The first signs of aging on the face are often those deep lines or wrinkles that appear in the outer corners of the eyes, known as crow's feet. Some women are distressed to find that crow's feet can begin to peek through as early as the early 30's; long before you have begun to explore your options in anti-aging treatments. The good news is that crow's feet can be effectively minimized through a plethora of cosmetic options.
Botox is the tried and true way to turn back the clock on fine lines and wrinkles around the eyes. While this treatment was originally approved to treat frown lines around the mouth and worry lines on the forehead, the injections are equally effective on crow's feet. Botox works through a botulinum A-based formula that effectively paralyzes facial muscles that lead to wrinkles by blocking nerve impulses to the muscles.
Botox can be used alone, or in conjunction with another cosmetic procedure. Results last a number of months and must be repeated to maintain results. The procedure is considered minimally invasive and recovery time is minimal. In fact, some patients go in for a Botox treatment during lunch hour and return to the office that same afternoon.
Dermal fillers, like Restylane or Juvederm, contain hyaluronic acid that plumps and smoothes skin from the inside out. Hyaluronic acid is naturally present in the skin, but the aging process results in a deficiency. When levels of hyaluronic acid decrease, the skin becomes dry and less elastic, leading to sagging and the appearance of fine lines.
Crow's feet require injections to the superficial dermis, so discomfort and swelling are kept to a minimum. Patients are allowed to return to activities right away. Results will be seen within a few hours, but the full effects will take a number of days to complete. Dermal fillers typically last six to nine months, with patients requiring touch-up procedures to maintain results.
Laser skin resurfacing is used to remove outer skin cells, leaving a softer, smoother complexion underneath. One of the most popular laser treatments for crow's feet is Fraxel, which uses a non-ablative laser that offers less damage to the skin and less downtime for the patient.
Fraxel has been FDA approved for the fine lines around the eyes. Treatments are conducted using a topical anesthetic and the procedure often takes less than 30 minutes to complete. Most patients need four to six Fraxel sessions, spaced two to four weeks apart, to see optimal results. Repeat treatments will be needed to maintain the effects.
Thermage uses a radio frequency device to resurface the skin without invasive procedures or significant downtime. The tool heats the layers of skin beneath the surface, stimulating the production of collagen for a tighter, smoother appearance. The procedure can be done in a doctor's office and discomfort during and after the procedure is minimal.
After a Thermage treatment, most patients return to regular activities right away. The full results of the procedure will be seen within three to six months, and the results may last several years. In addition to reducing the appearance of crow's feet, Thermage can also improve the look of the upper and lower eyelids.
Other Skin Resurfacing Procedures
Patients who want to see an improvement in crow's feet can also choose chemical peels or Microdermabrasion. Alphahydroxy acids used for light chemical peels are used to remove the outermost skin layers, for a softer, smoother complexion. These peels are done in a medical spa or doctor's office and most patients return to activities right after the procedure.
Microdermabrasion, which uses Aluminum Oxide crystals to sand off the outermost skin cells, has also been shown to effectively reduce the fine lines of crow's feet with minimal recovery or discomfort involved. The results of these procedures can be perpetuated with the use of a retinol-based topical cream after the treatment.
There are plenty of ways to turn back the clock on the eyes, so patients can customize a treatment around their specific needs and budget. Whether you choose injections or a skin resurfacing treatment, you can enjoy younger-looking eyes with minimal discomfort and recovery time. To schedule a FREE crow's feet consultation with a skin care specialist near you, contact us today!