A tailor’s bunion, otherwise known as a bunionette, is a bunion that forms on the little toe. This bony lump forms where the metatarsal bone meets the little toe. Like bunions, these lumps are most commonly caused by poor fitting shoes. The lump results from the displacement of the metatarsal bone and will often appear on both feet. It’s also common for calluses to form over these bunionettes.
The lump may be accompanied by swelling, irritation and raw skin (from rubbing against narrow footwear). You may also notice the little toe pointing inwards towards the big toe as the misalignment changes the direction of the toe. Tailor’s bunions are hereditary and their likelihood of appearing increases with age. At first, they may simply be painless lumps but may turn painful over time as they enlarge in size or as footwear rubs against them. Women have a greater chance of experiencing these foot abnormalities than men.
Most tailor’s bunions do not require surgery and respond well to shoes and/or orthotics designed to correct foot alignment. Over-the-counter bunion treatments can provide temporary relief from irritation by shoes rubbing against the area, i.e. toe spacers, straighteners, braces or bunion pads. These deformities tend not to go away by themselves. Over time and with increased irritation by narrow footwear, they can grow in size. If they cause you pain, visit your physician for an evaluation and to determine the best course of treatment. A good practice when shopping for shoes is to leave at least � inch of space in the toe area to prevent abrasion and further irritation of the tailor’s bunion.
In most cases, you can achieve tailor's bunion relief with over the counter remedies and better-fitting footwear; however, in the event you continue to experience pain or have difficulty walking, your safest bet is to consult your podiatrist.