When you’re considering injecting Botox into your body, it’s likely that you’re thinking it’s going to go into your face. It’s true that Botox, a neurotoxin called botulinum toxin type A, is often used to treat fine lines and wrinkles on the face, but it actually has many uses.
“Neurotoxins work to reduce wrinkles, sculpt the face, reduce perspiration, and in some cases help manage pain,” says Deanne Robinson, MD, FAAD, chief medical officer of Ideal Image and the co-founder of Modern Dermatology PC. “The treatment works by temporarily blocking nerve impulses.”
One area that’s become more and more popular to inject Botox is the feet. According to Davis, someone would choose to inject the neurotoxin into their feet for one of two reasons: excessive sweating (hyperhidrosis) or foot pain. “Botulinum toxin injections temporarily block the nerve impulse in the body that stimulates the sweat glands,” she says. “Botox is also being studied and used off-label by podiatrists to treat neuropathy in the foot as well as common conditions like plantar fasciitis and systemic diseases that affect the feet like gout, diabetes mellitus, neurological disorders, and arthritis.”
Using Botox as a mechanism to treat foot pain has been on the uptick since the pandemic, as people have returned to wearing heels more and more. It’s proven to be an effective solution for certain types of foot pain. To treat pain, Botox is injected differently than it would be to treat sweat.
For example, if you have a condition like plantar fasciitis, which causes heel pain due to inflammation of a band of tissue that connects the heel bone to the toes, a doctor would inject Botox into the plantar fascia, says Davis. This helps treat pain by paralyzing the surrounding muscles on the heel bone that cause tugging. “For hyperhidrosis, the Botox would be injected all over the sole of the foot,” she says.
Is injecting Botox into your feet safe? Davis says yes, but with a caveat. “As long as it’s not masking pain connected to a bigger issue that needs to be treated, such as a fracture or underlying systemic disease,” she says. “Just as I wouldn’t recommend a podiatrist inject Botox in your face, I wouldn’t recommend seeing a derm for injections in the feet that could be related to an area of expertise only a podiatrist would have,” With that being said, phone a podiatrist for all foot Botox needs.
If you’re looking for less invasive ways to treat foot pain, there are definitely options available. “In some issues of chronic foot pain, Botox injections might be safer and have less side effects than taking oral steroids or pain medication, for example,” says Davis. We’ve compiled a few at-home remedies for foot pain that are safe to try—keep scrolling for more. If you’re dealing with chronic or intense foot pain, please consult your doctor before trying any at-home remedies.