Foot Bunion: Symptoms & Treatment

Instructor: Patrice Oliver

Patrice has taught multiple subjects including Health & Science & has a Master's degree in Education.

Have you noticed some people have a bump at the base of their big toe, on the side of their foot? This swollen area is called a bunion. Read on to learn about the symptoms and treatment of bunions, a common foot condition.

Bunions: Symptoms and Causes

A woman's at the beach with her friends and when she slips her sandals off, she can see her friends sneaking glances at her feet. She knows that bump on her foot is unsightly. It's red and swollen, and if she's truthful with herself, sometimes it even hurts. And the way her toes are starting to push up against each other - ugh! She wishes she knew what it was and what to do about it. Was it something she did?


A bunion is a swollen, bone-like bump that sticks out from the base of a person's big toe. This bump is on the side of the foot, and it can even limit the movement of a person's big toe. When bunions are formed, they tend to cause redness and thickening of the skin around the big toe joint. Bunions can cause the big toe to bend and start crowding other toes; overlapping often causes corns or calluses on the first and second toes. Pain can also occur with bunions. It's usually mild for most people, but there are times when some sufferers can experience pain that can get out of control.

There are two primary reasons people can get bunions. First, people can get bunions from wearing the wrong type of shoes. Shoes that are too tight can cause them through non-stop rubbing of the shoes against the foot. Shoes that are high-heeled and narrow at the toes can also cause bunions; they force weight onto that particular big toe joint, pressing it out of its proper alignment. That's believed to be one of the reasons why women get bunions much more often than men. Another common cause of bunions is heredity. That's right, if your mom or dad has bunions, you are more likely to have them, too.

Bunion Treatments

Many people, such as that lady on the beach who's self-conscious about people staring at her feet and wondering what to do about occasional foot pain, are curious about treatments for bunions. To try to reduce the pain, people with bunions can wear comfortable shoes, like wide-width shoes or sandals with straps that don't ride over the bunion. This is important because the toes will be more free to move and the constant rubbing of the affected part of the foot against the shoes will stop. Changing footwear can also stop the bunion from growing larger and getting worse.

To unlock this lesson you must be a Member.
Create your account

Register to view this lesson

Are you a student or a teacher?

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 30 million people use

Become a member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back
What teachers are saying about
Try it risk-free for 30 days

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 200 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Create an account to start this course today
Try it risk-free for 30 days!
Create an account