Eye wrinkles, commonly known as crow’s feet or laughter lines, are small, fine wrinkles at the outer edges of the eyes that are made more noticeable by laughing, in particular. They are a form of expression line caused by the daily movement of the facial muscles. They are treated with botulinum.
How do eye wrinkles ("crow’s feet") develop?
From the day they are born, every person has a certain amount of tension in their muscles, known as muscle tone, which is also present when the body is at rest. The natural movement of the muscles causes them to move to a greater or lesser degree, briefly forming wrinkles. The skin is capable of compensating for this pattern of tension and release for a very long time. However, with increasing age and decreasing skin elasticity, there comes a point at which these expression-related lines no longer disappear. They become deeper and are visible as eye wrinkles even when the facial muscles are relaxed.
What are expression lines?
Wrinkles caused by facial expressions (expression lines) develop as a result of the activity of the underlying facial muscles. Expression lines include not only eye wrinkles but also frown lines between the eyebrows (glabella) and forehead lines (worry lines).
How can eye wrinkles be treated?
Eye wrinkles are treated with botulinum injected into the skin or muscle by a doctor using very fine needles. The active substance temporarily reduces the transmission of stimuli from the nerve to the muscle. This relaxes the muscle and the lines are smoothed out. Initial results can usually be seen after two or three days. The maximum effect develops five to six weeks after the injection.
How soon after treatment can I resume my everyday activities?
The treatment lasts 30 minutes in total (consultation, information, preparation, and administration of treatment) and you can then resume your usual activities with no restrictions on your social life. Any needle-entry points that remain visible for a short time can easily be hidden with make-up.
What do I need to be aware of after treatment with botulinum toxin?
You should AVOID the following activities for 24 hours after treatment with botulinum toxin:
- Visits to a sauna or Turkish bath
- Excessive sports activity
- Extreme positions held for a long time (head stands, power yoga)
- Facial massages
- Wearing swimming goggles
Manuela’s treatment outcome
Manuela is performing exactly the same muscle action in both photos. She is looking angry and drawing her eyebrows together. However, in the "after" photo the bothersome expression lines have been substantially reduced by the botulinum toxin treatment. Some of the mobility of the forehead has been retained, allowing her facial expressions to remain natural and not appear mask-like.
Eye wrinkles – botulinum or hyaluronic acid?
The hyperactive muscles should initially be relaxed with botulinum. If the wrinkle treatment is intended to be preventive, in other words before the eye wrinkles appear deep and furrowed, botulinum treatment is generally sufficient. If the eye wrinkles are already deep, the wrinkle or depression in the skin usually needs to be filled additionally with a hyaluronic acid gel at some point during the first few wrinkle treatments. This can be done in a combined treatment or in several stages. It is generally advisable to undergo baseline treatment with botulinum toxin before the eye wrinkles are filled.