How much Botox would I need to lose my crow's feet?
I've had Botox for the frown lines between my eyebrows two times and both times, I was given 25 units. I'm tossing around the idea of getting Botox for my crow's feet but, as is often the case, money is a concern. Can you give me an idea of how many units of Botox I'd need to get a handle on my crow's feet? I don't even mind if I'm left with a few very fine wrinkles so it looks more natural and less like I've had work done.
Crow's feet cover a small area of the face. The muscles responsible for causing crow’s feet are relatively delicate muscles and, as such, do not require the same quantity of Botox as the larger frontalis muscle which causes forehead lines, or the glabellar muscles between the eyes.
Different providers estimate different quantities of Botox to effectively treat this area. While some Botox providers deliver 10 injections in total (five for each eye), Allergan (the manufacturer of Botox) recommends up to 24 units of Botox for optimum treatment of crow’s feet. Experienced plastic surgeons often try to achieve a "softening" of the crow's feet while still retaining some fine lines or eye wrinkles because they add warmth and character to the face. Too much Botox around the eyes can create a frozen look. Many plastic surgeons prefer to inject conservatively, see how the patient responds to treatment, and then inject further units if necessary when the patient returns for a two-week evaluation.
The variation in the number of units of Botox required for crow’s feet also depends on the depth of the wrinkles, the extension of the wrinkles from the lateral canthus (the outer part of the eye), and the muscle strength and size of the orbicularis oculi muscle. Deeper lines extending from the outer eye require more units of Botox for correction. In some cases, dermal fillers such as Restylane may also be required to fill in deeply etched lines.
Without seeing images of your crow's feet, it is difficult to estimate how many units are needed to achieve your aesthetic goals. If you are happy to preserve some of the fine lines around your eyes, then it is likely that you could benefit from some conservative use of Botox to address your crow’s feet. It is highly unlikely that the treatment of this area would require as many Botox units as the glabellar lines.
Crow’s feet generally require less Botox than other parts of the face, such as forehead lines or frown lines. The number of units of Botox required depends on the number of lines you have extending from your eyes, the depth of the lines, and the extent to which you activate the muscles around the eyes when you smile or squint.
Some patients who only have a single line can benefit from as few as four units of Botox on each side, while others may need 12 units or more to rejuvenate and refresh the appearance of the eyes. On average, men require more units of Botox than women to successfully address crow’s feet. In some patients, asymmetry means one side of the face will require more injections than the other.
If the lines or wrinkles extending from the eyes are static (they remain in place even when you are not smiling, laughing or squinting), you may benefit from Botox and dermal fillers for maximum effect. A dermal filler such as Belotero or Juvederm can fill in deeply entrenched wrinkles, renewing the area around the eyes with a plump and youthful appearance.
I recommend that you schedule an appointment with a board-certified plastic surgeon with considerable Botox experience. In the hands of an expert, Botox can produce stunning results that will dramatically refresh your eyes. Experienced plastic surgeons will analyze your facial anatomy and the way that you express emotion, assess for facial asymmetry, and then determine the necessary dosage and treatment areas. Expert injectors also tend to inject conservatively and then add touch-ups later if needed, which allows for more natural results and a more cost-effective approach. Too much Botox in the crow’s feet can lead to swelling around the injection sites.
Avoid plastic surgeons or injectors who follow a set dose/price approach as you may end up with more Botox than you need and an unnatural look.
25 units in my experience is a reasonable amount for the area between the eyebrows.
In our practice, I will start patients with 5 units of Botox on each side of crow's feet if the lines are mild, but most patients need 10-12 units per side. For severe crow's feet, I often give 20 units a size. You will need to be seen in person to say how much.