Summary of Chapter 13
Plant thy foot firmly in the prints, which His foot has made before thee.– Joseph Barber Lightfoot
Even in her 80s, she loved to tango and told me, “As long as I can wear heels, I’ll always feel young.” Unfortunately, calluses threatened to stand between Charlotte, her heels, and her ability to feel much younger than her years.
A callus is an abnormal amount of dead, thickened skin that builds up on an area like the bottom of your feet. They can be yellowish-red in color and they don’t feel like the rest of the skin on your soles. Primary locations include the ball of the foot (usually under the second metatarsal) and the end of your heel. Calluses don’t look pretty or feel soft to the touch, but they’re actually there to help. Your body produces them as protection to cushion underlying bone from pressure at points where there is little fat or natural padding. This may happen more as you age, since the fat pads on your feet tend to lose their plumpness.
Injectable fillers are a cutting-edge way to reduce calluses on the ball of the foot, which you typically get because you don’t have enough cushioning to support the weight being placed on this area. It also alleviates the burning sensation many of us get in that area that makes it hard to wear heels. At the Institute Beauté, we advanced this procedure called Pillows for Your Feet®. Here, FDA-approved filling agents which are used for smoothing lines and wrinkles on the face – like Sculptra, which is poly-L-lactic acid, or Radiesse, a calcium hydroxylapatite – are injected into the ball of the foot. Results are immediate and the cushioning you feel is somewhat like walking on plush carpet. This is a favorite of many of my female celebrity clients who spend a lot of time in heels. Since the filler material breaks down over time, you need injections about every six to nine months. Each procedure takes about 30 minutes. Make sure that the person doing the procedure is practiced at the technique. (This is a procedure that was developed and refined at the Institute Beauté. We have trained dozens of doctors from around the world to do this procedure, most members of the IAFS. It is important to inject the right amount into the right area of the foot.) After this, you walk out of the office and feel extra cushioning immediately. The advantages of the material we use at The Institute Beauté is that it stimulates the body’s production of its own collagen—this both improves the treatment and makes it last longer. The fillers I mentioned are just a few that are currently FDA approved for cosmetic use. There are many fillers that are used elsewhere—such as in Europe, that are not FDA approved.Foot Facials®. Another treatment that can keep calluses from getting worse is a Foot Facial®. We developed and refined this technique at the Institute Beauté—we do them using a footbath, thermal exfoliating scrub, mint mask, nail bleach, electric rotary nail and callus file, glycolic acid treatment pads and glycolic acid foot cream.
In this chapter of My Feet Are Killing Me Dr. Levine discusses:
- What is a callus?
- What causes calluses?
- Can calluses be mistaken for something else?
- If calluses aren’t a problem, why are they sometimes painful?
- How does a pain-free callus suddenly become painful?
- How do you break the bad callus cycle?
- Over-the-counter Callus Creams
- Do not try this at home
- I can’t dream these things up – Fish Pedicures
- Your At-Home Callus Solution
- Real Patient Recap: Dr. Levine helps Charlotte tango in style to the very end of her elegant and inspired life.