“Counting crows” - How to prevent and treat crow's feet


Crow’s feet is the colloquial name given to wrinkles that appear around the outer edges of our eyes.


These wrinkles tend to appear at a different age for people - some of us develop them in our forties, others around the age of 50, and some people do not get them at all.




WHAT CAUSES CROW’S FEET?


Contrary to popular belief, laughing and smiling is not the main reason for developing crow’s feet.


As we get older, the tension in our facial muscles increases, so we tend to deploy them more with every emotion.


Our skin, on the other hand, loses its ability to produce sufficient collagen and becomes thinner and easily pliable.


Additionally our face loses fat pads and bony structure around our eyes and cheeks.


The result of these processes is that skin gets overwhelmed by frequent contraction of the underlying muscles and develops wrinkles - visible initially only on movement, and eventually at rest as well.



The culprit muscle in the case of crow’s feet is the one that surrounds our eye in a little circle. We tend to use it when we are squinting, trying to shut our eyes extra tight or straining to read very small print and to a lesser extent when we smile or laugh.


So along with the normal ageing process, main causes of crow’s feet are photo damage by UV rays and frequent squinting.





CAN I PREVENT CROW’S FEET?


Yes! Preventing sun damage by regularly wearing SPF and using good quality skincare will keep the skin strong. This way it can spring back after the muscles relax and will not form wrinkles.


Wearing good quality sunglasses and having regular vision checks will reduce the repetitive movement and help keep the wrinkles from appearing.


If you are willing to consider injectable treatments, small doses of neurotoxin can be used to weaken the muscle responsible for forming the wrinkles. Its movement will be softened so that the skin doesn’t gather up to form any wrinkles in the first place.







HOW CAN I TREAT EXISTING CROW’S FEET?


Several treatment options are available, depending on the underlying cause. Professional skincare containing retinoids will promote collagen production by the skin so will make it thicker and the wrinkles less prominent.


Skin rejuvenation treatments like Tixel or Microneedling can also be used in more advanced cases to tighten the skin and improve appearance of wrinkles.


Injections of Neurotoxin can be used to relax the muscle that causes the repetitive movement of squinting that leads to wrinkle formation. You can decide if you would like to stop the movement completely or only soften it to keep all your facial expressions.


Finally, for those wrinkles that are caused by lack of volume, hyaluronic acid filler injections around temple and cheeks can help to gently reflate the facial structures and smooth out the crow's feet.



HOW DO I CHOOSE THE BEST TREATMENT FOR ME?


The best treatment of combination of treatments always depends on your individual circumstances. At your consultation we will discuss your concerns and preferences. Together we will come up with a treatment plan that addresses the causes of crow's feet and fits within your lifestyle.




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