With a bunion, the base of your big toe (metatarsophalangeal joint) gets larger and sticks out. The skin may be red and tender, and wearing any type of shoe may be painful. This joint flexes with every step you take, so the bigger your bunion gets, the
more it may hurt to walk. Bursitis (painful swelling with inflammation) may set in. Your big toe may tilt toward your second toe or move all the way under it.
In addition, the skin on the bottom of your foot may become thicker and painful. Pressure from your big toe may force your second toe out of alignment, sometimes overlapping your third toe or the big toe. An advanced bunion may make your foot look deformed.
If your bunion gets too severe, it may be difficult to walk. Your pain may become chronic and you may develop arthritis.
Most bunions are treatable without surgery. Prevention is always best. To minimize your chances of developing a bunion, never force your foot into tight shoes that don't fit or that crowd your toes. Choose shoes that conform to the shape of your feet
and ones with wide insteps, broad toe boxes, and soft soles. Avoid shoes that are short, tight, or sharply pointed, and those with heels higher than 2 1/4 inches.
If you already have a bunion, wear shoes that are roomy enough to avoid putting pressure on the big toe. This should relieve most of your pain. You may want to have your shoes stretched out professionally. You also may use protective pads to cushion the
painful area, or a spacer to maintain the gap between the big toe and the second toe.