Botox for Crow's Feet: Avoiding a Frozen Look

My dilemma: I like wrinkles around the eyes. They show warmth and happiness. The problem is that now I have LOTs of wrinkles that are way too long and deep for my age (30). I now look haggard rather than happy. Is it possible for botox to soften and decrease the wrinkling, but still to leave some wrinkles? Would that simply mean injecting fewer units? I would hate to have my eye area frozen!!

Doctor Answers 21

You do not need to be frozen to have a great result.

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It is important to understand that you need to make smile lines when you smile or your smile will look insincere.  By customizing the amount of BOTOX using Microdroplet methods, it is possible to gain a very precise treatment effect.  Also the crows feet area benefits from fillers which helps support the skin and reduce the static lines.

Beverly Hills Oculoplastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

You can avoid a frozen look with Botox

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Good question. An experienced injector will know how many Botox units to inject so that you look natural and don't lose all of your wrinkles. Just explain what you would like during your consultation. Botox reduces muscle activity but does not radically change it. Botox is best injected by a certified plastic surgeon or dermatologist.

Botox for crow's feet? Avoiding a frozen look.

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  You are absolutely right!  Explain you wishes and your concerns to the doctor ann ask him to treat you with his recommended minimal number of units.

Lawrence Kass, MD
Saint Petersburg Oculoplastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 138 reviews

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Botox around the eyes without looking frozen

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Smiling involves muscles other than those around the eyes that are injected with Botox to eliminate crows feet therefore the frozen look is avoidable. It sounds like you would benefit from resurfacing procedures or retinoids to increase the elasticity in your skin-- it will help reduce the appearance of the crow's feet.

Dina D. Strachan, MD
New York Dermatologist

Botox, Dysport, Wrinkle Treatment, Beverly Hills Botox Dyspor

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  No, you should be able to find someone with the proper experience using either Botox or Dysport so you can gradually soften these lines and wrinkles to some reasonable extend.  I have used Botox for over 20 years and the "frozen face" is something that doesn't look good and should be avoided.  It's much more common when large amounts of Botox or Dysport are used to completely immobilize the entire forehead.

Botulinu m Toxin (Dysport or Botox) in moderation!

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There is no doubt that you can proceed with baby steps and have the Botulinum Toxin (Dysport or Botox) injected in moderation. Perhaps you should start with 4-6 units per side.  

Botox for laugh lines

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Botox will soften the appearance of the laugh lines but will not make them go away completely when they are as you describe.   The laugh lines occur from both squinting your eyes, and from smiling.  The Botox will relax the muscle in that area (the orbicularis oculi) responsible for the squinting.  It will have no effect on the mid-face musculature that raises your cheeks upward with a smile.  So you will still have your warm smile lines with smiling. 

You can have a dose that completely relaxes the orbicularis at that site without worry of affecting the mid-face muscles.


Kathleen Archer MD

Oculofacial Plastic & Reconstructive Surgeon

Houston, TX

Kathleen F. Archer, MD
Houston Oculoplastic Surgeon

Botox Works For Giving A Natural, Not Frozen Result For Wrinkles

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Having nearly twenty years of experience with Botox for cosmetic purposes, I have seen many changes in its use throughout the years. In the beginning, freezing the muscles of facial expression, such as those that cause crow's feet on the sides of the eyes, or the of the scowl (frown) lines between the brows, or of the "worry" lines across the forehead was the desired result.

Nowadays, this kind of "frozen" look, i.e. freezing the expression line muscles with either Dysport or Botox, is not desirable and often the result of the work of an inexperienced injector. With careful physician technique,  precise placement of material, and control of the concentration and amounts injected, a smooth appearance at rest (i.e. when not making any facial expressions), as well as the ability to make natural facial expressions when desired are achievable.

It is not possible to get a frozen look with botox around the crow's feet.

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Botox does great for crow's feet wrinkles and is almost impossible to make them look frozen.  you will still have a natural look when you smile.  sincerely,

david hansen,md

David Hansen, MD
Beverly Hills Dermatologic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 46 reviews

Crows feet botox

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So in essence the answer is yes- it is possible to get injections of neurotoxin around the eyes to "soften" the crows feet and not erase all lines. A discussion with your injecting physician on your desires is very important (even pointing out the lines you like in a mirror) so that the appropriate treatment can be given.

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.