Everything You Need To Know About Getting Botox for Crows Feet
Crow’s feet are the fan-like formations that develop around the outer corners of the eyes. These so-called “smile lines” or eye wrinkles are a visible sign of aging that appear whenever you laugh or squint. While some people don’t mind having them, crows feet can be a source of self-consciousness for others. Many patients use Botox to treat these challenging fine lines.
So what should you know about treating crows feet with Botox? The procedure is simple and won’t take longer than 30 minutes. Your Botox provider will take a fine needle and inject the muscles around the eye area, allowing the Botox to relax the muscles and smooth out the skin. Although Botox is one of the most effective solutions for crows feet, some cosmetic surgeons may recommend dermal fillers, chemical peels, laser resurfacing, or other methods to treat less severe wrinkles.
Common Causes of Wrinkles Around the Eyes
Crow’s feet are wrinkles that radiate from the corners of the eyes. They’re called crow’s feet because these lines resemble the claws of a bird, although they are also known by other names: laugh lines, character lines, lateral canthal lines, or periorbital lines.
Compared to other facial lines, crow’s feet develop much earlier because of how delicate the skin is around the eyes and how frequently we use the muscles in this area. In fact, some patients may experience having crow’s feet even in their early 20s. As people grow older, crow’s feet become more pronounced with time -- making you look and feel older, even if you’re free of other wrinkles.
But how exactly do crow’s feet and other wrinkles develop around the eyes and all over the face? There are three common causes:
1. Facial expressions
The only surefire way to prevent the development of any wrinkles and fine lines is to stop laughing, smiling, squinting, frowning, or raising our eyebrows -- which is pretty impossible. Repeated muscle contractions when we express ourselves cause our skin to fold and furrow, creating expression lines and dynamic wrinkles. Aside from crow’s feet, you may form other dynamic wrinkles like:
- Glabellar lines: The glabella is a patch of skin between the eyebrows and above the nose. When patients frown or squint, frown lines that look like the number ‘11’ appear between each eye.
- Forehead wrinkles: A relatively large facial muscle called the frontalis muscle lies across the forehead. When it contracts, the brow raises and an unwanted forehead line takes shape.
- Marionette lines: Dynamic movements, gravity, and aging form vertical wrinkles called marionette lines. These appear at the corners of the mouth and branch downward towards the chin, similar to a marionette puppet.
2. Natural loss of facial elasticity
Human skin is naturally elastic. Much like a rubber band, skin returns to its original form when it gets compressed or pulled. However, our skin loses its elasticity as collagen and elastin production slows down with aging. Without these proteins, wrinkles form and facial skin sags.
3. Lifestyle factors and habits
Diet, sleep, and stress are among the keys to wrinkle-free skin. Other lifestyle factors like smoking can also accelerate the formation of wrinkles, as the chemicals in tobacco smoke trigger rapid destruction of healthy skin fibers. Constant exposure to the sun’s UV rays and lack of skin care quicken the skin’s deterioration, so it’s important for patients to keep thin skin well hydrated and moisturized with SPF eye cream.
How Does Botox Treatment for Crow’s Feet Work?
Although crows feet are an inevitable part of growing older, there are a number of cosmetic products that can help patients reduce these aging wrinkles. Botox is the most popular treatment because it’s safe and highly effective. Patients who are between the ages of 25 and 65 years old can use a Botox injection to soften mild creases and fine lines, or tackle deeper wrinkles and folds.
Botox is an injectable liquid made from the purified form of botulinum toxin type A, a bacterium responsible for deadly botulism. When injected in small doses for a cosmetic treatment, however, Botox is perfectly safe. It works by blocking the nerve signals from the brain to the facial muscles, limiting contractions. For cases of crow’s feet, Botox will be injected in the orbicularis oculi muscle around the eyes to relax and smooth them.
Botox Units for Crow’s Feet
Each individual requires a customized dosage of Botox for crows feet treatment. As crow’s feet is considered to be one, small treatment area, fewer Botox units are needed. Botox manufacturer Allergan recommends 24 units -- or 6 injections per eye -- for optimal results. However, a single Botox unit is strong so beginners should start conservatively with 10 units instead. Depending on your provider, Botox injections may cost around $300 - $400 per session.
