If you suffer from mild to moderate bunions, you should be able to keep the discomfort under control without resorting to any extreme measures like surgery or injections. Here are a couple safe and effective ways to deal with bunion soreness in the comfort of your own home.
Epsom salt soaks
Epsom salts are a comprised of magnesium sulfate. When dissolved in water, the salt dissociates into magnesium and sulfate ions. These ions are absorbed through your skin and can have a soothing, relaxing effect on the muscles. They also help alleviate inflammation. If your bunions have rubbed on your shoes and caused any skin abrasion or soreness, the Epsom salts will even help prevent an infection and speed healing.
To prepare an Epsom salts soak, just fill a foot soaking tub -- or even just a big bucket -- with warm water. Toss in a handful or two of the salt (no need to be precise) and stir to dissolve. Then, put your foot in the bucket and let it soak for about 20 minutes.
Peppermint oil massage
Massaging the sore bunion will help increase circulation to the area, which will reduce inflammation and pain. This is a good solution at the end of a long day on your feet. The addition of peppermint oil makes the massage even more soothing. Start by combining 2 - 3 drops of peppermint essential oil with about a teaspoon of olive oil. Rub this mixture between your hands, and then apply it to the bunion. Use your fingers to rub the bunion, using circular motions. Start by applying only gentle pressure, and slowly increase the pressure until you're rubbing your foot firmly.
If the swelling associated with your bunions is really noticeable and is making it awkward to walk, you can bring it down -- and also get rid of pain -- with a classic ice session. Just hold a bag of frozen veggies against the sore area for 15 - 20 minutes at a time. Place a thin towel between the veggies and your skin so you don't risk frost bite. Alternatively, you can immerse your entire foot in a bucket of cold water for about 15 - 20 minutes.
If these treatments are not effective for keeping your bunion pain under control, talk to a local podiatrist (such as one from Robert A. Raley, DPM). He or she can recommend exercises, orthotics, or other measures to help keep you more comfortable.
A few weeks ago, my wife made me go to the nail salon with her. Instead of sitting around for hours while my wife perused nail decals and polish options, I decided to get a pedicure. It was a really relaxing experience, but I quickly discovered that the process was about more than a foot bath. Before I knew it, someone was cutting and sanding my toenails. Unfortunately, a few days later I developed a massive ingrown toenail infection, which my podiatrist attributed to my visit to the nail salon. I want everyone to know how to properly care for their feet, so I made this website.