What are Crow’s Feet?

Expression wrinkles that radiate from the outer corner of the eyelids. These creases are more noticeable while smiling but over time they may be visible even at rest.

How it’s treated

The most effective treatment for crow’s feet is botulinum toxin, also known as Botox (also Dysport and Xeomin). These products work by selectively reducing the strength of the muscle in a specific area.

Your provider determines the treatment locations by observing the way that the muscles act on the skin during facial expression. The botulinum toxin is reconstituted from a dehydrated powder to a liquid using saline. The amount of saline used for product hydration will determine the dilution strength. The liquid is drawn into a 1 milliliter syringe and injected into the predetermined sites with a small needle (30 gauge or 32 gauge). Each injection deposits a small amount of liquid just under the skin (subcutaneous) or into the muscle.

For comfort, the area may be numbed with a topical cream before the procedure, or alternatively, ice may be applied to the skin just prior to injection.

Other treatments for crow’s feet include laser resurfacing to reduce the appearance of static wrinkles by skin and collagen remodelling, and volumization procedures to fill deflated areas and reduce the depth of fixed wrinkles. These treatments do not directly address the muscle action that causes expression lines but they can reduce their visibility.

Post-treatment care

The initial effects of cosmetic botulinum toxin are seen within 2-5 days and it may take 3 weeks to achieve a full effect. Botulinum toxin injections typically last from 3-6 months, depending on the muscle strength and bulk, the number of units administered, and patient variability. With subsequent treatments, duration can be extended if muscle atrophy has ensued.

Potential Risks

Drooping of the eyelid (eyelid ptosis) is rarely seen, and this effect is temporary, lasting weeks to months. Prescription eye drops can be used (iopidine) to raise the eyelid for several hours at a time during this waiting period. This side effect is a result of the injected botulinum toxin affecting the eyelid lifting muscle.

Swelling and bruising are rarely seen after crow’s feet treatment.

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Botox for crow’s feet