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Removing Crow’s Feet with Fillers & Botox

Crow’s feet, those fine lines and wrinkles that radiate from the outer corners of the eyes, are among the earliest and most noticeable signs of aging. As cosmetic doctors, addressing these lines is a common request from patients seeking to maintain a youthful appearance. The delicate skin around the eyes is particularly susceptible to wrinkles due to repeated facial expressions, sun exposure, and the natural aging process.

The purpose of this article is to provide a comprehensive overview of two highly effective treatments for crow’s feet: dermal fillers and Botox. By understanding the mechanisms, procedures, and benefits of these treatments, cosmetic doctors can offer their patients more targeted and effective solutions for wrinkle reduction. This article will also explore the synergistic effects of combining both treatments to achieve optimal results.

Understanding Crow’s Feet

Crow’s feet, also known as lateral canthal lines, are the fine lines and wrinkles that radiate outward from the corners of the eyes. They are one of the earliest signs of aging and can be particularly noticeable when a person smiles or squints.

The formation of crow’s feet can be attributed to several factors:

  1. Aging: As we age, our skin loses collagen and elastin, the proteins responsible for maintaining skin’s firmness and elasticity. This natural decline results in thinner skin and the development of wrinkles.
  2. Sun Exposure: Ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun accelerate the breakdown of collagen and elastin fibers in the skin, leading to premature aging and the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
  3. Facial Expressions: Repeated facial movements, such as smiling, squinting, and laughing, cause the muscles around the eyes to contract. Over time, these repetitive movements create permanent lines and wrinkles.
  4. Lifestyle Factors: Smoking, poor diet, and inadequate skincare can also contribute to the development of crow’s feet. Smoking, in particular, reduces blood flow to the skin and depletes it of essential nutrients, accelerating the aging process.

Understanding these underlying causes is crucial for cosmetic doctors as it helps in devising comprehensive treatment plans that not only address the symptoms but also mitigate the contributing factors. By targeting the root causes, practitioners can offer more effective and longer-lasting solutions to their patients.

Dermal Fillers for Crow’s Feet

Dermal fillers offer a non-surgical solution to smooth out crow’s feet and restore a youthful appearance. The most commonly used types of fillers for treating crow’s feet include:

  • Hyaluronic Acid-Based Fillers: These fillers, such as Restylane and Juvederm, are popular due to their natural compatibility with the skin. Hyaluronic acid attracts and retains moisture, adding volume and hydration to the treated area.
  • Calcium Hydroxylapatite: Fillers like Radiesse are thicker and provide a more substantial lift. They are best suited for deeper lines and wrinkles.
  • Poly-L-Lactic Acid: Best known as Sculptra, this filler works by stimulating collagen production, providing gradual and long-lasting results.


Dermal fillers work by adding volume to the skin, which smooths out wrinkles and fine lines. When injected into the area around the eyes, fillers fill in the hollow areas and elevate the skin, reducing the appearance of crow’s feet. The immediate plumping effect creates a smoother, more youthful look.


Administering dermal fillers for crow’s feet involves the following steps:

  1. Consultation: Assess the patient’s skin condition, discuss their goals, and choose the appropriate filler.
  2. Preparation: Cleanse the treatment area and apply a topical anesthetic to minimize discomfort.
  3. Injection: Using a fine needle or cannula, inject the filler into the targeted areas. Precision is key to achieving natural-looking results.
  4. Massage: Gently massage the treated area to ensure even distribution of the filler.
  5. Aftercare: Provide the patient with post-procedure care instructions, including avoiding strenuous activities and excessive sun exposure.


Dermal fillers offer several advantages for treating crow’s feet:

  • Immediate Results: Patients can see a visible improvement right after the procedure.
  • Minimal Downtime: Most patients can resume normal activities immediately.
  • Natural Appearance: When expertly administered, fillers provide a subtle, natural enhancement.
  • Customizable: The amount and type of filler can be tailored to the patient’s specific needs and desired outcome.


While dermal fillers are effective, it’s essential to consider the following:

  • Choosing the Right Filler: Select a filler that best matches the patient’s skin type and severity of crow’s feet.
  • Patient Candidacy: Assess whether the patient is a good candidate for dermal fillers, considering factors such as skin condition and medical history.
  • Potential Side Effects: Common side effects include redness, swelling, and bruising at the injection site. These typically resolve within a few days. Rare complications include lumps or irregularities, which can often be corrected with massage or additional treatment.

