As we get older we start to form facial lines but for some of us, the one we see the most are our crow’s feet. These are wrinkles that form on the temple and cheek area around the eyes and can also be referred to as “happy lines”.
So what causes crow’s feet? Our face is made up of many different muscles that contract and relax to cause facial expressions. Below are a few examples of how we create these lines and common treatments that are used to treat them. It is important to note that all wrinkles can be improved, but the more wrinkles you have, the more difficult and expensive it is to improve them.
- Avoid squinting – contracting the muscle that encircles your eye is a significant cause of crow’s feet. The more you contract over time, the deeper they will appear.
- Avoid excessive sun exposure – Ultraviolet light damages your skin’s natural collagen making the skin more delicate
- Don’t smoke – smoking not only damages collagen, but also causes you to squint to keep irritating smoke out of your eyes.
How can crow’s feet be treated?
- Always wear sunglasses when outside to reduce glare and if you work for long periods at a computer screen, ensure your eyes are tested regularly so you are not squinting unnecessarily.
- Apply a broad spectrum sunscreen that blocks both UVA and UVB light. Even apply this if you will be driving as we can spend a long time in a vehicle and without knowing are making our crow’s feet worse.
- Eye creams will not treat wrinkles but will help reduce their formation as quickly.
- Make sure your skin is well hydrated – both from the inside as well as out. Find a moisturiser that is suitable for your skin type and drink plenty of water to hydrate skin cells and plump the skin
- Vitamin A and retinoid creams can help induce new collagen growth in the skin. There are many different types available from over the counter creams up to prescription strength.
- Anti-wrinkle injections are the most effective way to treat crow’s feet by relaxing the muscle that causes the lines. This both minimises those lines you already have as well as not allowing new lines to form.
- Dermal fillers can be used to plump fine lines therefore helping to smooth them out. This is particularly good for those lines we can see when your face is relaxed and works best in conjunction with anti-wrinkle injections.
- Chemical peels and lasers can improve crow’s feel by inducing collagen growth. There are many different levels of peels and lasers, the deeper the treatment, the more dramatic the results but also have a higher risk of side effects and may require some time off work.