What are Crow's feet?

Crow's feet are small wrinkles that appear in the corners of the eyes, and are often identified as one of the first signs of ageing visible in the face. Also known as 'laughter lines', crow's feet are so-called due to their visual resemblance to a bird's footprint.

There are numerous treatments designed to eradicate or soften the eye wrinkles that typify crow's feet, to restore a more youthful complexion.

Why do we get Crow's Feet?

Our face moves all day, whether we’re eating, speaking, laughing or just blinking, and as a result the skin becomes stretched and eventually begins to lose its elasticity, while the muscles get tired. As we get older the skin is less efficient at regenerating itself and at producing collagen, an essential protein for firm, wrinkle-free skin. External factors such as exposure to UV rays, an unhealthy diet and lack of exercise can also contribute to natural eye wrinkles we get as we age.

Although lines and wrinkles are something everyone will develop, some people notice them earlier in their lives than others, while they can be deeper and more prominent for some individuals compared with others.

How are Crow's Feet Formed?

There are a number of factors which contribute to the development of crow's feet and wrinkles around the eyes, the largest one is the ageing process itself, but understanding additional causes can help towards minimising their development.

Exposure to sunlight is the  most common cause of crow’s feet, as excessive squinting encourages under eye wrinkles to develop at an earlier stage than in faces that are protected from the sun. To combat this, people can shield their eyes from direct sunlight by wearing hats or sunglasses and by wearing protective sunscreen whenever they are outside. These measures will reduce their need to squint and reduce their exposure to UV rays.

Smoking is another common cause, as smokers also tend to squint their eyes to protect them from the smoke fumes. This is one reason why smokers’ faces can have more lines than non-smokers’ faces. Smoking has also been found to accelerate the biochemical processes that cause the skin to age in other ways.

How to prevent Crow's Feet

There are lots of ways to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles or to delay them in the first place. The easiest ways are to stay out of the sun and off sunbeds, to give up or cut back on smoking and alcohol, eat healthily, drink lots of water and moisturise regularly.

Taking care of your face with regular moisturising and the application of UV skin care products is recommended to help prevent the early formation of crow's feet, and can also help to soften the appearance of the wrinkles when they do appear. Choosing prescription wrinkle creams that contain active ingredients can help to restore the skin's elasticity and reduce the appearance of fine lines, while drinking plenty of water is also recommended to help the skin retain moisture and stop crow’s feet from showing.

Crow's feet are a natural effect of ageing on the face, however there are also non-surgical cosmetic treatments available to help combat their appearance. Because lines are most pronounced when using the muscles around the eyes, having Botox® can help to relax these muscles so they won't contract. Botox® can reduce the appearance of crow's feet within one week of treatment.

Effective treatments for Crow's Feet and Under Eye Wrinkles

If you’ve already started to notice the appearance of crow’s feet and other lines and wrinkles around the eyes, don’t despair, we’ve got some highly effective treatments that can soften them or get rid of them altogether. Our nurses will start by conducting a free computerised skin analysis before putting together a treatment plan to make sure you look your best.

One of the most popular and effective treatments for laughter lines are dermal fillers and other line and facial wrinkle injections. These are administered directly to the area and work immediately with no downtime by relaxing the contracted muscles or plumping up loose skin. The treatment is not permanent, however the purified protein will help to re-educate the muscles with repeated use, meaning the length of time between treatments can be increased.

For less obvious lines and wrinkles and to keep your skin looking youthful and radiant between treatments, we recommend a combination of medical Microdermabrasion, skin peels and laser skin rejuvenation.

Let Us Help

Our years of experience in the field of Cosmetic Surgery ensure that you can rely on The Harley Medical Group to assist you with a tailored treatment programme to reduce the appearance of crows feet and under eye wrinkles. We offer free consultations with qualified medical professionals, as well as a thorough after care service to ensure that your experience is positive throughout your entire journey.

Medically reviewed by The Harley Medical Group Clinical Governance Board on 4th March 2020.

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