By understanding the various types of dermal fillers, their mechanisms, and the detailed procedure for administration, cosmetic doctors can effectively reduce crow’s feet and enhance their patients’ appearance with minimal risk and downtime.

Botox for Crow’s Feet

Botox, or botulinum toxin type A, works by temporarily paralyzing the muscles that cause dynamic wrinkles, such as crow’s feet. By inhibiting the release of acetylcholine at the neuromuscular junction, Botox prevents muscle contractions, leading to a smoother skin surface and reduction in the appearance of wrinkles.


  1. Patient Assessment
    • Evaluate the patient’s medical history, skin type, and severity of crow’s feet.
    • Discuss expectations and potential outcomes with the patient.
  2. Preparation
    • Clean the treatment area thoroughly to reduce the risk of infection.
    • Apply a topical anesthetic if necessary, though the procedure is typically well-tolerated without it.
  3. Injection Technique:
    • Use a fine needle to inject small amounts of Botox into the orbicularis oculi muscle at multiple points around the lateral canthus (outer corner of the eye).
    • Typical dosage ranges from 10 to 15 units per side, depending on the severity of the wrinkles and the patient’s anatomy.
    • Administer the injections symmetrically to ensure balanced results.
  4. Post-Injection Care
    • Advise the patient to avoid lying down or massaging the treated area for at least four hours post-injection.
    • Recommend avoiding strenuous exercise and alcohol for 24 hours.
    • Inform the patient that results will begin to appear within 3 to 7 days, with full effects visible at around two weeks.


  • Effective Wrinkle Reduction: Botox is highly effective in smoothing out dynamic wrinkles like crow’s feet, providing a more youthful appearance.
  • Non-Surgical: The procedure is minimally invasive with no need for incisions or significant downtime.
  • Quick Procedure: The entire treatment typically takes less than 30 minutes, making it convenient for patients.


  • Dosage: It’s crucial to use the appropriate amount of Botox to avoid complications such as ptosis (drooping eyelids) or an unnatural appearance.
  • Injection Technique: Proper injection technique is essential to achieve optimal results. The injector should have a thorough understanding of facial anatomy.
  • Patient Expectations: Clearly communicate with patients about realistic outcomes and the temporary nature of Botox. Results generally last 3 to 4 months, requiring repeat treatments to maintain the effect.
  • Potential Side Effects: Common side effects include mild swelling, bruising, and redness at the injection sites. Rare but serious complications can occur, such as allergic reactions or infection.

By mastering the use of Botox for treating crow’s feet, cosmetic doctors can offer their patients a reliable and effective solution for reducing the signs of aging around the eyes. With careful assessment, precise technique, and thorough patient education, Botox injections can yield highly satisfactory results.

Combining Dermal Fillers and Botox

Combining dermal fillers and Botox can significantly enhance the overall outcome for patients seeking to reduce crow’s feet. While Botox targets dynamic wrinkles by relaxing the underlying muscles, dermal fillers address static lines by adding volume and smoothing the skin’s surface. This dual approach allows for a more comprehensive treatment, targeting multiple aspects of the aging process simultaneously.


  1. Patient Assessment
    • Begin with a thorough assessment of the patient’s skin condition, wrinkle depth, and facial structure.
    • Discuss the patient’s aesthetic goals and expectations to determine the most suitable combination of treatments.
  2. Treatment Plan
    • Develop a tailored treatment plan that outlines the specific areas to be treated with Botox and dermal fillers.
    • Decide the sequence of injections, typically starting with Botox to relax the muscles followed by dermal fillers to smooth out the wrinkle.
  3. Botox Administration:
    • Use a fine needle to inject small amounts of Botox into the orbicularis oculi muscles around the eyes.
    • Ensure precise placement to target the muscles responsible for crow’s feet without affecting adjacent areas.
  4. Dermal Filler Application:
    • After Botox has been administered, proceed with dermal fillers to fill in the static lines and restore volume.
    • Use a cannula or needle to inject the filler into the dermal layer, focusing on the lateral canthal lines and periorbital hollows.
  5.  Post-Treatment Care:
    • Provide patients with detailed aftercare instructions to minimize swelling and bruising.
    • Schedule a follow-up appointment to assess the results and make any necessary adjustments.


