People tend to assume that as we get older those worrisome wrinkles around the eyes are to be expected. It’s true that time is the great thief of youth and beauty, and one of the first signs of age are eye wrinkles, more unflatteringly known as “crow’s feet”.

It didn’t take a flock of crows to create all those creases and crevices mind you. Years of worrying, frowning, laughing and other facial movements all contributed, not to mention harsh sun exposure, cigarette smoke, and alcohol consumption. These behaviors are within our control and can influence the presence and depth of eye wrinkles.

But as we get older another thing has been taking place right under our very skin: collagen depletion. Collagen is the biochemical found in skin that is most abundant in our youth. It’s the stuff that plumps the cheeks and makes our skin look smooth and well hydrated.

The types of lines around the eyes may be dynamic or static. They are either acquired through the course of time or they were always present but much less noticeable. Loss of collagen has now made them more visible. Some of the best treatments for crow’s feet are carbon dioxide laser resurfacing and other skin resurfacing procedures like microdermabrasion and chemical peels. With laser therapy, high-energy laser light beams are used to bore directly into the outer skin layers stripping away old skin cells and stimulating new collagen production. Microdermabrasion and chemical peels also resurface the skin with similar effects.

Research has shown that topical creams rich in Vitamin C are also effective at stimulating collagen production, as are injectable fillers, particularly those made of hyaluronic acid. Botox has been proven highly effective in the removal of dynamic facial lines. Thermage and other non-invasive skin tightening treatments are also being used to banish crow’s feet. These treatments essentially heat the layers of the skin beneath the surface to stimulate the production of new collagen for a smoother, tighter skin appearance.

Before choosing a specific procedure or combination of them to get rid of those expanding crow’s feet, it’s important to consult first with a qualified plastic surgeon. Dr. Kyle S. Choe is a board certified facial plastic surgeon located in Virginia Beach and can be reached at The Choe Center for Facial Plastic Surgery at 757.389.5850 for a personal consultation.