Medically reviewed by Minimalist Health Specialist -  Written by Nikitha Terence (Beauty Expert)  on 23rd Nov 2020

Learn everything about crow's feet! We're also filling you in on the causes and available treatments

everything about crow's feet

Most of us here are not happy owning up to signs of aging! We do all that we can by covering our faces with skincare products, and we also make regular visits to salons. But it is one of the incredible things of life that one must never be ashamed of!

Wrinkles, fine lines, stretch marks, stooped posture, etc. are the many things that one has to embrace like any other milestone in life. One such reminder of your life on earth is showcased in the form of crow's feet.  

What are crow's feet?  

Also known as the orbicularis oculi contractions, crow's feet are lines that generally occur close to our eyes when we laugh or sneeze. When you frown, a crease occurs between your eyebrows rather than at the edge of the eyes, so this does not fall in the same category as crow's feet.

As stated by the certified dermatologist and beauty expert, Dr. Anna Gaunche, crow's lines arise when we squint. There are rapid motions between muscles near the eye area that create perpendicular lines right next to the circular muscles' end.

These crow's lines can be classified into two:  

  • Dynamic  
  • Static  

Dynamic lines occur when you periodically smile or laugh, and these appear temporarily. These are known as laugh lines.

As the name implies, static lines remain stagnant on your face, which can be a result of either a long history of sun exposure, smiling, or even frowning. It can damage the tissues present in the deep skin layers, ultimately leading to the early formation of aging indications. 

How does it occur in the first place?  

Most of the folks think that more expressive faces are more prone to wrinkles or crow's feet in this case, but this just one side of the coin.

Some unavoidable signs appear over time with aging, despite our religious skincare routines and healthy lifestyle habits. Now symptoms like fine lines and wrinkles can very well be reduced and monitored. But our skin loses its elasticity every year and the glue that holds it all together, which goes by the name "collagen," also tends to lose its stability when proper nourishment is not provided. So all these factors contribute to the appearance of crow's feet.

According to the top dermatologist Dr. Dray

crow's lines can also be caused by the harmful UVA rays from the sun that can penetrate well inside our skin layers, thus destroying the element of collagen. Smoking and a diet rich in sugars and fats are the fundamental threats to any skin types, as they are the prominent contributors to aging.

Since your eyes are constantly exposed to stress, excess sebum production, lack of sleep, overexposure to the sun, pollution, etc., they're more prone to dryness and dehydration that causes the occurrence of crow's feet.  

Did you know:

Ultherapy is a 90-minute skin treatment where energy via ultrasound waves are used to heat the dermis layer of skin. It would instantly boost up the collagen production, and the patient would soon be glowing with even-toned skin in a matter of a few months.  

How are crow's feet usually treated? 

It has become common and controversial to reduce crow's lines. It can be done with very effective and quick yet painless surgeries that can provide a brief-term blanket for all your aging troubles.   

1. Botox treatment   

One practical approach to the laugh lines is the Botox injections. These can be promptly inserted to the mark where it all started. It is done to pause the formation of wrinkles for a shorter duration.

Since this medication is applicable only for dynamic fine lines, the Botox effect can stay for as long as six months on your skin layers. Once it is filled in, the temporary impact of stopping the muscles' contraction takes a few days to settle.

One crucial part to note is that Botox can only help reduce the existing crow's feet, as there isn't much research done to confirm if it can also delay the formation of crow's feet.

An important point to know is that Botox is not applicable for pregnant women and in cases of recent facial repairs.  

Did you know:

"Lunchbox Botox" in Singapore is a treatment that takes just 15 minutes to react on your skin, and after that, you are good to go.  

2. Dermal fillers  

Dermal fillers are also inserted using injections, but they do work like the Botox process. At times, dermatologists use both Botox and dermal fillers to crowd the gaps in the deeper skin layers and provide a good facelift. It takes about 16 months to stay on. The common type of base used here is hyaluronic acid.   

3. Chemical peels  

A temporary peel off solution can rapidly add a bright yet clean shine to our faces. Similarly, these peels imbibe the properties of unusual ingredients like glycolic acid, lactic acid, salicylic acid, phenol, etc. that works very well for all fundamental skin types.

This process initially aims at reawakening the collagen production and technically replace the old, dry, and damaged skin with even better-looking skin.  

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Did you know:

Sleeping on your back and replacing your pillowcases into soft silk ones are said to reduce the wrinkly puffer skin you wake to every day. (There are small studies that prove this fact, but may dermatologists have asserted to have benefitted by this proclaim.) 

What topical products help in smoothening out the laugh lines? 

When it comes to skin aging, ultraviolet rays are claimed to be the worse damage causing agents. That is why it is always recommended to wear sunscreen of at least SPF30.  

Note:

Since we are talking about applying products near our eyes, a sensitive area, one must be sure of not letting the product enter the eyes to cause severe irritation. 

To avoid this faux pas, estheticians recommend a mineral sunscreen created with natural resources like titanium dioxide. Use the sunscreens that are specially made for the gentle skin of babies. Note well that it has limited, artificial ingredients like fragrance, and it is inexpensive too. Follow it up with a nude corrector the next time you step outside.  

Fun fact:

It is suggested to purchase sunglasses that block up to at least 75℅ visible light. By doing so, 40-50% of UV rays get bounced back from the lens of the glasses. 

If you are needle-phobic or hate the idea of performing a Botox surgery, you should try Botox's topical application (Acetyl hexapeptide-3). Their products have shown progressive results in decreasing the water loss around your eyes. But you have to note that there are no major studies that prove this point to be as beneficial as it is with the direct intake of Botox injections.

To save you all the trouble, we suggest that you always choose a hyaluronic acid serum and top it up with a heavy night moisturizer to get all the hydration needed and lock it up. By hydrating, your skin can slow down the aging process, especially in and around thin and sensitive areas like near your eyes.  

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The unknown reasons for a windfall of crow's feet 

For many, the aging signs appear to be more of a strange and unwanted mark on their face that they complain about most of the time.

"Even if there are some who want to diminish their wrinkles, they wish to leave their crow's feet untouched as they want to earn empathy among their colleagues," says LA-based dermatologist Jessica Wu.

Just like taking anything beyond the limit is not suitable for anybody, the same equation is being applied for the appearance of crow's lines.  

Did you know:

As claimed by Doris Day, a clinical associate professor of dermatology at the NYU Langone Medical Center, " Crow's feet if they are balanced and soft can talk volumes of the life one has lived."  

In studies made from psychology too, crow's feet have shown how individuals who have static fine lines display the content life they have been leading, and even their deeds in life reflect the "emotion" exhibited by their crow's lines. It is stated after much research made by Nicholas Rule, an associate professor of psychology.  

Final Thoughts  

Taking less stress is a sure-shot way of keeping crow's feet and other skin woes at bay. It has to be considered as seriously as you grow older.

It all depends on people's mindsets, and happy are those who embrace their darkest flaws as blessings in their life. So crow's feet is not always a bad thing in an individual.

Avoid as much stress as you can, and eat good dietary food to boost your metabolism. Taking good care of yourself will also provide you a natural glow to your skin from within.

Consult with your dermatologist as to if you can also opt for laser treatment and micro-needling, which are two new and painless procedures that can temporarily pause the appearance of crow's feet.