HomeBunions ResourcesHow to Shrink Bunions Naturally

How to Shrink Bunions Naturally


Bunions are a structural deformity of the bones and joints where they meet at the base of the big toe.  The area around the bunion often becomes enlarged, puffy or swollen, tender, raw, and red.  Bunions can be caused by a genetic defect or by wearing ill-fitting shoes, having constant stress on the joint of the big toe, or a combination of all the factors.  Bunion care is very important to minimize the pain and damage to the condition.

Bunion care starts with one of the factors which can contribute to the condition in the first place—shoes.  Wear looser fitting, comfortable shoes with little or no heel. It’s best to especially avoid shoes that narrow at the toes as this will just cause the greater to bend even more toward the second toe. 

For better bunion care wear socks that offer the skin on the affected area some protection.  Cotton is the best material for the socks if possible since this is a breathable material.

Use Bunion Treatment Products

1. Epsom Salt

Pour some hot water into a tub and add a cup of Epsom salt. Keep your feet soaked in this water for about 10-15 minutes. When it comes to soothing the bunion pain, Epsom salt works wonders. It not only helps improve blood circulation but also helps bring down bunion swelling. Follow this procedure daily. Confused about the type of salt to buy? Check out our guide for the best Epsom salt for feet.

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2. Ice Packs

Another simple home remedy for bunion pain relief is the application of an ice pack on the bunion foot. You need to apply ice compression over your bunion foot for about 15 minutes.

Take a break, and apply the compression again. Make sure you do not use the ice for more than 15 minutes. If you have a circulation problem or are diabetic, do not opt for this remedy.

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3. Splint

At night, place a splint between your big toe and second toe; this will help keep away the extra pressure on the toes and thus relieve the pain. Follow this procedure at night. Want more options? Check out this guide on the best bunion correctors.

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4. Clove Oil

Clove oil has a content called eugenol, which is very helpful in desensitizing the swollen and painful part of the feet. You need to take a cotton bandage and add a few clove oil drops.

Put this bandage over your bunion feet; you will find your toe going numb after a while. Do this at least twice or thrice a day.

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5. Stretch the Heel

At times, even a tight Achilles tendon can lead to a bunion. Hence, it is advised that you stretch your heels to relieve some pressure from your underlying tendon, making your feet flexible. All you need to do is stand straight and stretch your heels as much as possible.

Hold the stretch for about 5-10 seconds. Follow this simple procedure as many times as possible in a day. The more, the better. Have a look at other bunion stretches and exercises that soothe your bunion pain.

6. Bunion Brace

A bunion brace is equipment that can treat the bunions quickly. While purchasing a bunion brace, make sure that you are buying one according to the size of your foot and can fit in properly. Another point to note is that the brace must be made of a breathable synthetic material similar to neoprene.

This material will prevent the building up of heat in the shoe while you are wearing it. Some of the benefits of wearing the bunion brace are:

The bunion braces are perfect for those who suffer from Hallux Valgus or are likely to develop it. Wearing a brace develops a strength line distinct from the big toe’s abnormal deviation for the other toes.

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Braces carry differing weaves of the fibers in the various bands located inside them, which move along with the feet and take proper care of the problem. This movement creates a massaging effect that helps improve the drainage of the lymph and helps make the muscles firm.

Wearing the brace also ensures that you have a perfect shape of your foot while moving and at the time of rest. This treatment is very beneficial for those who have the job of standing for long hours or have to run or walk extensively.

Most of these products provide relief from irritation and pain and prevent the development of bacteria on the foot with the help of anti-bacterial treatment present in them.

7. Orthotics

A podiatrist will suggest orthotics for several foot ailments, including bunions. An orthotic is a cushioning device placed in the shoe to help alleviate pressure on certain parts of the foot and to realign the bones. They are not made explicitly for bunions, but they can help take the stress off the bunion and relieve pain and discomfort.

Orthotics are available from most pharmacies. However, depending on the severity of the bunion, it is best to visit a podiatrist and get one made especially for you. Want to learn more? Have a look at Our Guide to treating bunions.

What to do After Being Diagnosed with Bunions

You can start with simple steps such as resting the foot by keeping away from too much walking and using wider shoes or sandals that can help relieve the annoying ache. Walking shoes can offer certain advantages over high-heeled shoes that push the big toe outward.

Anti-inflammation drugs like ibuprofen, aspirin, and naproxen can reduce swelling as well as pain. You can also try applying cold packs onto the affected area, sometimes it helps as well. There’s a bunion splint that can be worn during your sleep which provides further relief. Custom insoles can help you with additional support and repositioning. Sometimes inflammation can be reduced by a local administration of cortisone. Unfortunately, those with stubborn bunions may have to go for surgery.

Surgery may correct bunion formation and get rid of pain leading to better results. This procedure usually involves scrubbing the bony growth of the bunion while readjusting the big toe’s alignment. However, surgery doesn’t guarantee 100% success, however with suitable footwear and a proper walking regime you can improve the chances of surgical procedure.

•Stop wearing high heels with pointy toe boxes. Wear flat shoes with roomy, square toe boxes to reduce tension on the big toe joint. Read our guide on the best bunion shoes or the best bunion sandals.

•Wear comfortable shoes with good arch support

•At home, wear sandals with arch support instead of slippers to relieve pressure on the big toe joint

•Rest and elevate the sore foot

•When painful, ice the bunion or use warm soaks. Take anti-inflammatory pain medications like ibuprofen or aspirin

•Cortisone may be injected by your podiatrist to reduce inflammation and pain

•A moleskin or gel-filled pad can be placed inside the shoe to protect the bunion

•Orthotics, also known as arch supports, can be used to transfer weight off the bunion. These can be purchased over the counter or may be custom made

•Use over-the-counter gel toe separators

•Socks made from synthetic materials – like those made for runners – will reduce friction on the bunion. Cotton socks may rub against the bunion and irritate it

•A Bunion Splint can be worn to relieve pressure on the big toe joint and point the toe in the proper direction. Available over the counter

•If you’re overweight, start a weight management program to achieve your ideal weight

How to Shrink Bunions Naturally


A Bunions is caused by an inherited faulty mechanical structure of the foot. It is not inherited bunion itself, but certain foot types that make a person prone to developing a bunion. If you have a bump on your small toe, then consider reading: How to treat tailor’s bunion.

Although wearing shoes that crowd the toes won’t cause bunions in the first place, it sometimes makes the deformity progressively worse. That means you may experience symptoms sooner.

Dr Christine Nolan is the CEO and founder of Footdiagnosis.com. She also has extensive clinical experience and is therefore uniquely qualified to detect and manage diseases of the lower extremities including those related to peripheral arterial disease and diabetes.


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