments have a cumulative effect as the muscle grows increasingly weak.
Botox, while it can make a highly noticeable improvement to your skin, is a serious substance that should only be injected by a trained dermatologist.
How Chemical Peels Work on Static Crow’s Feet
Chemical peels purposefully cause the skin to shed its upper, older layers, promoting increased production of new cells. Through this process, the skin is resurfaced; as it tightens, the crow’s feet wrinkles smooth and skin texture evens out. As a result, the skin looks younger.
The most effective chemical peels for treatment of crow’s feet are TCA (trichloroacetic acid) peels. TCA peels, the strongest chemical peels available, will make a more pronounced improvement in the patient’s appearance. By the same token, they will require about a week of downtime during which the patient can expect some redness, swelling and skin flaking. Since these chemical peels are usually administered to a medium depth, it is extremely important that they are administered by a skilled dermatologist experienced in this delicate procedure.
How Lasers Work on Crow’s Feet
Another innovative treatment for the improvement of crow’s feet is laser resurfacing. To administer this treatment, the dermatologist uses a handheld laser instrument similar to a wand in order to remove the upper layers of damaged skin around the eyes. Like a wand, the laser tool appears to “magically” reveal newer, more youthful cells, providing a surface that appears to be untarnished by the process of aging. Sometimes this treatment is called “laser peeling” because of the way it lifts the upper layers of old, damaged skin cells.
Laser treatment not only removes more superficial older cells, but helps to heal the cells below the surface that are more elastic and flexible. As the lower layers are heated by the laser device, they are stimulated to produce more collagen in the dermis, giving the skin a smoother, more supple texture.
Laser treatment for crow’s feet is an efficient method of restoring a younger appearance. Because the area being targeted is small, the procedure often takes 30 minutes or less. There is some temporary swelling at the site, typically only visible for up to 48 hours. Patients may, however, experience slight itching and peeling during the first week after treatment.
With so many treatment options available, there is no reason to look older than you have to. If you are self-conscious about the aging lines around your eyes, and seeking out a reputable dermatologist, you will find no one more in tune with your needs than Dr. Dyan Harvey-Dent. She is a board-certified physician who is not only technically gifted, but who understands the intrinsic connection between beauty and health. Consulting with her at Unique Dermatology & Wellness Center may turn out to be not only a positive, but a life-altering event. Go ahead and call today to schedule your consultation or fill out the contact form on the website today.