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What are Crows' Feet?

Mary McMahon
By
Updated May 21, 2024
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Crows' feet are small wrinkles which appear around the eye, classically starting at the outer corner of the eye. Many people associate them with age, as they tend to deepen and expand with age, and some people consider them to be an undesirable trait. A number of products and services can be found for people who want to reduce their crows' feet, although most dermatologists agree that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure in this case, and recommend a number of techniques for preventing the formation of crow's feet in the first place.

As you might imagine from the name, crows' feet can look sort of like the foot of a many-toed crow planted on the corner of the eye. They typically start small, slowly expanding and deepening with time, and they tend to be the first wrinkles to appear on the face. Over time, wrinkles will appear on other regions of the face as well, such as the forehead and cheeks.

The primary cause for crows' feet is exposure to sunlight. Sunlight ages the skin, and it also encourages people to squint, wrinkling the skin around their faces. Smoking is also a risk factor, because smokers tend to squint to protect their eyes from the irritants in the smoke. These wrinkles also tend to appear more rapidly in people with indifferent skincare regimens.

To prevent crows' feet, doctors recommend wearing a hat while in the sun, along with sunglasses. Smoking cessation is also a good idea, as in addition to reducing the appearance of wrinkles, it will also have other health benefits. Taking good care of the skin on the face with rich moisturizing creams is recommended as well, along with stretches to keep the skin and muscles of the face toned.

Even with preventative measures, crows' feet will still appear, although they may be smaller than they would be otherwise. They are simply part of the aging process. For people who really take issue with crows' feet, various surgical techniques can be used to smooth the skin, at least temporarily, and some people also use Botox injections to treat them. It is important to remember that these treatments come with complications, however, and some people prefer the distinguished look of a few wrinkles to the potential risks of cosmetic surgery.

BeautyAnswered is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a BeautyAnswered researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Discussion Comments
By anon331854 — On Apr 25, 2013

In the article it says "along with stretches to keep the skin and muscles of the face toned". How in the world would you do "stretches" for the face? I really want to know so I can include that as part of my daily workout routines!

By andee — On Nov 04, 2012

I spent a lot of time in the sun when I was younger and was not very good about putting sunscreen on my face or wearing sun glasses. I think I am paying the price for that now because I have more crows' feet than most other people my age.

When I look in the mirror I don't like seeing these wrinkles around my eyes, and they stand out even more when I smile or laugh. I feel like I look older than I really am because of my crows' feet.

I have been considering getting Botox injections because nothing else I have tried has made any difference. I am curious how much something like this would cost and how often I would have to get it done. If it made me look younger I think it would be worth it. Nobody likes getting older and I think it's OK to do a few things that will help keep you looking younger. The last thing I want to do is look older than I really am.

By honeybees — On Nov 03, 2012

I am in my 50's and most everyone my age has a few crows' feet around their eyes. I guess this is something I don't worry too much about. I see wrinkles as part of the aging process and since it happens so gradually it isn't a big deal to me.

I have a few friends who really get uptight over getting crows' feet and seeing their first wrinkle or two. One friend I know has received Botox injections for crows' feet, but I don't think it would be worth the money or possible side effects.

By golf07 — On Nov 02, 2012

@anon247547 -- I have read in beauty magazines that sliced cucumbers are good for your skin and have often seen pictures in magazines with eyes covered with sliced cucumbers. I have never tried this myself, but there must be something to it because I have seen this several times. I would love to know if this has worked for anyone. It would be a pretty cheap way to go compared to the cost of a lot of products and creams out there.

By literally45 — On Oct 31, 2012

@simrin-- The other main cause of crows' feet aside from sun exposure is skin losing its elasticity over time. Our skin maintains elasticity thanks to something called collagen. Collagen naturally decreases as we age, which causes wrinkles to appear. You can however take collagen to help slow down this process.

Collagen is naturally present in some foods, especially in animal bone and cartilage. So for example, boiling bones and cartilage to make beef broth is an excellent way to get collagen the natural way. You can also take collagen supplements in capsule form.

Collagen supplements and even collagen candies are currently the rave in Asia. Girls in their twenties are taking them to prevent wrinkles in the future. I think they will also be popular in the US soon.

By SteamLouis — On Oct 31, 2012

What is it about aging that causes crows' feet and other wrinkles to appear?

I just turned forty and I'm starting to see crows' feet around my eyes. I can't even imagine how I will look ten years from now when things get worse.

By fBoyle — On Oct 30, 2012

@pleats-- That probably works because I have seen a couple of eye care products for wrinkles that have grapeseed oil in them. If grapeseed oil helps with crows' feet, I'm sure fresh grapes do too.

I think I have some grapes at home, I'm going to go try this right now. Thanks for the tip!

By anon278570 — On Jul 07, 2012

A dermaroller would be very good for crows feet!

By anon247547 — On Feb 14, 2012

What about slices of cucumber placed directly on the crows feet?

By anon105616 — On Aug 21, 2010

Aloe vera works the best for crows feet! The aloe vera plant. Not the cream. Da'vi

By galen84basc — On Aug 01, 2010

@FirstViolin -- I've tried about every crows feet treatment out there, but I've never gone the injectable route.

I'm always too scared of something going wrong -- the collagen not taking properly, or having some sort of eye paralysis from the Botox.

I know that they're safe, but like you, I just can't get over the idea of having a needle that close to my eye.

By FirstViolin — On Aug 01, 2010

Has anybody ever tried the injections for crows feet?

I can't imagine getting a needle that close to my eye!

But maybe it's worth it -- has anybody tried it?

By pleats — On Aug 01, 2010

One home remedy for crows feet that I've heard of is to take a green grape, cut it in half, and rub it along the sides of your eyes.

People say that the anti-oxidants from the grape can help renew the skin around your eyes, preventing crows feet, if you use it regularly.

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

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