Foot Botox – the bridal trend dividing the beauty industry

The height of elegance or a step too far? 

When it comes to high heels, many of us have come to accept that no pain equals no gain, but what if we could remove the pain element? This trail of thought is said to be encouraging many bride-to-bes to look into the possibilities of Foot Botox (AKA Stiletto Lift), a procedure where a combination of Botox and dermal filler is injected into the arch of the foot. Unlike most Botox and filler treatments, the injection is not for aesthetic purposes, but instead has the goal of manipulating what the foot can (or can’t) feel. Paralysing the muscles in your heel bone, filler is also injected into the ball of the foot, effectively adding a ‘cushioning’ to reduce discomfort and allow you to party the night away pain free! But whilst we LOVE the idea of gaining some level of autonomy over the length of time we can wear our most glamorous shoes, we can’t help but ponder whether this is just an expensive fad with some hidden catches...  


What is Foot Botox? 

It may come as a surprise that Botox (botulinum toxin) injections can be used for several different problems in the feet, explains Professor Caitriona Ryan, a Dermatologist at The Institute of Dermatologists, Ireland. ‘The most common use is for the treatment of sweaty feet, when hyperhidrosis (abnormal sweating) is causing a significant impact on a patient’s daily functioning. This can be effective in reducing sweating for up to 9 months in some cases.’ Botox injections can also be used to help plantar fasciitis. ‘Plantar fasciitis is inflammation of the fibrous tissue along the sole of the foot and can cause intense heel pain. Physiotherapy, rest, and orthotics are the mainstay of therapy, but small studies have shown a benefit of Botox in improving the pain of plantar fasciitis.’ More recently, there has been a trend to use Botox injections to relax the muscles around the heel bone, reducing the pain caused by muscle tension from wearing high heels. The effects typically last 3-4 months. I spend most of my waking life in high-heels and have been lucky enough never to have suffered from heel pain, but I might consider this if my heels were off the table,’ says Caitriona.  


What prep is needed?  

None! No prep is needed like facial Botox. 


What are the risks?  

The typical side effects are swelling and bruising. On rare occasions a patient may have a hypersensitivity reaction or develop an infection at the injection site,’ says Caitriona. ‘Always opt for a medical provider such as a doctor, dentist or nurse who is equipped to deal with the complications should they occur.’ 


If you have used Botox for the face, should you be eligible for this? 

Yes, most people would be eligible. 


The Mini SKINday Times Verdict 

Foot Botox is a little how it sounds – extravagant, kind of unnecessary but also strangely genius. As a practical way for you to extend the wear-time of your most impractical shoes, Foot Botox is likely to appeal to DIE HARD heel lovers and those seeking one-off treatments for special occasions. The main issues are finding a clinic that offers it (which is still few and far between) and the cost, which is predicted to be around the €500 mark per session. If you would like to try it, we recommend that you research your clinic and practitioner thoroughly beforehand.  


For more information, please contact The Institute of Dermatologists, Ireland 

Images: Oliver Bonas and Office, PR Shots

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