A bunion is a bony, painful swelling that is often formed on the first joint of the big toe. Bunions can be extremely painful due to the weight of all your body resting on it each time you take a step. Everyday activities, such as walking and wearing shoes, can cause you extreme discomfort if you have a bunion.

Reasons that a person may develop a bunion can vary. Some patients may form bunions due to genetic factors, complications with arthritis, or a weak foot structure. General aging can also play a role in the formation of a bunion.

If you have a bunion, you may notice a bony bump on your big toe, or be experiencing swelling and redness. The area may feel tender to the touch. To help alleviate the pain that often comes with having a bunion, it is suggested to maintain a healthy weight, which will help lessen the pressure on your toe. You can also practice both heating and icing, and wear wide-fitting shoes to leave plenty of space for your toes to minimize rubbing. Custom inserts can help position your foot correctly as well.

Tailor’s Bunions

A tailor’s bunion (a.k.a. bunionette) is similar to a regular bunion, yet different. Tailor’s bunions are painful, red, inflamed protrusions, however, unlike a regular bunion, a tailor’s bunion occurs outside the foot—and on the end of little toe.

Tailor’s bunions may develop on both feet. They may also occur along with regular bunions. Although they are rare, they may be caused by genetics, or wearing ill-fitting shoes/high heels that are too tight or have pointed toes. Having loose ligaments and tight calf muscles can also increase your risk of developing a tailor’s bunion.

Like regular bunions, the best prevention method is to avoid wearing shoes that fit properly and have plenty of room in the toes. If a tailor’s bunion does develop, custom orthotics may help reduce inflammation and pain, as well as pain medications. Silicon bunion pads can help prevent footwear from rubbing against the tailor’s bunion and some cases, corticosteroids may be injected to help alleviate swelling. 

Because bunions can result in other painful foot problems such as hammertoes and bursitis, we recommend that you meet with a podiatrist for a professional diagnosis and for information regarding all your treatment options.

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