Crow’s feet are wrinkles around your eyes that form after years or decades of squinting your eyes, including every time you smile. A crinkly smile might be beautiful and radiant, but if the crow’s feet stay after the smile fades, you may feel that you don’t look your best anymore.
You’ve heard that Botox® injections can erase your crow’s feet. Is that true? Is it safe? And how long does the effect last?
Sharon Smith, MD, is an expert internist at OBGYN Care in Houston, Texas, and also has an aesthetics practice at the same location. She offers injections of FDA-approved Botox®, Dysport®, and Xeomin®. Here’s how they help you smile again — without wrinkles.
You may be surprised to learn that the wrinkles around your eyes are actually the result of overactive muscles. The muscles around your eyes are called the orbicularis oculi. They’re oval-shaped muscles that contract when you smile or squint against the sun.
Unlike the muscles in your body, you don’t want to flex your orbicularis oculi. When they contract, they press your skin and fold it up like a fan. As your skin gets older or damaged by the sun, it can’t resume its natural shape. Instead, the fan folds stay impressed in your skin.
Neuromodulators such as Botox, Xeomin, and Dysport block the signals that nerves send to the muscles to move them. Instead of creating and reinforcing wrinkles, the muscles stay relaxed and so does the skin above them.
They’re all FDA-approved and have long safety profiles based on millions of patients around the world.
Dr. Smith administers just enough neuromodulator to prevent the orbicularis oculi from clenching hard enough to cause wrinkles. She is highly trained in administering the neuromodulator to the correct points so that the crow’s feet smooth out and your under-eye muscles do, too.
In addition to crow’s feet, other wrinkles in your upper face are caused by dynamic muscles. Just as the crow’s feet disappear after neuromodulator injections, so can the other types of wrinkles caused by dynamic muscles. These include:
If you have other wrinkles on your upper face, we can treat them at the same time that we treat your crow’s feet.
Although Botox, Dysport, and Xeomin all have the same mechanism of action and are all made of a purified form of botulinum toxin, each has slightly different properties. We help you choose the type of neuromodulator that suits your needs.
Dysport by Galderma is made of abobotulinumtoxinA. You can see results with Dysport as soon as 24 hours. Your results should last at least four months and perhaps up to a year. Dysport only has botulinum toxin and saline, which may make it an ideal choice if you have allergies.
Xeomin by Merz is made of incobotulinumtoxinA. Xeomin injections take about four days before your eye muscles relax. They can last about four months. You may feel that it has a lighter feel than Dysport or Botox.
Botox Cosmetic by Allergan is the No. 1 neuromodulator and has been approved by the FDA for aesthetic purposes for more than 20 years. Botox is made of onabotulinumtoxinA. Botox may take up to 2-4 weeks to achieve optimal results. It then lasts for 3-4 months.
No matter which neuromodulator you choose, we schedule your follow-up appointments ahead of time so you maintain your wrinkle-free smile long-term. Neuromodulator injections can also be combined with dermal fillers to create a nonsurgical facelift.
If you’re ready to smile without feeling self-conscious about crow’s feet, call our team at our Houston, Texas, office. You can also use our online form.