Editorial note: an earlier version of this article was first published on March 8, 2013. It was updated on July 30, 2020.
Injectable fillers like Juvéderm®, Sculptra®, Bellafill®, and Radiesse® aren’t just for wrinkles, hollows and face slimming anymore. Neither are muscle relaxers like Botox®, Xeomin™ and Dysport™. They are being used in interesting ways on other parts of the body, such as the chest, head, knees, joints, hands, feet and more.
Keep reading to learn more about the ways dermal fillers and wrinkle relaxers are helping people with various cosmetic and health concerns
1) Padding the tops and bottoms of feet with dermal fillers
If you wear high heels and can’t stand the throbbing pain on the balls of your feet, but also can’t give up the posh look of stilettos, you’ve got options. As you age, you lose fat in your feet, which can explain why you feel like you need extra cushioning as you get older. Though, anyone, at any age, can testify to the aches that come with partying in heels all night.
Dermal fillers can add padding to your feet, to alleviate the pressure and weight put on them while walking (or dancing!). They can be used on the balls of the feet, the big toes and even the tops of feet, if you feel like yours are too bony or veiny.
Results can last up to a year with this procedure (but it always depends on each person, and especially how much you use your feet!).
Just be careful you pick a good injector for this. Adding too much filler can result in swelling, and even more pain.
2) Bulking up veiny, bony hands with dermal fillers
If you feel like your hands are bony and veiny, and don’t like the look of them, they can be bulked up with dermal fillers. There are even long-lasting fillers for this that could stay in place for up to 5 years.
We write more about visible veins, how they occur, and the possible solutions for them, here. That page also discusses bulging veins on aging hands.
3) Smoothing folds on baggy knees, and helping arthritis too
So-called, ‘baggy knees’ can occur the same way that saggy skin evolves on our face, arms and elsewhere. As we age, we lose collagen and elastin in our skin, as well as fat layers and muscle. Our skin ends up with less substance, and less to ‘hang on’ to. So, it starts to loosen. Sun exposure doesn’t help, either. Our knees are no exception to this rule.
Those gravity folds on the knees can be greatly smoothed out with skilled injections of dermal fillers. In fact, doctors have been using fillers in the knees for years to combat arthritis symptoms.
4) Plumping and hydrating the décolleté with hyaluronic acid, to battle crepiness and lines
The chest area, near the top of breasts and all the way to the shoulders and neck, is called the décolleté (or, décolletage). It is an area that can be easily forgotten in our anti-aging routines. We often focus our wrinkle creams and sunscreens on the face. Some savvier beauty-buffs go as far as the neck. But the décolleté can become crepey and saggy over time, too. So, it shouldn’t be ignored.
While all skin loses elastin and collagen as we age, décolleté skin is particularly hard-hit for being so thin to begin with. Then, it is pulled downward by the weight of the breasts, which makes it worse. When we sleep, we can fold this skin in repeat patterns, which can form static lines.
Hyaluronic acid injections can not only volumize this area, they can also hydrate and plump it. This can help reduce the lines and roughness of the décolleté. Sagging neck skin can also be treated, though likely better with skin-tightening techniques (learn more here). Extra fat under the chin can be dissolved with Belkyra™ injections.
If your décolleté contains brown spots and sun damage (such as poikiloderma), other treatments may be needed to address this. Learn more here.
5) Earlobe repair with dermal fillers
Pierced ears can eventually start to show a larger hole than what you started with, back when you got your first pair of earrings as a child or teen (remember that?). Collagen loss from aging makes this inevitable. If you wear earrings regularly, the weight of the earrings can also drag them down, exacerbating the problem.
Other times, earlobes can get wrinkled, creased or scarred. They can also just be shaped in an undesirable way, for some people’s liking.
In all of the above cases, dermal fillers can literally fill the area to round it out, and thicken it. You’ll still be able to wear earrings afterwards – don’t worry. And, the good news is that fillers in this spot tend to last a little longer than in other parts of the body, since there is little movement there.
6) Rejuvenating the vagina with injectable fillers
This one may surprise you, but it’s actually not that unheard of. Those in-the-know about female urinary incontinence have probably heard that one solution to this health issue is by injecting bulking agents. The aim of this procedure is to narrow the urethra and bladder, so that urine can’t leak easily.
In other cases, women choose to have a similar procedure done in the vagina, to enhance the G-spot. This helps to make nerve endings more accessible during sex, so that they can be stimulated (for pleasure, of course).
We don’t do these particular types of injections at our clinic. However, if you are looking for Vancouver vagina tightening or rejuvenation (to get the same effects), we offer a much more comfortable, radio-frequency option. Learn more here.
