Why Dermal Fillers are Used in the Foot

Dermal fillers are injections that are used to fill or plump areas of the face and body. Each filler that is sold in the United States has undergone testing by the Federal Drug Administration and has been found to be safe and effective at filling out lines, wrinkles, vocal cord defects, and body defects.  Some common fillers are called Restylane, Juvederm, Radiesse, Sculptra, and Renuva. 
Fillers can be used in the foot. The purpose of using a filler in the foot is to provide a cushion to an area that has lost padding. Some people state that they "are walking on pebbles", "can't walk barefoot at home" or simply cannot wear high heels.  
Loss of foot padding can be caused by trauma (bone breaks and fractures), previous cortisone or steroid injections, foot deformities such as bunions and hammered toes, autoimmune conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, neuropathy, and diabetes.
Neuromas are also commonly associated with pressure and pain in the ball of the foot. Loss of foot padding can lead to nerve pain and both conditions should be treated at the same time.
It is also common for patients to complain about heel pain and relate it to plantar fasciitis, which is the most common cause of pain in the bottom of the heel. Often times patients have been mistakenly treated for plantar fasciitis and given cortisone or steroid injections making the condition worse. 
In the foot, there are layers of tissue. Under the skin is the fatty area that provides shock absorption when a person walks. Next is the layer of muscles and bones. If there is a loss of padding, essentially the bone then sits just under the skin. There is no cushioning and the skin takes the brunt of the load and a corn or callus may develop. The purpose of the foot filler is to act as a cushion between the skin and the bone so that you can walk comfortably. Fillers injected into the foot can last from one to five years depending on the location, amount of fat pad loss and a person's gait pattern and activity level. 
When you make a consultation with Dr. Schoenhaus or Dr. Gold, they will evaluate your condition. An in-office x-ray or ultrasound may be used to see how much loss of fat there is. Next, the filler is inserted into the foot. Post-procedure there is little discomfort. It is recommended that sneakers are worn for a few days. 

For clarification, Botox is not a filler. Botox is a muscle inhibitor. It works by targeting nerve endings to a muscle making motion inhibited. Botox is used in the foot, mostly for tissue conditions such as a tight Achilles tendon or plantar fasciitis.  It is also used to treat excessive sweating called hyperhidrosis.  


- Dr. Jodi Schoenhaus

Jodi Schoenhaus

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