Crow’s Feet/ˈkrəʊzfʊt/ a branching wrinkle at the outer corner of a person's eye.
The wrinkles at the corner of eyes are actually called crow’s feet, as these wrinkles simply resemble crow’s feet. People with Crow’s Feet often looked older than they actually are especially when they smile. There are a few ways to get rid of crow’s feet wrinkles but in order to understand how you can get rid of these wrinkles; you would have to understand how these wrinkles come about.
Causes of Crow’s Feet
Our facial expressions are controlled by the ability of our muscles to contract and relax and the direction of movement is dependent on how the muscles are placed in our facial structure. The orbicularis oculi muscle plays the major role in causing the contraction movement of the skin around the corner of your eyes when you smile or laugh. Now place 2 fingers just at the corner of your eyes and laugh or smile. You should feel the muscle contracting, forming what we called crow’s feet.
Types of Crow’s Feet
Dynamic Crow’s Feet
Do you notice wrinkles on your smiling photos and no lines in photos that you aren't smiling? When you stop smiling, the muscles relax and the lines disappear. This is what we call a dynamic wrinkle. Simply put, the wrinkle appears only when there is muscle and thus the term dynamic wrinkle.
Static Crow’s Feet
Do you notice wrinkles on your smiling and non smiling photos? If the lines still appear there even though you had relaxed and aren’t smiling, the dynamic wrinkle has become a static wrinkle. Static wrinkle means the existence of the wrinkle even at relaxed state. A static wrinkle occurs when the skin is constantly folded in the same direction and over time, when skin quality and tightness is lost through aging and the skin experiences laxity, the static wrinkle becomes a permanent wrinkle and thus a permanent and unwanted facial feature on yours.
Grade your Crow’s Feet
Recently, a grading system for Crow’s Feet has been created and acknowledged by international renowned Dermatologists, Plastic Surgeons and Aesthetic Doctors. This grading system called “The Merz Scale” helps doctors to explain to patients the severity of their dynamic or static wrinkles, and the expectations in the improvement in grading after treatment is administered to get rid of the wrinkle.
Dynamic Crow’s Feet
If you have dynamic Crow’s Feet, you can grade it yourself with reference to “The Merz Scale” shown below. Try to pull off a maximum laugh and take a photo of it and compare to the scale below.
Static Crow’s Feet
If you have a static Crow’s Feet, you can also grade it yourself to the same reference shown below. Take a photo of yourself not laughing and compare to the scale below.
BOTOX for Crow’s Feet
Since muscle contraction and relaxation is the root cause of wrinkle formation as explained above, over the counter creams or lotions promising wrinkle reduction would never work as well as medically approved treatments for wrinkle reduction. Before we start telling you more about Botox, do not be worried about the potential worry that you will look “frozen” and lose all your facial expressions. This is only true if your doctor is not experienced and gives you more than what you needed.
What is BOTOX?
Botox is a brand name for Botulinum Toxin Type A and there are various brands of Botulinum Toxin Type A products in the market, namely Botox, Xeomin and Dysport. Botox is widely known as a muscle relaxant, or more accurately, a Botulinum Toxin Type A that paralyses the muscle from moving by stopping the neurotransmission of brain signals to the muscle injected with Botox.
How does BOTOX help to eliminate crow's feet?
Clinical studies have proven Botox to last up to 4 months and the effects are almost immediate: you will notice improvement within 24 to 48 hours after your Botox treatment and you will see significant improvement at 7 days, continuing up to a month. Not everyone requires the same amount of Botox treatment for Crow’s Feet wrinkles as this truly depends on the how large and strong your orbicularis oculis are. Stronger muscles definitely require more amount of Botox to knock out the muscle movement!
What is the downtime for BOTOX?
Downtime or recovery time for Botox treatment is minimal and you can have your Botox treatment during lunch time and head back to office, with no one ever knowing you just had a medical aesthetic Botox treatment procedure done. However, you should avoid strenuous exercise or rubbing the area treated with Botox for at least a day to prevent unintentional spread of the Botox to other areas.
Dermal Fillers for Crow's Feet
What are Fillers?
Fillers are made of biodegradable material like Hyaluronic acid. Hyaluronic acid is found naturally in all living things and it breaks down within hours. Hyaluronic acid fillers are cross-linked to ensure that the body doesn’t metabolize the hyaluronic acid within hours, allowing some hyaluronic acid fillers to last from 3 months to a year after injection.
Fillers can be very helpful in those with early signs of aging, and are injected into either the skin tissue layers or on the bone to achieve reduction of static wrinkles appearance and enhancement of facial features due to its volumizing and sculpting abilities.
How does Fillers help to reduce crow's feet?
Depending on the type and grade of your crow's feet, fillers can be injected very superfically into your skin, smoothening out the fine lines. Just imagine there are some cracks on wall, and you use a sealant putty to cover over the cracks.
What to expect from Fillers?
Having fillers injection will not change your look into a different person. It enhances your current facial features while still looking like yourself and no one can tell that you actually had fillers injection done. Even though fillers are clinically proven to last up to a year, its longevity depends a lot on individuals’ metabolic rate, lifestyle, area injected and volume injected.
Side effects of Fillers
Complications from fillers are uncommon. Potential risks vary depending on the specific filler used and the relative permanence of the filler substance and include:
1. Acne-like skin eruptions
3. Bruising, bleeding from the injection site, swelling
4. Damage to the skin that results in a wound and possible scarring
5. Infection at the injection site
7. Palpability of the filler under the surface of the skin
8. Skin rash with itching
9. Skin redness
10. Under- or over-correction of wrinklesInterested to learn more about Dermal Fillers and how this procedure can help you? Please call 65 6532 2400 to book an appointment with Dr Ee or leave a comment at the end of the article, or simply drop Dr Ee an email here.