7) Raising pitted acne scars with long-lasting dermal fillers
Acne is awful to deal with, especially when it is in stages 3 and 4. At that point, large, cystic, ‘underground’ lesions occur. They are painful and, when they finally go away, they can leave all manner of scars behind. Many of these wounds can create dents in the skin, which we call pitted scars (or, atrophic scars, in the medical community). They can become icepick scars, boxcar scars or rolling scars.
However, these pitted scars can happen from various sources, such as other diseases or skin traumas.
Whatever the source, they can be raised to the level of your skin’s ‘normal’ surface, using dermal fillers. The typical choice for these types of scars is usually a longer-lasting substance, such as polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA), found in Bellafill®, or poly-L-lactic acid (PLLA), found in Sculptra®. The goal is not just to fill the scars, but to get the body to produce its own collagen in that area. That’s why these longer-lasting fillers are more effective than hyaluronic acid alone. They force the body to surround the filler with new cells.
There are other options for treating acne scars, and plenty to know about them, too. Read more here.
8) Shaping and enlarging the lips with dermal fillers
This one may not be as surprising, since lip injections are popular nowadays. However, some people may not know that special formulations of hyaluronic acid filler can be used to reshape and enlarge the lips. In fact, even Botox® can be used for a ‘lip flip,’ where the neuromodulator turns the lips outward a little, to give the illusion of fullness.
Learn all about lip augmentation procedures, here.
9) Performing temporary nose jobs with injectable fillers
Did you know that a nose job (rhinoplasty) doesn’t need to involve surgery? There are certain types of temporary (but long-term) nose reshaping procedures that don’t involve cutting at all. Instead, an injectable filler can be used to smooth bumps and dips in the nose, or to raise the tip of the nose. These are issues that are mostly seen on the side profile of one’s face.
Our advice, if you opt for this procedure, is to seek a doctor who is qualified to inject longer-lasting fillers in this area. This will mean fewer repeat-visits to maintain your results. Hyaluronic acid is more commonly used, but doesn’t always last as long. Though in some cases, it may be a little more affordable for the short term.
Learn more about non-surgical nose jobs, here.
10) Enhancing rear ends with butt lift injections
You could undergo the knife to get a Brazilian butt lift, fat graft or set of implants. On the other hand, you could also avoid that hassle and opt for an injectable butt enhancement instead!
Butt lift injections use dermal fillers that can be used on other parts of the body. Except, of course, they require a lot more of a substance than you’d use for the face, hands, feet, etc. That can make this procedure especially pricey.
Only certain types of fillers would be recommended for the butt, so it’s best to speak to a doctor who is trained specifically on how to make this work in the best way possible.
We don’t do butt lifts at our clinic, but there may be others who offer them in the Vancouver area!
11) Solving pain in the joints and head with Botox®
Before Botox® became a buzz-word in the media for its ability to smooth forehead wrinkles, it was actually used for pain management (among other health applications). This substance can provide real, long-term relief from migraines, joint aches and other quality-of-life pain problems. Results are not permanent, but some say they can offset debilitating pain for weeks, or months at a time.
Learn more here.
12) Blocking sweat glands in the armpits, hands and feet with Botox®
Another reason to love this wonder-drug: Botox® is known to prevent hyperhidrosis in the armpits. It also works on the palms of hands and feet. If you’re one of those people who holds a napkin in your hand to keep it dry, or always gets sweat stains in your armpits, this solution may help. It works by blocking the nerves that keep your sweat glands in gear. Effects can last 4 to 6 months at a time.
That said, if you’re tired of using antiperspirants and deodorants, you can also opt for miraDry®. It’s not an injection, but rather a microwave-energy technology that can get rid of underarm sweat glands non-surgically. Even better, it can work on some patients in as little as one treatment. And yes, it’s FDA-cleared!
Learn all about hyperhidrosis and sweating solutions, here.
The many little-known uses of cosmetic injections are impressive, to say the least
You may have been expecting some of the above unordinary uses for cosmetic injections. In other cases, they may have been surprising. Maybe they caused a giggle (it’s good to laugh!).
In truth, dermal fillers and neuromodulators like Botox® have been helping people in many ways, for many years. Many of their substances were traditionally used for medical purposes, long before they were realized to have cosmetic applications.
The trick is to get these procedures done by a trained doctor, and preferably one who is using name-brand, tested and safe ingredients.
While many can advertise luring offers for ‘miracle’ injection services, please don’t try to ‘save a buck’ by having mysterious concoctions injected into you. Those can be hard to reverse and treat, if they do become a problem. In that case, you may end up spending more than if you had chosen a reputable provider in the first place.
Whether it be for pain, lifestyle or aesthetic reasons, we can all be thankful that there are now safe, injectable solutions to problems we may have thought we just had to live with. Good news: you don’t!