Crow’s feet

Crow's feet, or the lines radiating out from the corners of your eye when you smile, should be present but not severe, and not eradicated completely as this can look unnatural. Treatments for this area include anti-wrinkle injections, dermal filler, and laser.

Article medically reviewed by Dr. Gavin Chan (MBBS, cosmetic physician, liposuctionist)

Dr. Gavin Chan

Templestowe Lower and Berwick Clinics

Dr. Gavin Chan has a background in intensive care, anaesthesia, and emergency medicine. Since 2004, Dr. Chan has provided cosmetic procedures, including anti-wrinkle injections, dermal fillers, liposuction, fat transfer, skin needling, and laser treatments. He is a doctor trainer for various dermal fillers and anti-wrinkle injections.
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Crow’s feet are the lines that radiate from the outer corners of the eyes when smiling, caused by the contraction of the orbicularis oculi muscle that surrounds the orbit or ‘eye socket’. The orbicularis oculi muscle is attached to the skin around the orbit and when it contracts, it pulls the skin around the eyes inwards causing wrinkling.

A popular treatment for crow’s feet are anti-wrinkle injections. These help to relax the muscles that cause crow’s feet to form. Treating the area just under the brow can also help to reduce the downwards pull of the orbicularis oculi there and produce a subtle brow lift. After injection into the muscle, the onset of action is between 4 to 7 days. Duration of action is approximately 2 to 4 months on average, and depends on dose administered. Anti-wrinkle injections target one of the underlying causes of crow’s feet, orbicularis oculi muscle contraction, but do not affect lines that are etched into the skin or lines that are present at rest. Lines that are etched into the skin generally require laser resurfacing with a laser such as the carbon dioxide laser.

Aesthetically, it is important to use appropriate doses of anti-wrinkle injections in the crow’s feet to achieve a reduction, but not complete resolution of crow’s feet. The presence of crow’s feet is natural, and the purpose of anti-wrinkle injections should be to moderate their severity or intensity. Also, smiling is a positive facial expression, and should not be over-suppressed.

The risks or complications of anti-wrinkle injections in this area tend to be more cosmetic complications rather than medical or safety issues. Bruises occur occasionally, and can be avoided through by injecting supercially, and the use of a device like the Accuvein that scans the skin for the locations of veins in the area. As mentioned previously, excessive dosing can cause an unusual appearance. Misplacement or excessive dosage can also affect the shape or natural lift of the cheek when smiling.

Lower eyelid or under eye wrinkles are usually not amenable to treatment with anti-wrinkle injections. Usually skin laxity of the skin is the predominant issue causing wrinkling in this area, and anti-wrinkle injections tend to have no effect here, as the wrinkles are not caused by muscle contraction as much as they are skin laxity. Generally the lower eyelid wrinkles are best treated with surgery (blepharoplasty), or laser resurfacing with a carbon dioxide laser.

Dermal fillers can also be used to help crows feet and wrinkles around the eyes, but this is more of a secondary effect due to revolumisation of the area. In the same way a beach ball will not be as firm or tight when slightly deflated, volume loss of the area around the eyes and the upper cheeks can cause skin laxity and wrinkling. It is important to understand that the degree of improvement that is attained with dermal fillers is only small, but makes up a component of the overall rejuvenation process of the area.

For estimate units and costs please visit the Cosmetic consultation and treatments pricing page.

Why choose the Victorian Cosmetic Institute to treat your crow's feet?

The doctors at Victorian Cosmetic Institute take the time to discuss your personal requirements and preferences. Our doctors are highly experienced in anti-wrinkle injections, lasers and dermal fillers, and always aim for natural-looking outcomes.

Making that first phone call about any cosmetic procedure can be a confronting task – many of our patients have preferred filling out our online enquiry form. We can then contact you with an understanding of the results you are hopeful of achieving and ensure the treatment is appropriate.

Otherwise, you can phone us directly on 1300 863 824.

For estimate units and costs visit the Cosmetic consultation and treatments pricing page.

Dr. Gavin Chan
Dr. Gavin Chan

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