Bunions and enlarged toe-joints are caused by the pressure of the boot upon the big toe. A narrow boot with a pointed toe and a very high heel will cause a bunion in a very short time. But it is a mistake to suppose that every broad-toed boot is a preventive or cure for bunions, because - as a bootmaker will tell you - often the square effect of the toe is obtained by trimming the leather on either side, and thus actually making the boot narrower across the foot than it might be if a round-toed model was worn.
The broad-toed boot ought to be made to measure.
Bathe in hot water and soap well. Dry, and paint with iodine. Place a pad of diachylon round the bunion so as to encircle it with a protection from the pressure of a bandage of diachylon, which now proceed to wind round the big toe from its base to its tip; then pass the bandage along the inside of the foot, wind round the heel, and bring back to the top of the foot. Take a narrow bandage, and bind transversely so as to secure the diachylon bandage. Secure all tightly with a roller bandage, so that the toe will be kept securely in place throughout the night. A further extension of this idea is a V-shaped piece of cork, which is inserted between the first and second toe, thus forcing the big toe back again to its place. This is kept between the toes by the bandages.
A remedy said to be successful in the removal of a hard bunion is crystallised carbolic acid, dissolved by placing a stoppered bottle containing the acid in hot water. With a pointed instrument a layer of this is carefully put on the hardened part. Leave it to evaporate for a few minutes, and then take off with blotting-paper, so that no drop goes on to the healthy skin. If this drastic remedy is used, it will be better first to place a pad round the bunion, and operate through the circle, so as to
I u prevent an accident. Then use the blotting-paper. The acid should not be used oftener than every fourth day, no matter how severe the bunion may be.
As regards the enlarged toe, attempts have been made to modify the bone surgically, but the writer has no knowledge of any real success in this direction. The best recorded process is by means of bandaging at night, and the use of a diachylon plaster on the bunion during the day.
The general health requires attention. Stockings should be changed often, and should never be of cotton. The shoes should hang in a current of air when they are not being worn, and the same pair should not be worn two days successively. Socks should be placed in the shoes, as these can often be changed. The feet should be bathed often, in water to which has been added either a handful of sea-salt or a little disinfectant fluid. Once a week use a foot-bath of strong soda water. During the summer follow the foot-bath with a lotion of alcohol - spirits of wine, methylated spirits, eau-de-cologne, toilet vinegar. Dust the feet, the inside of the stockings, and the shoes, with boracic acid powder, or:
Carbolic acid ...... 1 part
Oil of lemon ...... 2 parts
French chalk ...... 4 parts
Burnt alum ...... 4 parts
Starch in powder .. . . 200 parts Mix thoroughly, pass through a sieve. Or:
Rice-powder ...... 12 parts
Subnitrate of bismuth .. 3 parts
Permanganate of potash . . 2 parts
Powdered talc...... 1 part
These must be thoroughly pulverised to form an impalpable powder.
Or, mix equal parts of powdered alum and powdered tannin.
Tired and Swollen Feet
To relieve swollen feet, rest with them up on a chair or the bed. Tired and blistered feet are relieved by rubbing with lanoline, vaseline, olive oil, or, best of all, linseed oil. Wear woollen stockings, and bathe in water to which has been added sea-salt or even a handful of common salt.
Injuries to the toe-nails require surgical attention if neglected. They are usually caused by boots worn too short. Put a bit of cotton-wool under the nail at the first stage, but if relief is not felt, and the nail continues to grow wrongly, consult a doctor. Always cut toe-nails straight across, and do not trim them to shape as the finger-nails are trimmed.
Too little care is taken of the feet as a rule, and this is surprising, bearing in mind the fact that a grievance of the feet is telegraphed by means of the nerves to every part of the body. To keep the feet warm, dry, and scrupulously clean is a great means towards not only good health and general well-being, but towards beauty and a good appearance.