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Crow's feet: How do I treat fine lines and wrinkles around my eyes?

Crow's feet are the fine wrinkles that occur at the corners of the eyes as we age. They may be apparent when the face is at rest but tend to be most prominent during smiling or squinting of the eyes. Treating crow's feet can make you look younger and enhance your overall complexion.

Why do crow's feet form?

Depending on a patient's facial features the muscles that cause crow's feet (primarily orbicularis oculi) may be very active or only mildly expressive. The smiling muscles zygomaticus major and minor may also contribute to crow's feet formation. There is great variability in how much any of these muscles contribute to apparent wrinkles around the eyes.

How to prevent, minimize, and treat crow's feet?

  1. Do not smoke! Smoking leads to celluar destruction, aging skin, and wrinkles around the mouth. However, smoking impacts the skin of the entire face and thinner skin around the eyes. Avoid or abandon this habit to promote ageless living.

  2. Hydrate skin daily with moisturizer! There is much evidence to support hydration as a means to fight wrinkles and minimize skin aging and discoloration related to dryness. Lipid-rich and barrier forming moisturizing creams with ceramides or hyaluronic acid tend to be the most effective. Olay Regenerist is a great nightly skin hydrator.

  3. Invest in a topical retinoid cream! Whether you decide to use topical retinol in over-the-counter night creams or obtain a more potent topical retinoid from a health care provider, this is a great way to address fine lines an wrinkles around the eyes in addition to age spots. Use nightly to promote ageless skin.

  4. Use a mild cleanser daily and never sleep with make-up. This will remove dirt and topical skin aggravators on a routine basis and minimize dehydration and aging skin, which contributes to wrinkling skin.

  5. Eliminate them temporarily! FDA-approved neurotoxins such as BOTOX, Dysport, and Xeomin are injectable medications that block nerves to muscles underlying wrinkling skin. This helps temporarily eliminate wrinkles on certain areas of the face when these muscles are paralyzed. Injections continue every 3-6 months and minimize the expression of wrinkles overtime once neurotoxins wear off. Please see a dermatologist or other certified provider for this treatment.

  6. Consider skin resurfacing lasers such as Fraxel or other ablative lasers that help smoothen skin and can minimize wrinkles. Several treatments would be needed over time and expect mild discomfort from the treatment. Please see a dermatologist or other certified provider for this treatment.

Margareth Pierre-Louis