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Hot Flash: Bunion Love

By Barbara Bishop

I have bunions. I’ve had them since I was 12 years old. I thought I got them from toe dancing when I was studying to become a ballet dancer. But as I got older, I learned my mother had them, my grandmother had them, and I’m sure my great-grandmother had them.

The older I get, the worse they become. Now I can’t wear some of the strappy little sandals that I love, because my bunions are too big and they will show; and the shoes hurt.

Over the years, I have found shoes that fit, are sexy enough and don’t reveal my bunions.

But for some reason, shoe designers ignore the fact that 23 percent of people aged 18 to 65, and 36 percent of those older than 65, have bunions. (And I bet those numbers only include those who admitted that they had them!)

Do you know who else has bunions? It’s a known fact that Hollywood beauties such as Victoria Beckham, Model Iman, Jennifer Aniston, Oprah, Paris Hilton, Kate Moss, Britney Spears, Katie Holmes and many others have them! (I’m starting to feel better about my bunions.)

What causes bunions? Bunions are generally thought to be genetic. They occur because of faulty foot structure, which is inherited. Experts also believe that wearing shoes that don’t fit properly can cause bunions.

Bunions usually become worse over time. They can be aggravated by tight or too small shoes that cause your toes to crowd together and put pressure on your big toe, shoes that have high heels or pointy toes that force your toes together, and standing for long periods of time.

In addition to the unsightly bump, signs and symptoms of a bunion may include red and inflamed skin on the side of your big toe, your big toe turns toward your other toes, thick skin on the underside of your big toe, calluses on your second toe, and foot pain that may be persistent or come and go. Lovely.

How do you get rid of them? It’s not so easy. Surgery is usually necessary. The most common surgery to correct bunions is a bunionectomy.

A bunionectomy involves correcting the position of the big toe by removing some of the bone and removing swollen tissue from the affected joint. Full recovery from a bunionectomy can take up to eight weeks.

If you have one on each foot, it is preferred to perform surgery on one bunion at a time. So, it really takes four months to fully recover from a bunionectomy. And after that, you can’t wear your sexy pointy heels ever again!

My brother-in-law is a foot doctor. He gave this advice: “If your bunions are not causing you pain, and you wear shoes that don’t hurt your feet, it’s better to live with them, and wait until you are in pain to get them fixed. It’s a long painful process that sometimes is not worth it.”

My bunions don’t hurt all that much, and I have great shoes that don’t affect them. I am learning to live with and love my bunions. Besides, Jennifer Anniston has ‘em too! Makes me feel a whole lot better…

PS: Check out enricocuini.com. Developed by Taryn Rose and her fiancé Enrico Cuini, they may have an answer to “healthy high heels!”

Mirror columnist Barbara Bishop.

in Opinion
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