Crow’s feet and laugh lines are endearing terms to describe what are more commonly known as eye wrinkles. Eye wrinkles can result from many different factors—often a combination of factors. Determining the main culprit in any given individual is difficult. Most likely, the causes of eye wrinkles vary from person to person. All people, though, regardless of age and ethnicity, eventually succumb to eye wrinkles.
Some people are genetically predisposed to having more or less eye wrinkling than others. If most of the people in your family have eye wrinkles, you’ll probably have them, too.
By nature, facial expressions actually form the pattern of what will eventually become eye wrinkles. With each facial expression, ten or more muscles contract and extend to show if you are happy, sad, surprised and so on. These movement patterns lay the groundwork for eye wrinkles. Sleep patterns, such as smashing your face into the pillow, or constant squinting can also lead to wrinkles.
Sun, Sun, Sun
Sun exposure can independently cause wrinkles in two ways. The first is from squinting into the sun. Second, prolonged exposure to UV rays can give your skin a leathery appearance not only on your body but around your eyes as well.
Injury can increase wrinkles around your eyes. Also, the delicate skin around your eyes is easily damaged by allergies or chemicals that may come in contact with the skin, such as from cigarette smoke. Especially with the risk of injury, wear protective eyewear whenever indicated, and see a physician if an injury occurs.
Eye wrinkles cannot be prevented, but they can be reduced through small lifestyle changes like sunglass usage, injury prevention and limiting sun exposure; you cannot, however, change your genetics. Various cosmetic procedures can be done to reduce the look of wrinkles. WebMD interviewed Robin Ashinoff, M.D., a dermatologist at the Hackensack University Medical Center in New Jersey, and he said, “Many women as well as men believe that aging skin is inevitable, but with the information and technologies we have today, you really can look as young as you feel.”