Up until my senior year of high school, I never owned a pair of sandals. And the only open-toe shoes I bought were gorgeous heels that I simply couldn’t pass up. Why the ban on certain footwear? I was always embarrassed of the second toe on each of my feet, as they extended overtly, tall and proud, and seemed to dwarf my other toes. I feel stupid even writing this – I mean, at the end of the day, they’re just feet. And normal feet, mind you; I just happened to find them aesthetically unsightly. If only there was a way to shorten those weirdly elongated protrusions…

Enter “Perfect 10! Aesthetic Toe Shortening.” At least, that’s what one Beverly Hills clinic calls the procedure, which involves removing a bone segment. Apparently, my toes aren’t just ugly; they can also prevent me from wearing certain shoes. My unpleasant appendages may hang over the tops of my sandals (never experienced that one) or be crushed painfully into closed-toe shoes (my long toes have been there, done that, unfortunately).

Other forms of the foot facial? There are procedures that fall into the “normal” category – or relatively normal, in my opinion. These include the no-risk or low-risk procedures like chemical peels, masks, and even Restylane injections into the balls of feet in order to provide more cushioning. Last year, Claire wrote an article about injecting botox into feet for the same purpose; however, Restylane seems like a much better option, as it doesn’t carry the same dangers that botox does.

Now believe it or not, there are wacky, not so normal things that people do (in addition to toe shortening) to make their feet flawless. Foot narrowing corrects bunions (and lets you slip into narrower shoes), toe lengthening stretches the bone in order to cure botched to shortening jobs (or to cure unattractive, naturally short toes), and “taming the tubby toe” (yes, I made that up myself) involves slimming down fat pinky toes by removing thick skin and shaving part of the bone. This serves to relieve pain – and allow you to shove your feet into heels more easily.

So it seems that the reasoning behind these foot procedures is twofold; they can be for medical reasons (to alleviate pain and fix deformities) or for cosmetic purposes – or both.

There are plenty of reasons to avoid foot facials, especially if your reasoning is solely cosmetic. Some doctors claim that injecting Restylane into your feet is a mistake, as Restylane in that part of the body has not been studied and side effects are unknown.  Others argue that Restylane is not even meant for the feet, as fillers will wear out more quickly under the pressure of your weight. The American Orthopedic Foot & Ankle Society (AOFAS) warned consumers in 2003 about cosmetic foot surgery. According to the AOFAS, 50% of surgeons have treated patients for botched foot facials. Apparently, the cosmetic surgeries change the mechanics of the foot, and may result in nerve damage or chronic pain – which means that ugly feet and the ability to wear heels will be the least of your problems.

On the other hand, I understand why 26% of people AOFAS surveyed would still consider cosmetic food surgery. After all, 11.5% of them wear 3-inch heels or higher and 52% of those surveyed reported experiencing pain while wearing their heels.

I’m a wimp when it comes to pain, so I don’t think I’d actually consider going under the knife to fix my feet. Imperfection will have to do, in my case. But for those of you who would let a surgeon poke and prod at your toes, be sure to explore the possible positive and negative procedural outcomes (there certainly seem to be a number of both).