In December 2009, the Daily Mail ran an article talking about using dermal fillers to provide ‘cushioning’ for sore feet a procedure that was already being offered in the US for about 5 years, but was not widely known in the UK. It was about this time, the Podiatry profession opened to cosmetic aesthetic procedures, allowing podiatrists to extend their scope of practice. I was one of those podiatrists who trained under Martin Harvey’s Masterclasses. Martin an aesthetic practitioner, had setup a training school with accredited courses to teach podiatrists to be proficient in the application of injectables for cosmetic purposes, recognisable by the major cosmetic insurance company Hamilton Fraser.

Over a period of 2 years I undertook a modular training programme and exams to offer my patients a new clinical service. This directly led me to setup Compleet Aesthetics Body and Face Clinic. I don’t do any facial cosmetic injectables anymore, as we  have a  skilled aesthetic practitioners who do, but I do still perform Volumising injections for feet.

Volumising foot injections are still not a widely-known procedure in the UK, but recently the Daily Mail again highlighted foot fillers as a great treatment for ladies wanting to wear high heels for longer periods of time. Dr Tracy Mountford, a multi-award winning cosmetic practitioner, in answer to a reader’s question, endorsed the application of dermal fillers to add ‘cushioning’ for feet. She only recommended this be done with clinicians with the right training and understanding of the anatomical structures of the foot. This is where I come in. I am one of only a handful of UK aesthetic podiatrists who is skilled to offer this treatment for patients.

Since 2009 dermal filler products have come on a long way. They are now longer lasting and far more malleable to use for injecting. Instead of lasting a couple of months they can now last 12-18, before they naturally break down and are safely eliminated by the body. Dermal fillers come in varying viscosities and are made of various kinds of natural, man-made or synthetic materials  developed for injection into the skin; including bovine or human derived collagen & hyaluronic acid. Hyaluronic acid is hydrophilic, meaning that it attracts water molecules to help plump tissues at injection site.

The application off injecting fillers into the feet is great whereby there is a reduction of tissue volume thickness, so tissues are vulnerable to stresses caused by walking and footwear, resulting in painful corns and callouses. Ladies who like to wear high heels can experience painful metatarsalgic pain in the balls of their feet. Despite cushioning pads, spending a fortune on buying more comfortable shoes they still get ‘stiletto-tarsalgia’. This can be resolved with safely volumising the soles of the feet to cushion, pad out specific painful areas. Women can then wear their heels for longer.

This procedure is also great for those painful pronounced hammer, retracted toes which keep on rubbing and get sore. A small amount of filler injected over the pronounced joint under local anaesthetic will quickly ease the discomfort, by creating additional protective padding. Troublesome corns can be banished.

One of the longer-term benefits of having foot filler injections is that the actual process of infiltrating the dermal layers of the skin with a very fine needle stimulates new collagen and elastin. This is termed collagen induction. By stimulating new collagen, the skin’s tissues are strengthened and become more resilient against shoe wearing stresses. Corns, even when the fillers degrade don’t always come back!

If you would like to learn more about dermal fillers in aesthetics, please go to the Consulting Room independent advisory website: