Toronto plastic surgeon discusses a solution for crows feet.

Most of us will get them eventually – those pesky lines around our eyes. These can range from those small little creases at the corner of our eyes when we smile, to deep folds that stretch down the face, even at rest. Some people consider them “laugh lines” and are reluctant to have theirs injected for fear of looking too “done” or expressionless. But beware, while we are definitely in favor of a natural looking approach, delaying treating these for too long can result in deeply etched wrinkles that can make us look prematurely old and can be very hard to treat once they are well established.

Our advice starts with prevention. Using good quality eye creams, such as Elastiderm from Obaji, or TNS Eye Repair from Skinmedica, a new line we’ll be introducing to the clinic soon, can help keep crows feet at bay. Vitamin A analogues, like Retin A or Retinol, are usually too irritating for the skin around the eye, but very low concentrations can sometimes be tolerated with appropriate emollients and hydration. Facials to nourish and hydrate the skin of the eye area, and gentle exfoliation like microdermabrasion, can help reduce the appearance of crows feet, and help prevent them from deepening, by stimulating collagen and elastin production.

Once lines do make an appearance in this area, muscle relaxing injections, such as Botox, Dysport or Xeomin, are the next step. The orbicularis oculi muscle, which surrounds the eye and contracts like a purse string when we smile or squint, causes crows feet by folding the overlying skin. If contraction of the muscle is prevented by these medications, then the skin also relaxes and crows feet soften and sometimes disappear. Regular injections can be preventative. If the skin is not repeatedly folded, then the wrinkles simply don’t have a chance to form or deepen. For individuals who are fearful of looking “expressionless”, remember that for most people only small amounts of product are often all that is required to soften these lines. Also, new techniques, such as the “microdroplet” method of injection, in which small, dilute amounts are injected intradermally, can sometimes give a softer effect, lessening lines while preserving expression. These products also differ in the degree to which they are thought to diffuse (spread) locally within the tissues, leading to personal preferences due to slight differences in results achieved with the different medications.

Whether you’ve never tried treatment for crows feet, or you’ve tried, but have been dissatisfied with previous attempts to improve them, we can help. Contact us at (905) 273-3045 to book a consultation.

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