Last updated May 2023

What are crow’s feet?

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 of ‘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.

What causes crow’s feet?

The skin around your eyes is some of the most delicate skin on your face, and your eyes are used to make facial expressions every day, so wrinkles around the eyes are unavoidable. The repetitive movements involved in squinting, smiling and frowning form wrinkles in your skin over time, especially when collagen production in your skin decreases, and you lose elasticity as you age. Other lifestyle factors can also affect how wrinkles form, such as sun damage, weight fluctuations and smoking.

What age do you get crow’s feet?

Crow’s feet, sometimes referred to as ‘laugh lines’ or ‘smile lines’, usually begin to develop between the ages of twenty and thirty. However, this timeline will be affected by your genetics and how well you take care of your skin. If you have a strong skincare routine and you always use sun protection and eye cream, you may not develop crow’s feet until later in life.

How to treat crows feet

Crow’s feet can be treated using a few different methods. The most suitable method for you may depend on the severity of your wrinkles and your desired results. In some cases, you may be able to combine treatments to conceal the appearance of crow’s feet.

Anti-wrinkle injections

A popular treatment for crow’s feet is anti-wrinkle injections. This treatment helps to relax the muscles that cause crow’s feet to form. Treating the area just under the brow can also help reduce the downward pull of the orbicularis oculi and produce a subtle brow lift

After injection into the muscle, you will see results after 4 to 7 days. These results last for 2 to 5 months on average, depending on the dose administered and how quickly your body metabolises the anti-wrinkle injections. 

It is important not to inject too much at once when administering anti-wrinkle injections because the patient should still be able to smile and make a regular facial expression without looking strained. Excessive use of anti-wrinkle injections can also affect the shape of the cheeks when smiling.

Dermal fillers

Dermal fillers can also be used to treat wrinkles around the eyes. Still, they will usually be done as a follow-up procedure after anti-wrinkle injections to replace lost volume in the area. Volume loss of the area around the eyes and the upper cheeks can cause skin laxity and wrinkling. 

It is essential to understand that the degree of improvement attained with dermal fillers is only small but makes up a component of the overall rejuvenation process of the area.

Dermal fillers can last anywhere from 6 months to a few years and can be dissolved at any time using hyaluronidase.

Laser resurfacing 

Lines etched into the skin, or static lines, may benefit more from laser resurfacing with a laser such as the carbon dioxide laser.

The carbon dioxide laser is used to tighten skin, improve skin texture and reduce the appearance of wrinkles. It works by heating the skin and removing the top layer to produce tissue contraction. Laser resurfacing treatments have practical results but often require a week or more of downtime.

Lower eyelid or under-eye wrinkles are usually caused by skin laxity rather than muscle contraction, so these wrinkles are treated with surgery (blepharoplasty) or laser resurfacing with a carbon dioxide laser.


Tixel uses heat energy to remodel the skin and is recommended for the first signs of crow’s feet. The channels created during the treatment result in further collagen production to improve skin quality, texture, fine lines, and wrinkles. Tixel is often used in conjunction with anti-wrinkle injections. Tixel can improve the outward skin quality and soften the appearance of fine lines, whilst the anti-wrinkle injections work to prevent further lines from forming.


Skincare tailored to the thinner skin surrounding the eye area addresses fine lines, puffiness and dark circles. Emeplle Eye Cream is a rich, creamy and fast-absorbing eye cream that features breakthrough MEP Technology® to help restore the natural function of menopausal or Oestrogen blemished skin (also known as Estrogen). This is done non-hormonally for improved firmness, hydration and luminosity.

Who is a suitable candidate for crow’s feet treatment?

A candidate suitable for crow’s feet treatment will be in good health and have realistic expectations about the procedure. The candidate will have concerns about the wrinkles around their eyes and will usually be in their 30s or older, although the treatment can be performed on someone of any age.

Anyone who is pregnant or breastfeeding should not have crow’s feet treatment.

How do I prepare for crow’s feet treatment?

You will have an initial consultation before the procedure to determine your suitability for your desired treatment. During this consultation, your doctor will advise you of any specific preparation you need.

Below are some examples of how to prepare for the different types of crow’s feet treatments available.

Anti-wrinkle injections

In the lead-up to your anti-wrinkle treatment, you should avoid prolonged sun exposure and come to the appointment with a clean face and no makeup. You must reschedule your appointment if you have any active infections in the treatment area.

