What Are Periorbital Wrinkles?

As you age, your skin becomes less elastic. As a result, your skin begins to sag, causing wrinkles on the face and body. This occurrence can be a cosmetic concern, particularly if you feel you are aging prematurely. Knowing how to minimize the causes of periorbital wrinkles, and how to treat them if they do occur, can help you to minimize their appearance.


Your eyes squint, move, open and close--all repeated actions that can lead to skin wrinkling, according to Fraxel.com. Repeated contractions and relaxations of the eye muscles can lead to wrinkling. Certain actions can accelerate wrinkling, such as repeated sun exposure that causes wrinkling and smoking, which can damage the skin and cause premature aging. As you age, the collagen in your skin slowly breaks down, which causes deep wrinkling in the skin, according to “Good Housekeeping” magazine.


Periorbital wrinkles refer to wrinkling around the eyes, according to Dr. Raffy Karamanoukian, a Los Angeles, California-based plastic surgeon writing on Real Self. These wrinkles can be either dynamic, meaning they appear when you move the skin, or static, meaning the wrinkles remain when your facial muscles are not contracted. Static wrinkles are caused by loss of elasticity to the skin, while dynamic wrinkles are the result of overactive eye muscles.

Time Frame

Periorbital wrinkles tend to develop more quickly than other wrinkles, according to Fraxel.com. This is because the eye area is thinner and more delicate. If you have experienced a significant amount of sun exposure or smoke, you may begin seeing wrinkles and sagging in the eyes in your 30s, according to “Good Housekeeping.”


Because squinting can lead to periorbital wrinkles known as “crow’s feet,” wearing sunglasses and a hat when going into the sun can reduce the amount of squinting you perform, according to Fraxel.com. You also can wear sunscreen or a moisturizer containing sunscreen with a sun protection factor of 15 or higher to protect the skin under the eyes from the sun’s ultraviolet radiation. Keeping the skin moisturized also can help to keep the skin hydrated and minimize the appearance of fine lines. Take care when applying these creams to the delicate eye area, however. Pat gently and avoid letting the cream get into the eye.


Periorbital wrinkling can be a cosmetic concern that makes you appear older than you are. To treat these wrinkles, you can utilize over-the-counter eye creams that contain active ingredients such as alpha hydroxy acids that can stimulate elastic fiber growth, according to Go Ask Alice, a healthcare resource website from Columbia University. If these treatments fail to work, your dermatologist may be able to prescribe a treatment cream, such as tretinoin or retinoic acid. Other treatments include laser resurfacing and/or plastic surgery. Because the skin under the eye is very delicate, you should carefully consider each treatment method.