What's the Best Way to Dress Bunions?

A fellow caregiver asked...

What's the best way to dress my mother's bunions? My mother has large bunions on both feet. They cause her extreme discomfort when walking. What is the best way to dress them to reduce the pressure?

Expert Answer

Jennifer Serafin, N.P. is a registered nurse and geriatric nurse practitioner at the Jewish Homes for the Aged in San Francisco.

Bunions can be very painful! Let's see if we can help your mom get relief. First, I hope she's being cared for by a podiatrist. If not, she should make an appointment. A podiatrist can be helpful with recommending shoes or supports that can reduce pain -- as well as with treatment.

As far as what you can do now to make your mom more comfortable, I recommend using an all-purpose over-the-counter rash or sunburn cream daily to reduce friction. Ask a pharmacist for suggestions -- there are many good ones on the market. Also, foam pads can be placed around the bunion to reduce pressure. These are also available in a pharmacy or drug store with feet treatments and accessories. Socks can also help reduce pressure. It's important to make sure your mom's shoes fit well and don't rub on the bunion area too much. Sandals that don't rub the bunion can be especially helpful if they're loose-fitting. If the bunion develops a sore -- marked by distinct redness, tenderness, swelling, or oozing fluid -- your mother will definitely need to see the podiatrist for treatment.