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Bunions
Causes

Bunions can be caused by ill-fitting footwear or an incorrect walking action. Additionally some people have a hereditory pre-disposition for developing them.

Tight fitting shoes, footwear with inadequate arch support, and the regular use of high heels are all major contributors to bunions forming. Similarly, if your normal walking action is impaired due to some other ailment, this may well be the underlying cause of the swelling.

Symptoms

The bunion is a rounded, hard-skinned and it appears as an inflamed swelling of the main big-toe joint where it meets the mid-foot. (Bunionettes or "tailor's bunions" can also occur on the joint of the little toe.)

The joint becomes enlarged, misshapen and hardened - severely reducing flexibility and creating an immediate pressure point against the shoe. The skin will often appear red, "shiny" and stretched and - in some instances - a small bubble of fluid may appear on the surface.

On occasion, a bunion will cause the big toe to push under or over the next toe along. This creates irritable friction resulting in corns, blisters (and sometimes "hammer toe") which add to the discomfort of the condition.

Because the big toe joint is fundamental to the weight-bearing and walking functions of the foot, bunions can cause great discomfort, pain and even restrict mobility. Moving or simply standing still can both aggravate the condition. Sufferers often complain of the acute pain of the swollen area itself and the vice-like grip of shoes as the other toes bunch up due to the misalignment of the larger joint.

Treatment
In the early stages of bunion development, a change of footwear or the use of cushioning products or orthotics might be all that is required.

Scholl Bunion Protectors reduce friction and pressure on painful bunions and give immediate pain relief. Scholl also offers a number of specialist padding products that can be cut to size and used on either the foot or the shoe. Scholl Sore Spot Moleskin is slim and soft - ideal when you are wearing closer fitting footwear - and provides immediate relief from painful rubbing. Scholl Pressure Point Foam Padding offers ultra soft cushioning protection from painful pressure and friction.

If the condition is at an advanced stage, anti-inflammatory medicines or minor surgery (to cut away the additional, calcified bone) might be recommended. Such operations are routine surgical procedures.
Prevention
Ensuring that your shoes fit correctly can help prevent bunions developing. In the early stages of bunion development, changing to correctly fitting footwear and using padding to protect the area can help to slow or halt the progression. If you detect any of the symptoms associated with bunion formation you should consult your healthcare professional or podiatrist for advice.
Precautions

Consult your doctor or pharmacist or healthcare assistant for advice or if you have an underlying medical condition, are taking any other medication or complementary therapy, or if symptoms persist.

Also seek advice on footcare if you are breastfeeding, pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or suffer from diabetes or allergies

 
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