Learn more: How many units of Botox do you need for eyes?
Suitable Candidates for Botox
A Botox treatment is not suitable for patients who have underlying health conditions -- especially those with neurological or muscular diseases. Patients who are pregnant, breastfeeding, or allergic to Botox ingredients should also avoid this treatment. It’s best to consult with an experienced plastic surgeon before undergoing the treatment. Aside from evaluating if you’d be a good candidate for the procedure, consultation can help your provider identify target areas according to your unique facial anatomy.
The Botox Cosmetic Procedure
Your Botox provider will apply a topical anesthetic or ice to numb the skin around the eye area, then inject Botox into muscles with a very fine needle. The whole procedure can be finished in under 30 minutes, although it may take longer if you decide to combine it with other Botox treatments. Afterwards, you can resume your day with zero downtime.
Side Effects of Botox Around the Eyes
The side effects and risks of getting a Botox treatment for crow’s feet are fairly uncommon, although they still occur. After treatment, you can expect to see small bruises, swelling, and redness around the injection site -- but not a widespread inflammation. Less common side effects include droopy eyelids, dryness around the eyes, crooked eyebrows, and excessive tearing, although these should subside within 48 hours.
Learn more: Managing Botox Side Effects for the Eyes
Expectations for Botox Crow’s Feet Treatment
It usually takes up to three days for the Botox to produce noticeable results, and another two weeks to see the full effects. When you smile, you will see that the crow’s feet lines are smoother and less evident. These effects are not permanent and last only 3 - 4 months; in order to maintain a younger look, some patients opt to have regular touch-up injections.
Alternative Treatments for Crow’s Feet and Other Facial Wrinkles
The Botox treatment may not be for everyone, but that shouldn’t keep you from looking your best. Aside from discussing the pros and cons of getting a Botox cosmetic injection, you should also ask your provider about other, non-invasive cosmetic surgery for crow’s feet. Popular Botox alternatives include:
- Chemical peel: Chemical peels are the easiest option for restoring younger, healthier skin around the eyes; they can erase wrinkles, dark circles, and eye bags easily. There are many types of chemical peels prescribed by dermatologists, but some are more effective for crow’s feet like retinoic acid or trichloroacetic peels. When administered by an experienced provider at a medium depth at a safe distance from the eyelid and the eye, chemical peels can be highly effective against crow’s feet that radiate all the way to the sides of the face.
- Microneedling: Microneedling is a form of dermabrasion where thousands of tiny needles puncture the skin, creating microscopic tears that stimulate and accelerate cellular repair for more elastic and flexible skin. Microneedling works well with chemical peels, because each prick creates a pathway for the chemical solution to reach a deeper dermal layer.
- Dermal filler: Dermal fillers are an effective solution for filling in wrinkles, lifting nasolabial folds, and volumizing sunken areas of the face. Most injectable fillers contain a protein called hyaluronic acid, a naturally-occurring substance in our body that retains water. Boosting the presence of hyaluronic acid around the eyes can refresh stubborn crows feet, especially when used in conjunction with Botox.
- Laser treatment: A laser treatment, also known as laser resurfacing or laser peeling, can gently strip away the outer layer of skin cells around the eyes to expose younger, sub-surface skin cells that are more flexible and elastic. The laser device can also warm up lower dermal layers to stimulate collagen production for supple skin. The main downside to laser resurfacing is that patients may experience visible swelling, itching, and peeling for up to a week after the procedure.
Enjoy The Best Botox Experience with Evolve Med Spa
Say goodbye to wrinkles, acne, and other blemishes. At Evolve Med Spa, we customize all our treatments to meet each client’s individual goals and enhance their unique natural beauty. Rather than change your face and body entirely, we help you modify and enhance what you already have.
Our board-certified physicians, skilled estheticians, and master injectors are the best in New Jersey; in our expert hands, you’re sure to have an amazing, transformative experience. Book an appointment with Evolve Med Spa today.