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Photo by: Condé Nast Archive

Except in summer sandals, the foot is rarely on public display- but that doesn't mean vanity stops above the ankle. Foot surgery is available to make pointy shoes fit better and to shorten second toes that extend beyond big ones; there's lipo for the little toe in cases where it's not little enough, and injections of hyaluronic acid to add padding to the balls of the feet (dubbed the "Loub job," after Christian Louboutin). The complications, however, can be brutal. It took one New York City socialite more than three years to recover from shots in her soles that caused nerve injury and forced her to wear sneakers. "When patients ask to alter the architecture of a foot that has no real disabilities, I advise against it," says Rock Positano, a New York City podiatrist and director of the nonoperative foot and ankle service at the Hospital for Special Surgery.

Most Overrated Cosmetic Procedures

Joan Kron, Allure magazine

New cosmetic procedures often fail to live up to their original promise. Some may even do harm. We investigate the innovations that you might want to reconsider.

It wasn't so long ago that a woman with a desire to look younger, slimmer, or simply better would huddle with her doctor in private. Now, one demonstration of a new laser on the Today show, and phones are ringing in dermatologists' and plastic surgeons' offices across the country. More and more patients are demanding the latest treatments the moment they hear about them on the news, in the salon, or over lunch with their best friend. Here's the problem with this pioneer impulse: Plastic surgery's past is crowded with operations that were rushed to the public with insufficient testing, or that proved too painful, or that simply weren't as effective as promised. Take it from us, the most dangerous word in plastic surgery may be "new." And unlike making a mistake by, say, buying a pair of jeggings that aren't entirely flattering, cosmetic procedures are often irreversible. Here, a hard look at the choices.

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