Your eyes speak volumes about your age. As we get older, we start to see the signs of aging, especially around the eyes. Crow’s feet, the lines that form around your eyes when you smile, can begin to show permanently on your face, even while you are resting. Whether you are a man or a woman, there is hope for minimizing the aging effects of these lines around your eyes.
Many people consider getting Botox for the areas affected by crow’s feet, but is it right for you? In this article we’ll take a look at the options available for minimizing crow’s feet with Botox.
What are Crow’s Feet?
Crow’s feet are those spikey wrinkles or lines radiating from the outer corners of your eyes. They are given the name “crow’s feet” because these fine lines resemble the appearance of a bird’s foot. Fine lines or wrinkles in the skin occur during everyday facial expressions such as smiling or squinting. While crow’s feet may only appear during some facial expressions in a young person, over time, they can solidify into permanent wrinkles.
When we smile, collagen and elastic fibers can cause crow’s feet when the length of the muscle is shortened relative to the skin as the orbital muscle tightens. This causes small wrinkles to form.
Facial lines are divided into two categories:
Dynamic: Dynamic lines are produced by actions of the underlying muscles. For example, these are the lines you see when squinting or frowning. Dynamic lines can be minimized by Botox.
Static: Static lines are permanently present and show up on your face even while you are resting. These lines develop after many years of frowning, squinting, and even sun damage. Static lines are better treated with other facial rejuvenation techniques such as laser. Unfortunately, Botox will not help minimize static lines.
If you’re familiar with crow’s feet, you may also be well acquainted with horizontal forehead wrinkles and the vertical wrinkles between the eyebrows. All these lines and wrinkles are commonly treated with Botox.
How Botox Works:
Botox is a drug made from a neurotoxin produced by a bacterium found in nature called Clostridium botulinum. This neurotoxin blocks signals to the muscles from the nerves, temporarily paralyzing the muscle. Botox works to paralyze the orbital muscle when injected into the crow’s feet area.
This botulinum toxin is injected in extremely small concentrations. Botox is directly injected into the neuromuscular tissue and can take between 24 to 72 hours to take effect. The plastic surgeon will assess and determine how many units of Botox to use depending on each individual case.
Botox is used to treat more than just facial lines and wrinkles. Currently, the botulinum toxin is used for treatment in over 20 conditions with more research being done to find additional medical applications.
What are the downsides to using Botox?
There are 2 main disadvantages when using Botox for facial wrinkles.
1. It’s only temporary. The effect of Botox only works temporarily, for up to 6 months. After the effects wear off, the muscle will continue to produce wrinkles. When patients first begin to use Botox, the treatment will typically last for 3 to 4 months.
2. It doesn’t work the same on everyone. Some patients will notice a strong effect on their wrinkles and lines with the use of Botox while others barely notice a difference.
Side effects are rare. Occasionally, using Botox on the crow’s feet area may deactivate the orbicularis muscle and cause drooping of a weak lower eyelid.
Considering Botox for your Crow’s Feet?
Remember, some smile lines add character to a face. Even young children have some lines around their eyes when they smile. Getting rid of all the lines around your eyes can leave you with the “frozen-looking” face that most people dread when they consider using Botox. You should only consider treatment if you feel the lines are making you feel less attractive.
Is this procedure right for you?
Botox should not be used in pregnant or lactating women. Also, if you’ve had any allergies to the botulinum toxin or any other ingredients in Botox, you should stay away from Botox treatments.
Some patients may require a combination of both resurfacing and Botox treatments to treat crow’s feet. It’s best to consult a plastic surgeon for personalized advice on what combination would be best for you.
In the meantime, remember to lather on sunscreen and wear a hat to protect your skin from the effects of sun damage.
About Fairview Plastic Surgery & Skin Care Centre: Dr. Cameron Bowman is a fully trained aesthetic and reconstructive plastic surgeon. His practice is located at Suite 480 – 999 West Broadway, Vancouver, BC V5Z1K5. Contact him at 604.734.1416 or www.fairviewplasticsurgery.com