But for all their complexity, our feet really weren’t designed for the modern world. They spend their days and night tightly encased in tennis shoes, sandals, or shiny black pumps. The constant friction causes skin on the feet to get thick and rough. In areas where they’re constantly being rubbed the wrong way, the skin can form tough bumps called corns and calluses. They’re really the same thing, although calluses are spread over a large area, while corns are quite a bit smaller. I know there are several different bunion products available, but these are the ones that have worked best for me. When hiking, look out for rocks that cause feet to roll and ankles to twist. If you do twist an ankle, remove the boot and rest a few minutes. Apply ice if available, and elevate the foot. Check for swelling and discoloration - both are signs of more serious injury. If you can put the boot back on without lots of pain, it's OK to make for home. But if severe pain continues, don't try to move without assistance, wait for help. Seek treatment from your podiatrist or family doctor. It is not known exactly what causes bunions, but wearing badly fitting shoes is thought to make the condition worse. Podiatrists often recommend exercises to strengthen your muscles and tendons around the big toe. Here’s one you can try yourself. Put your feet side by side, and try to move your big toes towards each other. Do this three or four times a day, while you’re in the bath or in bed. OTHER BIG TOE DEFORMITIES Wearing shoes with low heels and firm soles will act as a supporting splint. Registered podiatrists will be able to provide pads or strapping to stabilise the joint, or appliances (orthotics) to modify the way you walk. In severe cases, footwear may be modified or surgery may be indicated. SMALLER TOES If over-the-counter remedies and other adjustments fail and you experience a decreased ability to be able to move your big toe, see your doctor. She can show you how to tape your foot into a more comfortable position for walking or prescribe specially-fitted shoe inserts to accommodate the shape of your foot. Cortisone injections might also be an option. Extreme cases might require surgery, usually for a bunion rather than a bunionette, because they grow larger and can interfere with daily life. Surgery involves realigning your big toe, usually by removing a portion of bone. Do NOT kid yourself that bunion surgery is not a big deal. Yes, clearly it’s better than years ago, and yes, not everybody’s bunion surgery will be as major as mine (in fact some will be worse than mine), but don’t underestimate how tough the recovery is in terms of running your day to day life. I will NOT do anything to jeopardise the healing of my foot. ANY broken bone needs six weeks to heal properly. I’ve heard horror stories of people putting too much pressure and weight on their feet too early and screwing up the surgery and having to have it redone.