What causes Crow’s Feet around the eyes? How to treat Eye Wrinkles

xeomin crows feet ageing eyes


Crow’s Feet Wrinkles around the Eyes and What You Can Do About Them

Crows feet are the skin wrinkles that begin to form around the outer edge or outside the corners of your eyes.


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What are Crow’s Feet ?

Crow’s feet is a term commonly used to describe the lines and wrinkles that form around the eyes as you age.

What are crow's feet? Crows feet (definition) - Crow's feet is a term used to define lines or wrinkles around the eyes

Crows feet are also known as “laugh lines” or “character lines,” but these terms generally refer to the inevitable signs of ageing that first show up in the finer, more wrinkle-prone areas of the skin.

Crows feet lines may form subtly over time, but become more visible when you express emotions such as laughing, frowning or grimacing.

What Causes Crows feet?

The main reason why “crow’s feet” lines are more noticeable than other facial wrinkles is that the skin around your eyes is much thinner.

Unlike most other areas of the face or body, the skin that surrounds your eyes isn’t bolstered by thick, fatty tissue underneath; so when the skin ages, it’s often the first to show the signs of passing time.

skin collagen reduces with time

Skin Renewal, Sluggishness and Time

Our skin is our largest organ and is constantly renewing itself; this occurs in the form of the skin shedding it’s top layers to reveal fresher skin underneath.

During our mid 20s, our skin turnover begins to slow down, resulting to decreased production of collagen and elastin.  This slowing down of cellular renewal has a significant impact on the way our skin looks as we age.

The impacts of decreasing skin collagen and elastin – combined also with environmental pollutants, sun damage and altered hormones, accelerates with the passing decades.

As shown in the illustration below, young skin is firmer and smoother and also typically wrinkle-free for quite some time; whilst ageing skin has less structural strength and of course, shows wrinkles and lines.

crows feet

The importance of Collagen & Elastin & How Skin Ages

Collagen and elastin play a key role in maintaining skin integrity, helping it to look younger, smoother, healthier and more radiant. Stronger bones and sufficient fat stores also help keep your skin looking smooth and wrinkle-free.

The decreased production of collagen and elastin hastens the older we get, however, giving the skin a duller, older and sagging appearance. Of course, this leads to the formation of fine lines, deepening crevices and other skin imperfections including frown lines, wrinkles & hyper-pigmentation spots (sun spots, brown ‘liver’ spots and skin lesions).

crows feet around eyes

In summary, what causes crow’s feet around your eyes are the same culprits that also cause wrinkles on other facial areas.

  • Time and also exposure to the elements including pollution and sun damage
  • Lost collagen
  • Less elastin
  • Slower cellular renewal or ‘skin turnover’

Smooth, firmer skin is impacted by numerous factors of ageing – and only some of which can be compensated for using non-surgical treatments

There are actually SEVERAL factors that contribute to the development of crow’s feet and wrinkles around the eye, such as:

Genetic factors:

If your parents developed crows feet at an early age, your chances of developing fine lines around YOUR eyes, earlier than your peers, are significantly higher.


Habitual smoking is VERY harmful to the skin; it constricts the blood vessels and also reduces the supply of oxygen and essential nutrients to all of the different tissues in the body, thus making them age faster and often resulting in numerous chronic or life-threatening diseases.[1]

Light skin:

Light-skinned people are often far more prone to higher levels of sun damage (including deep sun burns), which can of course lead to the development of crow’s feet at an early age.  If you have a naturally oily skin, you are likely to not only tan easily but your skin will often seem to age more slowly than your lighter-skinned peers. You’ll still end up with crow’s feet and fine lines around your eyes,  but they will often not be as deep as those you see on others with dryer, lighter skin.

Fitzpatrick scale skin and skin types prone to crows feet

Long-term exposure to UV rays:

Nothing ages the skin faster than tobacco and sun exposure. In fact, some claim that 90% of all skin ageing is caused by sun damage.  Sun light can damage the elastin and collagen in your skin, result in hyper-pigmentation and generally accelerate the formation of crow’s feet eye wrinkles as well as other tell-tell signs of ageing.

sun damage and crows feet

Sleeping positions:

The way you sleep can also result in additional pressure on your face. Over time, your sleeping postures can result in etched lines around your eyes or other areas of the face.  Patterns of crow’s feet wrinkles around your eyes may also be influenced by how you rest your face on your pillow. All actions or expressions that you repeat over time will of course have a cumulative effect on the skin.

Repeated facial expressions:

People who repeatedly frown, smile and squint usually develop crows feet earlier. Groove forms under the skin surface each time you use a facial muscle for expressing your emotions. Normally, the skin springs back quickly when you are young. But over time, it of course loses its flexibility to spring back and becomes harder, resulting in more permanent grooves.[2]

crows feet

Yo-yo dieting:

Yo-yo dieting is the losing and gaining of significant amount of weight. This can cause damage to the elastic structure of the skin. This is of course, due to the repeated stretching of the skin when you gain or lose weight.[3] Over time the skin starts to sag and crows feet will begin to occur also, just as the skin on your body might not ‘bounce’ back after weight loss and you’ll need a body lift to reduce the excess skin.

What you can do to minimise fine lines or crow’s feet around your eye area.

Some may feel that crow’s feet make them look older or cause their skin to look crepe-like.

Fortunately, skin treatments around the eyes, including Injection Treatments and Dermal Volumisers, are now available to help reduce or lift your crow’s feet eye wrinkles, and can provide you with a more rejuvenated appearance – this can be especially helpful around the eye area, especially if it’s showing more signs of premature ageing than your other facial features.

How Injectables can help to minimise your crow’s feet

Treatments such as this can prevent additional wrinkles from forming by helping to temporarily prevent certain facial muscle movements. They especially prevent the expressions that have been deepening the facial lines.  Other treatments work by helping to plump out the dermal layer of the skin. This makes it so that the skin is smoother, plumper and also less-wrinkled overall.

facial injections for crow's feet

It’s important that you choose a very experienced & highly-qualified Injector to protect your eyes and get the best results.

After a Coco Ruby eyelid treatment (or an eyelid lift if you also have eyelid sagging or ptosis), your outer eye area will appear more rejuvenated and help your entire faith look a bit more youthful – in fairly little downtime!

Medical References:

  1. David Bernhard (16 February 2011). Cigarette Smoke Toxicity: Linking Individual Chemicals to Human Diseases. John Wiley & Sons. pp. 175–. ISBN 978-3-527-63533-7.
  2. Claire Boyd (9 October 2013). Care Skills for Nurses. John Wiley & Sons. pp. 32–. ISBN 978-1-118-65736-2.
  3. Bridget Doherty; Julia VanTine (1 January 2001). Growing Younger: Breakthrough Age-defying Secrets for Women. Rodale. pp. 80–. ISBN 978-1-57954-563-5.


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