Although best known for reducing certain signs of ageing, Botox is not limited to that use – far from it.
In fact, botulinum toxin injections in the feet are becoming increasingly popular around the world. This phenomenon is linked directly to the pandemic, and more precisely, to the long months spent in lockdown.
The most popular aesthetic procedure in the world, far ahead of hyaluronic acid injections, is botulinum toxin injections – aka Botox.
These injections have been booming for several years, attracting patients with their ability to get rid of certain wrinkles, fine lines and crow's feet, while making skin appear smoother – or younger – at least temporarily.
Young and old alike seem to swear by this world-famous technique. In fact, the #botox hashtag has some 4.5 billion views on TikTok, a social network that's nevertheless favoured by younger generations.
The craze for botulinum toxin injections is such that questionable practices have emerged in recent months.
Many countries, including France and the United Kingdom, have taken this problem in hand, either by raising public awareness or by tightening legislation.
The aim is twofold: to protect the youngest consumers, and to stamp out abuses linked to "fake injectors," people who are not qualified – and certainly not authorised – to carry out the said injections, and who most often emerge on social networks.
Such fraudulent practices have not, however, affected the popularity of this cosmetic procedure, whose uses are not limited to getting a more youthful-looking face.
This is something that can be seen today with the increase of injections of botulinum toxin in... the feet, according to dermatologists.
The benefits are supposedly intended to compensate for discomforts directly related to the repeated lockdowns associated with the Covid-19 pandemic.
Easing foot pain
Towering high heels were banished at the same time as the world went into lockdown, theoretically putting everyone into flats for a (very) long time. This was then compounded after the immediate urgency of the health crisis with an unprecedented craze for flat and comfortable shoes.
Nevertheless, some people have finally decided to slip back into stilettos, and at the same time, get re-acquainted with the associated plantar pains, which have merely increased after spending two years in slippers.
And this is where Botox can be useful, according to Dr Ava Shamban, an American dermatologist interviewed by Fashionista magazine, who says that Botox on the feet is once again attracting interest since the return to normal life.
"Strange as it may sound, two years of Covid have left many of us in even more agony from the sharp return of towering heels," she explains.
"Weight is distributed more evenly in flat shoes, [whereas] all of the pressure is thrust to the front of the foot in a heel," she adds, explaining the increased interest in Botox for the feet.
In fact, Botox apparently helps to relieve this type of pain, by "paralys[ing] the muscles on your heel bone", explains fellow dermatologist, Dr Kim Nichols.
Moreover, botulinum toxin can also be used to combat excessive sweating of the feet, not to mention the hands and armpits.
And these are not the only uses of Botox, which can also be used – by a qualified health professional – to treat certain spasms and migraines. A study conducted by researchers at the University of California, San Diego, recently showed that it could be effective in reducing anxiety in certain subjects.
However, Botox's most frequent use remains rooted in cosmetic medicine, and always in the hope of eliminating certain wrinkles. – AFP Relaxnews