Crow’s Feet: Best treatments to Reduce Eye Wrinkles

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Aging is a natural process.  With it come skin marks and wrinkles that appear and that are not always desired. One of the areas that attract attention are the well known “crow’s feet”, those fine lines that form around the eyes and accentuate the skin’s aged appearance.

In this article, we will talk about the most recommended treatments to counteract or prevent crow’s feet.


What are crow’s feet?

Before we look into treatments, let’s talk about what crow’s feet actually are.

Crow’s feet wrinkles (also called just crow’s feet) are expression lines that appear mainly when we smile or squint our eyes. Over time, as our skin loses its elasticity and collagen, these lines become more visible and more permanent.


What brings about the appearance of crow’s feet?

Crow’s feet are mainly caused by the natural age of the skin (due to reduced levels of collagen and elastin) and exposure to UV rays from the sun over time. Furthermore, repetitive facial expressions, smoking and stress can also worsen the intensity of these wrinkles.


Anti-aging creams for crow’s feet and other eye wrinkles

One of the popular methods for reducing the appearance of eye wrinkles is the application of anti-wrinkle creams formulated specifically for the eye area. These creams usually contain ingredients, such as hyaluronic acid and retinol, which help smooth wrinkles and improve skin elasticity. Additionally, there are serums and gels with peptides and antioxidants that can help stimulate collagen production and minimize signs of aging.

In general, if you want to improve wrinkles and expression lines around the eyes, you should look for specific anti-aging creams for the eyes that contain ingredients such as retinoids (retinol, retinaldehyde), peptides, ceramides, hyaluronic acid, vitamins C and E, Niacinamide (vitamin B3), among others.

Additionally, if the cream is used during the day, it is essential that it contains sun protection. Sun exposure is one of the main causes for premature aging and the eye area is a particularly sensitive area. Another way to complement photoprotection is to wear sunglasses whenever you expose yourself to sunlight. In addition to filtering ultraviolet radiation, it helps prevent the eyelids and eyebrows from being stressed, thus avoiding unwanted wrinkles in this region.

You should bear in mind that anti-wrinkle creams are excellent complements to your skin care routine and offer cumulative benefits with continued use, but they do not provide results as quick and long-lasting as cosmetic treatments. These can prevent wrinkles from forming by paralyzing the periocular muscles as well as stimulating the production of collagen and elastin.

Especially for those looking for more effective solutions to combat crow’s feet, we suggest you read the following section on the most suitable treatments for this purpose.


Cosmetic treatments for crow’s feet

Botulinum toxin: the mainstream solution for crow’s feet

Botulinum toxin, commonly known as Botox®, is the main and most popular treatment for crow’s feet.

Botulinum toxin is a substance used to reduce expression lines and wrinkles, by relaxing the muscles in the treated area.

The application is made through small injections directly into the muscles, causing a temporary paralysis effect that will result in less wrinkles appearing.

Botulinum toxin blocks the release of acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter responsible for muscle contraction. When a muscle cannot contract due to the action of the toxin, the skin over that muscle automatically becomes smoother.

Results begin to be visible after 2 or 3 days, reaching a peak in about two weeks. Recovery is almost immediate, but there may be slight swelling or small bruising at the injection site.

Sessions are generally required every 4 to 6 months, as the effects of the substance begin to diminish after this period. However, continued use of botulinum toxin can have “cumulative effects”, making wrinkles less deep over time and spacing out the need for subsequent treatments.

Complementary treatments for crow’s feet

Although botulinum toxin is the most popular treatment, there are other options that can be combined to enhance results, especially when there is already some degree of sagging skin:

Colagen biostimulators

Collagen biostimulators are injectable products based on hyaluronic acid, calcium or other substances which stimulate collagen production.

When introduced into the skin, the substances promote firmness and elasticity, counteracting facial skin sagging.

The number of sessions varies depending on the patient’s needs, but in general, 1 to 3 sessions are recommended. The results are visible after a few weeks and can last up to 2 years, depending on the product used.

Recovery after applying the collagen biostimulator is quick, but some swelling may occur at the application site.

There are different types of collagen biostimulators, such as Sculptra® and Radiesse®. Our dermatologist can advise you on which product is most suitable for you, depending on your goals.

Hyaluronic acid

There are different types of hyaluronic acid on the market and not all of them are meant for a  “facial rebalancing”. Some have a specific composition for use on wrinkles and expression lines. Others, so-called skinboosters, only have the function of hydrating the skin, which makes it smoother and more vibrant. In addition to those mentioned, there is also a category of hyperconcentrated hyaluronic acid that generates, in addition to the hydration already mentioned, a bioremodelling of collagen in all layers of the skin, as is the case with Profhilo®.

Morpheus 8

Morpheus 8 is a treatment that combines microneedling with radiofrequency. The needles penetrate the skin, while radiofrequency heats the tissues, stimulating collagen production.

Anaesthetic cream is applied to ensure maximum comfort during the procedure.

