Surgery for Crow’s Feet

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Those fine lines around your eyes are one of the first and most visible signs that you’re getting older, says dermatologist Fredric Brandt in “Allure” magazine. The combination of depleted fat and collagen stores in that area and reduced skin elasticity creates a fine network of lines often referred to as crow’s feet. If you’ve got them, surgery may be one way to make them less noticeable.


Identification

A brow lift is the best way to get rid of crow’s feet, explains the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. The brow lift — also known as the forehead lift — tightens the skin around your forehead, which smooths out wrinkles at the corners of your eyes as well as lines on your forehead. It also lifts your brows, which can make crow’s feet less noticeable — sagging brows may exacerbate wrinkles at the corners of the eyes.

Expert Insight

For best results, the American Society of Plastic Surgeons recommends getting a skin rejuvenation treatment in addition to a brow lift. Skin rejuvenation, which can take the form of microdermabrasion, chemical peels or laser treatments, refreshes the surface layer of the skin to make wrinkles less noticeable. Skin rejuvenation can be a good addition to a brow lift because it treats dynamic wrinkles — the ones that appear when you smile or laugh — as well as the permanent wrinkles that a brow lift can correct.

Misconceptions

Many people associate eye lifts with crow’s feet, but blepharoplasty, or eyelid surgery, actually focuses on tightening up your actual eyelid and doesn’t make a significant difference in the appearance of crow’s feet. If you have droopy eyes, puffy eyelids or bags under your eyes, an eye lift can help, but it doesn’t target the problems that cause crow’s feet.

Warning

A brow lift is a surgical procedure, and you should expect it to take five to 10 days for initial healing and even longer for all bruising and soreness to fade. Make sure your plastic surgeon is certified and experienced in performing brow lifts, and be aware that, as with any surgical procedure, plastic surgery carries a small but serious risk of complications, including scarring, infection and nerve damage. Educate yourself about the risks and potential benefits of getting a brow lift before you decide to schedule one.

Considerations

Often, the best treatment for crow’s feet isn’t surgery, says Jeffrey Benabio, a dermatologist for Kaiser Permanente in San Diego, in “O, The Oprah Magazine.” If you already have crow’s feet, keep them from getting worse by wearing broad-spectrum sunscreen every day and using a nighttime retinol cream to stimulate collagen production. Injections like Botox that freeze and stabilize targeted muscles can also make crow’s feet less noticeable without surgery.

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