A bunion is a physical deformity that happens when the big toe pushes against the second toe, forcing the joint of the big toe to push outward and stay there. If this happens to the smaller toes, the condition is called bunionettes. A bunion looks like a big bump on the side of the big toe, with the skin over this bump looking reddish and feeling sore. Bunions can be extremely painful, making it difficult to move because the pressure of carrying the body weight is put on the bunion. Bunions are also prone to developing calluses. Aside from calluses, bunions can lead to further complications like arthritis.
Wearing tight, narrow shoes or high heels causes bunions to become worse. However, shoes aren't entirely to blame because bunions are more likely to happen to people with faulty mechanical structure of the foot. This means that there are really certain foot types, like those with very flexible joints, that are more at risk of developing bunions. Women, because of their choice of shoes, are also more prone to bunions. Although genetics plays a huge factor in this regard, the best way to avoid bunions is still to wear shoes that fit properly and have enough room to move the toes.
To avoid making the bunion worse, one should maintain a normal weight. One should protect the bunion with moleskin or a gel-filled pad. To soothe the pain, one can use ice packs and take non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or NSAIDs like ibuprofen. At night, a splint can be worn for positioning the feet. Exercises and activities like running and jogging should also be avoided first. Other ways of treating bunions can be by injecting the area with corticosteroids or using orthotic devices for the feet and the ankles.