The Importance Of Having Your Tailor's Bunion Treated If You have Diabetes

Posted on: 10 October 2019

If you live with either type 1 or type 2 diabetes, you are probably already aware of the importance of looking after the health of your feet. The wide-ranging effects diabetes can have the body make your feet particularly vulnerable to damage and infection, and diabetic people should seek prompt, professional treatment for even mild foot maladies.

Tailor's bunions on the feet can be uncomfortable and unsightly but generally, aren't dangerous to people who don't suffer from diabetes. However, if you suffer from diabetes and have developed a tailor's bunion on one or both feet, you should make an appointment with a reputable podiatrist as soon as possible.

What are tailor's bunions, and what causes them?

Classic bunions occur in the joint that connects the big toe to the rest of the foot and results in a large, bony lump which protrudes from the inside of the foot. Tailor's bunions are essentially the same problem, but in reverse—they occur on the outside edge of the foot, where the little toe meets the foot, and consist of a swollen lump which protrudes outwards. As well as the visible swelling, a tailor's bunion may cause pain, itching and tender skin in and around the area of the bunion.

Generally speaking, these bunions occur when you wear tight, ill-fitting footwear for long periods of time, especially if you are fond of high heeled shoes. However, they can also be caused or exacerbated by a wide range of other issues. People who walk with most of their weight on the outer edges of their feet (a problem known as supination) are particularly vulnerable to developing tailor's bunions, and they can also be caused by genetic factors, such as unusually loose foot ligaments or toe bones that are longer than average.

How can diabetic people have their tailor's bunion(s) treated?

Like classic bunions, tailor's bunions generally don't present any real problems at first but grow larger and more painful over the years. Most people who suffer from bunion problems start developing them when they are young, and only start to notice the pain and discomfort they cause as they approach middle age.

However, tailor's bunions can present a more present danger for people suffering from diabetes. The nerve damage and circulation problems in the feet that many diabetic people suffer from can cause tailor's bunions to grow more rapidly (and painfully), and may cause the foot to become infected if the skin becomes broken and irritated. As such, diabetic people who suffer from tailor's bunions should seek help from an accredited podiatry clinic as soon as possible.

Podiatrists can offer a range of treatments to prevent tailor's bunions from causing serious problems for diabetic people. They can recommend special wide-fitting shoes or customised, orthotic shoe inserts, which help cushion the bunion and allow the swelling and pain to reduce naturally. For more serious cases, they can provide steroid injections that can rapidly reduce painful bunion symptoms.

If you have gait problems such as supination which are making the bunion worse, podiatrists can help you correct the way you stand and walk to take the weight off the affected part of your foot. If your tailor's bunion is especially large or painful, your podiatrist may refer you to a specialised foot surgeon to have the bunion treated — during these procedures, the surgeon which shave away a small part of the bony outcropping beneath the skin of your bunion, returning your foot to its proper shape.

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