Understanding Bunions -- Symptoms

Medically Reviewed by Stephanie S. Gardner, MD on May 21, 2023
1 min read

To determine if you may have a bunion, look for an angular, bony bump on the side of the foot at the base of the big toe. Sometimes hardened skin or a callus covers the bump. The big toe will point in the direction of your smallest toe.

Bunions form slowly over time, usually over years. They may be more annoying than painful, but they can start to hurt and lead to several complications over time.

There's often swelling, redness, unusual tenderness, and/or pain at the base of the big toe and in the ball of the foot. Eventually, the area becomes shiny and warm to the touch.

If you have persistent pain when walking normally in otherwise comfortable, flat-soled shoes, you may be developing a bunion, bursitis, gout, or a bone spur in your foot. It's time to call the doctor.