Crow’s feet are nature’s way of saying you’re getting older. You may have heard this term used to describe those little wrinkles at the outer corners of the eye when you smile or laugh. What causes these little wrinkles around your eyes? These are just one sign of the natural process of physical aging. It is normal for us to see little lines and wrinkles appear as we get older because our body ages and the collagen and elastin that once kept our skin smooth starts to decline.
In the body, as we age the collagen and elastin in the skin begin to break down. They no longer produce at the same levels as they did before making the structure of the skin looser and prone to wrinkles. Our skin gets drier and starts to thin making the veins under the skin more visible. At this decreased level of collagen the skin cells are not able to regenerate as well so our skin starts to look blotchy and uneven. The skin on our face, arms, neck and hands are the first places to show this decrease in collagen.
Crow’s feet are lines that appear when the muscles in the face contract as when smiling or laughing. These muscle contractions do not cause the wrinkles but the repeated action on drier skin causes it to crease similar to folding a piece of paper. The more you fold it, the more creased it gets. Our skin works much the same way. When we are young and collagen and elastin are plentiful, this muscular movement does nothing. But on an older person whose production is slowed down the skin does not regenerate fast enough to keep wrinkles from forming.
What Can We Do To Keep Crow’s Feet Away?
The natural approach is usually best but many people do not like to wait for the results. In that case there are medical procedures that can make wrinkles disappear in a short period of time but they are expensive and require multiple treatments to be effective.
A dermatologist may recommend Botox injections to temporarily freeze the muscles in the face that cause wrinkles. This process involves injecting the serum directly into the skin where the wrinkles are. The results last for about three to four months and must be repeated to continue having the same effect.
Dermal fillers are injected beneath the skin of the wrinkles to plump up the skin making it look firm and smoothing out wrinkles from the inside. This treatment is less expensive than Botox and many people prefer it as a less risky treatment.
Chemical Peels, microdermabrasion and laser pulse treatments remove the top layer of skin and encourage new cell growth by attempting to stimulate collagen production. These treatments are repeated less often and it is a less invasive procedure. The peel contains glycolic acid to slough away the top layer of dead skin that causes it to look dull and flaky. After this procedure the skin will be a little pink due to the irritation of the acid. New skins cells will grow replacing the old ones and the skin will begin to get firmer as the collagen production increases. The same is true of the laser and microdermabrasion methods.
To understand how this process works think back to when you were a child and skinned your knee. We learned that our white blood cells, the thin clear fluid that comes to the surface of the skin after a cut or scrape, helps clean the wound and helps it to heal itself.
Collagen works much the same way, when the skin is irritated, it responds by creating new skin cells to replace the ones that were removed. This is how new skin grows over a cut or wound leaving a barely visible scar. Collagen and other proteins in the body help new skin to grow and elastin makes it able to stretch and snap back to its former shape. (The Orange County Register, article on skincare)
Less Invasive Treatments for Crow’s Feet and Wrinkles
Wrinkle creams contain much of the same ingredients that help skin grow. Antioxidants help repair the damage to collagen from free radicals and enable new skin cells to grow. Vitamins and minerals as well as peptides and amino acids improve the look and feel of the skin and make it firmer reducing the appearance of lines and wrinkles.
Some types of mineral makeup also helps to disguise wrinkles by covering them with a concealing agent. The powder is lighter and settles on the skin covering blemishes and other imperfections.
Liquid or Cream Concealers
These concealers go on under foundation to even out skin tone and cover skin imperfections and blemishes. For red spots use a concealer with a green tone because green masks redness.
These suggestions will help you make an informed decision regarding how to treat wrinkles and crow’s feet.