Friday, November 06, 2009
Australian fashionista are turning to botox and filler injections for their feet to cope with the fashion for 10cm stilettos. Recent reports revealed many women were paying up the $1500 for elective, cosmetic procedures. Some were having hyaluronic acid (also known as hyaluronan) injected into the balls of their feet to numb foot pain and others with botox injections to cope with pain from prolonged wearing of high heeled shoes. Hyaluronic Acid is a polysaccharide composed of alternating molecules of N-acetyl glucosamine and D-glucuronic acid and is found naturally within collagen throughout the body. It is an important space filling substance and holds water to keep collegan fibres hydrated. Hyaluronic acid has for some time been used topically in creams to rejuvenate skin (epidermis) and is found in many preparatory skin products. Tests have shown intra-articular injections of hyaluronan into the knee can decrease pain and improve mobility in people suffering from knee osteoarthritis. Although well tolerated generally there have been some minor localised side effects reported including bruising, redness, swelling, pain, tenderness and itching. These usually resolve after a few days and to date no long-term side effects have been reported. As a precaution hyaluronic acid gel is not recommended in people with severe allergies. No one is yet sure how hyaluronic acid viscosupplementation works but the resultant increase of viscoelasticity of the synovial fluid appears to play a role. Hyaluronic acid remains in the tissues for a short time (hours to days) but the long term effects last approx. 6 months. Botox injection is now the most common cosmetic operation despite the Botulinum toxin considered to be a lethal naturally occurring substance. When injected in the foot it acts as an analgesic to reduce focal painful neuropathies. All cosmetic treatments are of limited duration, and can be as short a period as six weeks, but can last between 3 and 8 months. At the extremely low doses botulinum toxin has a very low degree of toxicity. Sales of silicone inserts for shoes have also increased as the high heel fashion prevails.