Combining Botox and dermal fillers offers a more holistic approach to wrinkle reduction, addressing both dynamic and static wrinkles. This combination results in smoother, more youthful skin with natural-looking outcomes.

Longer-Lasting Results

The synergistic effect of Botox and dermal fillers can prolong the duration of the results, as Botox reduces muscle activity that contributes to wrinkle formation, allowing the fillers to last longer.

Tailored Approach

Customizing the treatment plan for each patient ensures that specific aesthetic concerns are effectively addressed. This personalized approach leads to higher patient satisfaction and better overall results.

Post-Treatment Care

After administering dermal fillers and Botox for crow’s feet, it’s crucial to provide patients with comprehensive aftercare instructions to ensure optimal results and minimize potential side effects.

  1. Avoid Touching the Treated Area: Advise patients not to touch, rub, or massage the treated area for at least 24 hours to prevent displacement of the product.
  2. Ice Application: Recommend applying a cold compress or ice pack wrapped in a cloth to the treated area to reduce swelling and discomfort. Patients should apply ice for 15-20 minutes every hour as needed on the first day.
  3. Avoid Strenuous Activities: Encourage patients to avoid vigorous physical activities, heavy lifting, and intense exercise for at least 24-48 hours post-treatment to reduce the risk of bruising and swelling.
  4. Head Position: Suggest keeping the head elevated and avoiding bending over for the first few hours after treatment to prevent product migration.
  5. Avoid Heat Exposure: Patients should avoid hot showers, saunas, and sun exposure for at least 24 hours to minimize the risk of swelling and redness.
  6. Medication Guidance: Advise against the use of blood-thinning medications such as aspirin, ibuprofen, and certain supplements (e.g., fish oil, vitamin E) for a few days post-treatment unless necessary for medical reasons. Acetaminophen can be used for pain relief if needed.

Long-term Maintenance

To maintain the results of dermal fillers and Botox and promote overall skin health, patients should follow these long-term care guidelines:

  1. Skincare Routine: Encourage a consistent skincare routine that includes gentle cleansing, moisturizing, and the use of products containing ingredients like hyaluronic acid, retinoids, and antioxidants to support skin health and prolong treatment effects.
  2. Sun Protection:  Stress the importance of daily sunscreen use with at least SPF 30 to protect the skin from UV damage and prevent further wrinkle formation.
  3. Healthy Lifestyle: Advise patients to maintain a healthy diet, stay hydrated, avoid smoking, and manage stress, as these factors can significantly impact skin appearance and overall health.
  4. Follow-up Treatments: Schedule regular follow-up appointments to assess the results and determine the need for touch-up treatments. Dermal fillers typically last 6-12 months, while Botox effects last 3-4 months. Regular maintenance sessions will ensure continuous, optimal results.
  5. Monitoring for Complications: Educate patients on signs of potential complications such as prolonged swelling, redness, pain, or infection, and instruct them to contact your office immediately if these occur.

Potential Complications

While dermal fillers and Botox are generally safe, it is important to be aware of and manage potential complications:

  1. Bruising and Swelling: Mild bruising and swelling are common and usually resolve within a few days. Patients can use arnica gel or take bromelain supplements to help reduce bruising.
  2. Allergic Reactions: Although rare, some patients may experience allergic reactions. Be vigilant in taking a thorough medical history and performing a patch test if necessary.
  3. Infection: Ensure that the injection sites are kept clean, and advise patients to watch for signs of infection such as increased redness, warmth, or pus.
  4. Asymmetry or Lumps: In cases where there is uneven distribution or lumps, patients should be reassured that these often resolve on their own. If necessary, gentle massage or follow-up treatments can correct these issues.

By providing detailed post-treatment care instructions and maintaining open communication, you can enhance patient satisfaction and achieve the best possible outcomes in treating crow’s feet with dermal fillers and Botox.


Utilizing dermal fillers and Botox offers cosmetic doctors effective solutions for treating crow’s feet. These techniques provide immediate, natural-looking results with minimal downtime, enhancing patient satisfaction. By staying informed on the latest advancements and combining treatments strategically, practitioners can achieve superior outcomes. Embrace these methods to help patients maintain a youthful, rejuvenated appearance and boost their confidence.

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