Results begin to be visible after a few weeks, with continued improvement over 3 months. More than one session may be needed, depending on the severity of the wrinkles and sagging.

After treatment, the skin may be red and sensitive for a few days, but eventually the redness and sensitivity disappear.

Chemical peel

Chemical Peeling involves the application of a chemical solution that causes controlled peeling of the skin, with consequent collagen stimulation. After the peeling occurs, a new layer of skin, smoother and less wrinkled, is born. In addition to improving the appearance of wrinkles, it is also prescribed for cases of pigmented dark circles under the eyes.

The number of sessions depends on the type of peeling and the condition of the skin.

Recovery varies depending on the type of peeling performed. Superficial peels require about 4-7 days of recovery, while deeper peels may require 2 to 4 weeks.

The results are visible as soon as the skin regenerates and are cumulative with each session performed.

CO2 Laser

Fractional CO2 Laser is a laser treatment that removes superficial layers of the skin, promoting regeneration and stimulating collagen production.

The procedure is performed using anaesthetic cream.

Depending on the depth of treatment, a recovery of 7 to 14 days may be required.

With just one session, the results are visible and long-lasting. Depending on the case, additional sessions may be necessary over time.

Post treatment care

After any of these treatments, it is essential to follow the specialist’s recommendations to ensure the best results and avoid complications. Avoiding sun exposure, using sunscreen daily and hydrating your skin are essential steps.


Crow’s feet prevention

Adopting certain lifestyle habits and making some lifestyle changes can play a key role in preserving your skin’s youthfulness and minimizing the formation of crow’s feet. Some suggestions include regularly using sunscreen with a high SPF, not smoking, having a balanced diet (which will also have an impact on skin health), staying hydrated, maintaining a daily routine of cleaning and hydrating the skin in the eye region and, of course, sleeping well.

Furthermore, botulinum toxin is also frequently used to prevent eye wrinkles. As mentioned previously, when injected into the skin, botulinum toxin will cause muscle relaxation. As the muscle temporarily stops contracting, the skin in this area stops wrinkling, minimizing the appearance of lines caused by recurrent facial expressions.


Schedule an appointment

At Living Clinic, we are dedicated to offering you the most advanced and personalized solutions for the health and beauty of your skin. If crow’s feet are a concern for you and you want to explore the most effective treatment options, we invite you to schedule a consultation with us.

A Living Clinic physician will assess your specific needs, answer all your questions and guide you on the path to rejuvenated, radiant skin.


Dr. Francisco Martins de Carvalho
Dr. Francisco Martins de Carvalho

Dr. Francisco Martins de Carvalho is a specialist in Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery. He completed his degree in Medicine at the School of Medicine of the University of Oporto and the Internship in Specific Training in Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery took place at Hospital de São José (Lisbon) and Hospital de São João (Oporto).

Currently, he is also a plastic surgeon at the Hospital de São João – Oporto, and a Invited Lecturer at the School of Medicine of the University of Oporto.

In the field of cosmetic surgery, he has a special interest in facial cosmetic surgery, breast cosmetic surgery, body contouring surgery and vaginal cosmetic surgery.

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Dr. Diogo Semedo
Dr. Diogo Semedo

Physician at Living Clinic fully dedicated to Cosmetic Medicine.

Scientific reviewer for the International Journal of Dermatology.

Master's degree in Medicine from the Abel Salazar Institute of Biomedical Sciences (University of Porto) and completed a Master's degree in Aesthetic Medicine from the Complutense University of Madrid.

Trainer and consultant in the area of Aesthetic Medicine in two laboratories in face and body fillers, as well as tension threads, bio stimulators and gluteal fillers.

Interested in research and the aesthetic component in the area of Dermatology, he is the main author of a world-leading study on adult acne and has worked in leading public and private institutions in Porto.

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Dr. Paola Halfeld
Dr. Paola Halfeld

Dr. Paola Halfeld is a specialist in Dermatology from the Brazilian Medical Association and holds a Master in Public Health from the University of Porto. She completed her degree in Medicine at Estácio de Sá University in Rio de Janeiro. Subsequently, she completed her integrated master’s degree in medicine at the University of Algarve, registering with the Portuguese Medical Society in 2020.

She is a member of the Brazilian Society of Dermatology and a member of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology.

During her training, she completed internships at leading institutions such as the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (Fiocruz) and the National Cancer Institute (INCA). She was a fellow in aesthetic dermatology and trichology (an area of dermatology that studies and treats hair disorders).

Dr. Halfeld is a regular participant in medical conferences and events, contributing to scientific communications as main author and co-author, in addition to numerous courses and training courses in many areas of dermatology. She recently presented her master’s study at the World Congress of Dermatology in Singapore.

Dr. Halfeld has a special interest in the treatment of diseases affecting the scalp and hair and in cosmetic dermatology. It is her practice to perform a complete physical examination for skin cancer screening in all her patients.

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