CO2 Laser Resurfacing for Crows's Feet
What is CO2 Laser Resurfacing?
CO2 Laser Resurfacing is the gold standard for skin resurfacing in order to treat the effects of facial skin aging and this is how it works. The lasers penetrate the top skin layers, stimulating collagen and resurface the top skin layer. Your skin’s natural rejuvenation process will help to improve the appearance of the crow's feet.
What to expect from CO2 Laser Resurfacing?
Each CO2 Laser Resurfacing treatment last between 15 – 45 minutes, and most patients see the best results with 1 – 5 CO2 Laser Resurfacing treatment sessions. Since CO2 Laser Resurfacing treatment works with your body’s natural skin cells, results typically take 1 to 3 weeks to take effect and individual results varies.
Side effects with CO2 Laser Resurfacing
Some may experience redness, swelling, and slight crusting and oozing which usually subsides within 5 to 7 days with regular application of ice and prescribed healing ointments. A light pink appearance to the skin may last an additional 7-14 days, but can be camouflaged with make-up.
Infrequently, skin rawness or exacerbation of a pre-existing cold sore can occur. Thus, please inform the doctor before the laser surgery if a history of cold sores exists.
Prescriptions for medications to take prior to and during the healing phase of the procedure will be provided. These medications will help to decrease the risk of infection.
Long-term risks of discoloration and scarring are rare, but can potentially occur whenever there is disruption of the skin’s surface. Strict adherence to all advised postoperative instructions will reduce the possibility of unwanted side effects and complications.
Ulthera Skin Tightening Treatment for Crow's Feet
What is Ulthera?
Ulthera is a new type of non-surgical, non-invasive procedure for the face, neck and chest that uses ultrasound and the body’s own natural healing process to lift, tone, and tighten loose skin.
The FDA-cleared device used in the procedure utilizes the safe, time-tested energy of ultrasound to stimulate the deep structural support layers of the skin—including those typically addressed in a surgical facelift–without disturbing the surface of the skin.
Results will unfold over the course of 2-3 months and some patients have reported continued improvement for up to 6 months. While ultrasound does not duplicate the results of surgery, Ulthera has proven to be an inviting alternative for those who are not yet ready for surgery.
How does Ulthera Work?
Unlike lasers, which penetrate the skin from the outside-in, Ultherapy bypasses the surface of the skin, specifically targeting the deep, structural skin tissues where collagen lives. Using ultrasound technology, Ultherapy actually works from the inside-out to lift and tighten skin non-invasively on the face, neck and chest.
Your skin's response to this energy is to recondition tired skin by stimulating the growth of fresh, new collagen. The result is a tightening and gradual lifting—or shifting—of the skin back into a more youthful position and form-fitting shape.
What to expect from Ulthera?
The FDA-cleared Ultherapy procedure has been established to be safe and effective in clinical studies and tens of thousands of patient treatments worldwide. In addition, every Ultherapy practitioner undergoes extensive hands-on training, so you can schedule your Ultherapy procedure with complete confidence.
An Ultherapy procedure typically takes between 30 and 60 minutes, but will depend on the treatment plan determined by your practitioner. There are no special after-care requirements and you can resume your normal activities immediately.
In short, treatment with Ulthera is non-invasive with no downtime producing natural results.
What do I need to prepare before Ulthera procedure?
No preparation whatsoever is required before your Ultherapy procedure, although your practitioner may recommend that comfort measures such as over-the-counter or prescribed medication be taken prior to treatment.
What happens during Ulthera procedure?
After cleansing the skin and identifying the specific areas to be treated, an ultrasound gel is applied and the smooth handpiece is placed upon your skin. The focused ultrasound energy bypasses the surface of your skin and is delivered to pre-planned depths within the tissue below to stimulate collagen growth.
Comfort levels vary from patient to patient and can depend on the area treated as well. Your practitioner will discuss options for making the experience as pleasant as possible. The sensation you experience is associated with the focused ultrasound energy as it is deposited below the surface of the skin. It is noticeable just while the energy is being delivered and patients typically leave comfortable and excited about the benefits to come.
What happens after Ulthera procedure?
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You are able to return to your normal activities right away, and there are no special measures you need to take. Your skin may appear flushed immediately after the ultrasound treatment, but any redness should disappear within a few hours. It is not uncommon to experience slight swelling for a few days, or tingling/tenderness to the touch for a few weeks following the procedure, but these are mild and temporary in nature. There is the possibility for other less common post-procedural effects, such as temporary small areas of bruising or numbness, and other rare effects which your physician will review with you. Click here if you are interested to view Ulthera's treatment results.Interested to learn more about Ultherapy and how this procedure can help you? Please call 65 6532 2400 to book an appointment with Dr Ee or leave a comment at the end of the article, or simply drop Dr Ee an email here.
Treatment Protocols for Crow's Feet
Dynamic Crow’s Feet
Since dynamic crow’s feet are formed only when the orbicularis oculi muscle contracts during smiling, Botox can be injected into orbicularis oculi muscle.
In the case of dynamic crow’s feet, Botox can achieve at least 2 grades improvement in your crow’s feet, while maintaining the effect for at least 3 months.
Static Crow’s Feet
Treatment for static crow’s feet requires more than just Botox injection, since the wrinkles are there even when you aren't smiling. To smoothen out the grooves caused by the static lines, Dermal fillers can be injected very superficially into the lines itself. CO2 laser resurfacing and or Ulthera can then be used to achieve skin tightening effect.
The combined treatments of Botox, fillers and/or CO2 or Ulthera would ensure that the static crow’s feet are adequately treated and also achieving a 2 grade improvement in your static crow’s feet.