What Is the Difference Between Gout and Bunion

People that experience pain near the big toe often confuse bunions and gout. This can result in improper self-treatment and even lead to the aggravation of the condition. That’s why it is important to visit a foot doctor for a thorough diagnosis and treatment. 

But if you don’t have the ability to undergo professional treatment, you need to know what exactly causes pain in your big toe. In this article, we will explain the difference between gout and bunion to you.


Gout is a type of arthritis that affects joints. Due to the fact that it most often affects the big toe joint, gout is often confused with a bunion. Gout occurs when you have an increased level of v in the blood. This acid contributes to the formation of crystals that accumulate in your big toe joint and make it look bigger.

Even though gout is more common for men, women can also get it after menopause when the levels of uric acid in their blood increase. People who suffer from obesity, diabetes, and kidney disease are more prone to develop gout. 

Symptoms of gout

The most common symptoms of gout include:

  • Severe pain in the affected joint

  • Swelling 

  • Redness

  • A bump near the big toe

  • Limited range of motion

Due to the fact that untreated gout can cause severe damage to the joint and chronic pain, it is better to visit a doctor as soon as possible. 

Gout treatment options

Gout is usually treated by medications that are aimed at reducing pain and preventing future attacks. You can take nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) that will reduce inflammation and relieve pain. Corticosteroids can also help control pain and inflammation. You can also ask your doctor about the treatment options that help prevent gout complications. 


A bunion is a bony bump that develops on the inner side of the foot near the big toe. It occurs when the big toe shifts out of alignment. In the initial stage, bunions usually don’t cause severe symptoms or even develop asymptomatically. 

In most cases, bunions are hereditary but you can trigger the condition by wearing narrow shoes and high heels. Additionally, certain types of arthritis can contribute to the development of bunions. 

Symptoms of bunions

The most common symptoms of bunions are:

  • Severe pain in the affected area

  • Bony bump

  • Corns and calluses on a bunion

  • Swelling

  • Redness

  • Stiffness

  • Limited range of motion

As mentioned above, a bunion can cause no symptoms. But when the condition progresses, a bunion can cause severe pain that may interfere with normal activity and make walking extremely painful.

Bunions treatment options

If a bunion doesn’t cause any severe symptoms, you still need to wear the right kind of shoe that will not press on the bunion and cause corns. Moleskin or gel-filled pad can also be used to protect the bunion from rubbing and other harmful impacts. But you should know that these options can only relieve pain and discomfort caused by bunions.

Even though there are a lot of devices on the market that promise to cure your bunion, surgery is deemed the most effective way to treat bunions. If a bunion causes severe pain and other symptoms, surgical treatment can be the best solution. During the procedure, the surgeon will restore the toe to its normal position. 

The bottom line

It is important to understand that there are a lot of foot issues that can cause similar symptoms. That’s why it is better to avoid self-treatment and visit a foot doctor in case of some bothersome symptoms. Timely and precise treatment can prevent the worsening of your condition and improve your well-being.