Bunions are an extremely common foot problem, and sometimes, they cause little discomfort. While this is true, you probably should not be ignoring the issue completely. And, there are a few signs that the bunions need to be seen by a podiatrist as soon as possible. Keep reading to learn what some of these signs are.
Your Toes Are Starting to Overlap
A large bunion will sometimes form on the largest joint of the big toe due to inward pressure. The pressure can injure the joint in such a way that the toe angles either over or under the other toes. Depending on your condition, you may still feel no pain when this happens. However, you are likely to notice discomfort soon due to the way that your gait changes.
The movement of the toe means that your feet can no longer sit flat on the ground. As you step, you will need to place more pressure on the heel and midfoot. And, your legs and hips may need to be positioned differently. This results in an unnatural gait that can easily throw off your balance, stance, and posture. Back pain, hip arthritis, Achilles tendonitis, plantar fasciitis, bone spurs, and other types of soft and hard tissue damage can result.
Most injuries do occur over time, but it is best to seek assistance from a podiatrist for bunion repair before any problems present.
The Area Looks Red
The outside of the bunions will often form a callous, and the hard tissue can protect your skin. However, as the bunion worsens, the callous can be rubbed off or penetrated. This happens when your shoes continually place stress on the bunion. Over time, skin irritation can lead to sores and eventually they can open up and an infection may develop.
The appearance of red skin is the first sign of skin breakdown in the area, so it should not be ignored. If you press on the skin and feel some discomfort, then you should see your podiatrist right away. In the meantime, keep the area clean and dry. You may want to wear open-toe shoes without socks so the skin can breathe and heal.
If you see a scab on the bunion, leave the area be. And, if the area is open with a wound, use a sterile dressing to cover it.
Speak with your podiatrist if you have concerns about your bunions and think the situation may be worsening.