Whether they scrunch up in disgust, anger or delight, crow's feet are either a source of limitless annoyance or a reminder of wonderful pastimes. They're tiny and not even a centimeter wide. But whether they're loved or hated, crow's feet eventually show up on everyone's face. And BOTOX® Cosmetic could be the answer to eliminate them.
Crows Feet and Botox Explained by Bradford Patt, MD of the Houston Center for Facial Plastic Surgery
What Is Crow's Feet?
Crow's feet are wrinkles marked in the corners of your eyes. Unlike expression lines or wrinkles on other facial areas, crow's feet may seem to look more pronounced or deeper on your skin.
Top causes of crow's fee are
A loss of skin elasticity and collagen that occurs with age
Crow's feet go by numerous common names, including:
And also more technical names:
Orbicularis oculi contractions
Lateral canthal lines
And, while "character lines" and "laugh lines" sound a bit more flattering, they still point to the same thing — an inevitable sign that you're getting older.
How Do Crow's Feet Occur?
Your facial skin stretches like a rubber band due to its elasticity. When compressed or pulled, it returns back to its original form. But, as you age, your skin loses this elasticity which is why certain body parts start drooping and wrinkles begin forming. A primary reason for this are our bodies' production of elastin and collagen (responsible for the elasticity in your skin) lessens with age.
Repeated muscle contractions from squinting, raising eyebrows or frowning cause your skin to fold and furrow, gradually leading to facial lines.
Although UV exposure and age play a key role in the formation of crow's feet, crow's feet, as mentioned, can occur at any age. Unlike other wrinkles, crow's feet actually can show up in your mid-twenties; even earlier in some individuals who don't engage in good skincare. But either way, they're unavoidable.
The reason they can show up earlier in life when other types of wrinkles show up later on as you age is due to a thin skin layer and lack of oil glands surrounding your eyes. As your skin elasticity around this thin skin layer lessens, your skin can't bounce back to its initial state like it once used to.
The Role BOTOX Plays in Treatment of Crow’s Feet
FDA-approved, BOTOX cosmetic for crows feet is a common outpatient technique. Dr. Bradford S. Patt MD, FACS performs BOTOX around eyes for crow’s feet here at the Houston Center for Facial Plastic Surgery (HCFPS).
BOTOX is also used for various medical purposes, including excessive sweating and eye twitching. The injections stop nerve signals from getting to the muscles, thereby causing them to contract less often.
The most common use of BOTOX is for wrinkles. When using BOTOX for crows feet, it relaxes the muscles that surround the corners of your eyes, smoothing your skin out. You may notice the effects more so when you laugh.
BOTOX for Crow’s Feet Technique - How BOTOX for Crow’s Feet Works
BOTOX is a fast treatment (around 10 minutes) that works beneath your skin’s surface. It reduces underlying muscle activity temporarily that leads to crow's feet, forehead lines and moderate to severe frown lines in adults to improve their appearance.
Dr. Patt injects the BOTOX treatment with fine needles directly around your eyes near the crow's feet. Even if shots don't bother you, the doctor will likely suggest ice or another topical anesthetic to numb the area before the procedure. Once numb, Dr. Patt begins the injection process.
There are potential side effects of BOTOX, including:
Swelling or redness around the eyes
Tearing in your eyes
If you're taking herbal supplements or medication currently, let your doctor know. They may have you stop taking them temporarily before your procedure to reduce your chances of experiencing side effects.
BOTOX for Crow’s Feet Results
Overall, you may not notice results until a few days later. After a few days, your muscles that surround your eyes might begin to relax.
Results usually last around four months, or slightly longer. In fact, according to a study in 2016 involving 1,362 participants who received BOTOX treatment for their crow's feet, the results lasted for a minimum of four months.
When you use BOTOX cosmetic for crow’s feet on a continuous basis, it can be very effective. You'll need to receive follow-up injections by your doctor every few months to maintain the smoothness around your eyes.
BOTOX for Crow’s Feet Recovery
The recovery time for the treatment is short when you compare it to other cosmetic procedures. You should be able to go home immediately after your treatment if you don't experience any side effects at your doctor's office.
Recovering at home is also straightforward. You can wash your face and wear makeup the same day as your treatment. You can go back to work. But, what you can't do is rub the skin surrounding your eyes since it can cause the BOTOX medication to move away from the treated area.
If you’re considering BOTOX cosmetic for crows feet, you’ll want to factor in the long-term costs that go with long-term use. Most doctors charge their rates based on the number of units needed, instead of the visits themselves. This is something you’ll want to sit down and discuss with Dr. Patt during your initial consultation.
Preventing Crow’s Feet
The only way you can prevent crow's feet is to never laugh, smile, squint or frown. This obviously is impossible and causes many individuals to invest in techniques to reduce or eliminate these V-shaped wrinkles.
To start, you can apply sunscreen to protect yourself and your skin from the harmful UV rays of the sun. UV ray exposure is the most common reason why skin loses its elastin and collagen.
You're at an even higher risk if you smoke since smoking kicks the biochemical processes into gear, causing your skin to age quicker. But, even if you never touch a cigarette and apply sunscreen every day, you're still going to get crow's feet.
Not to worry, there are numerous products and techniques to help reduce their appearance, and BOTOX for crow’s feet is now a popular way.
Turn Back the Years Today by Getting Treatment with BOTOX for Crow’s Feet in Houston, TX
If you’re wanting to reduce the appearance of crow’s feet, set up an appointment with Dr. Patt at the Houston Center for Facial Plastic Surgery today. For many people, BOTOX and crows feet go hand-in-hand. To schedule your BOTOX Cosmetic consultation with Dr. Patt, call (281) 649-7170, or complete the online request below, and our helpful staff will be happy to assist you!
Meet the Author: Houston's Top Doctor For Botox and Crows Feet Technique
Written By: Dr. Bradford Patt - Board-certified in otolaryngology, head and neck surgery, and facial plastic and reconstructive surgery he has been practicing for nearly 20 years. He is a member of the American Academy of Facial Plastic Surgery, and an Executive Board Member of the Harris County Medical Society.