Dermal fillers

Before getting dermal fillers, avoid blood thinning medications such as Aspirin and Ibuprofen to minimise bruising. You should also avoid harsh topical products such as Retinol and Glycolic Acid in the days before your appointment.

Laser resurfacing

You should avoid getting other skin treatments, such as chemical peels, for at least four weeks before laser resurfacing. Your doctor may recommend applying a retinoid or other topical skin preparation for a few weeks before your treatment to prepare your skin.


Any other skin treatments should be avoided for four weeks before your tixel appointment. Sun exposure should be limited, and sunscreen should be worn before and after treatment to prevent any pigmentation from forming.

Crow’s feet treatment aftercare

Each treatment may require different post-treatment care. You should follow the instructions of your practitioner.

Anti-wrinkle injections

You can apply makeup immediately after getting anti-wrinkle injections, but you should avoid touching your face for at least 4 hours. Rubbing your face during this period could cause the injectables to spread.

You should be able to drive home or return to work if necessary. Avoid exercise for at least 24 hours after treatment.

Dermal fillers

You should avoid touching the area immediately following your treatment. You will need to avoid strenuous physical activity for a week or so. If you wish, you can apply ice packs to the area to reduce any redness and swelling.

Laser resurfacing

After laser resurfacing, you must cleanse the treatment area according to your doctor’s instructions. You should avoid harsh topical products that may cause irritation after treatment and apply a cool compress to relieve discomfort. Your practitioner will advise you when you can recommence your active skincare products.


Mild swelling and redness may be present following your treatment. Crusting in the treatment area will appear the following day and should subside within 5 to 14 days. As this treatment encourages collagen production, results can be seen three months after treatment.


Is there any downtime for crow’s feet treatment?

The downtime required after the procedure for treating crow’s feet will depend on the treatment you receive.

No downtime is needed for anti-wrinkle injections; patients can resume their regular activities. There may be some redness or swelling for a couple of days.

There is minimal downtime after getting dermal fillers, depending on the person and their work type. Strenuous physical activity should be avoided for 48 hours after the procedure.

Laser skin resurfacing has the longest recovery time. Depending on the intensity of the treatment, a downtime period of 1-2 weeks should be expected.

Tixel will result in some initial swelling and redness, which can be covered the following day with mineral makeup. A small amount of crusting will be visible on the treatment area, which will subside within a few days but can take up to 14 days.

How long does it take to see results from crow’s feet treatment?

The time it takes to see results will vary, depending on the type of treatment you receive.

Anti-wrinkle injections generally take 4-7 days for the treatment to take full effect.

After getting dermal fillers, you will notice some immediate results, but you will not see complete results for a few weeks.

You will see the results of your laser skin resurfacing treatment gradually improve over time, with full results becoming visible after approximately three months.

Tixel encourages your skin to produce more collagen, so results are usually seen approximately three months after treatment.

How much does crow’s feet treatment cost?

The cost of crow’s feet treatment will depend on the type of treatment you’re receiving, the intensity of the treatment and your desired results. Please visit the cosmetic consultation and treatments pricing page for estimated units and costs.

Can crow’s feet be prevented?

Crow’s feet develop with age, mainly due to the repetitive muscle movement involved in making facial expressions over time. Wrinkles form naturally as collagen production and skin elasticity decrease.

There are several ways to prevent or delay the appearance of crow’s feet. Preventing crow’s feet should involve avoiding squinting by regularly getting your eyes checked and wearing sunglasses and sunscreen in the sun. You should also avoid smoking and excessive alcohol consumption and maintain a healthy diet.

Maintain a good skincare routine using a high-quality moisturiser and an antioxidant serum. Eye creams can also help to delay the appearance of visible crow’s feet by keeping the skin hydrated and restoring nutrients.

Regular treatments with anti-wrinkle injections prevent the dynamic lines from forming and therefore lessen the visibility of static crow feet lines. Treatments to encourage the growth of collagen and elastin can also be explored.

Crow’s feet treatment in Melbourne

The doctors at Victorian Cosmetic Institute take the time in your consultation to discuss your requirements and preferences. Since 2005, our Melbourne doctors have used anti-wrinkle injections, lasers and dermal fillers to treat crow’s feet.

Call our Customer Care team on 1300 863 824 to arrange your consultation. Alternatively, you can book your consultation online. During your consultation, we can understand the results you hope to achieve and ensure that treatment is appropriate.