Val Monroe's beauty advice
Photo: Jonathan Skow
Q: I've developed a hideous bunion. Is surgery my only option?

A: Are you able to throw on your favorite shoes, stride about in your usual, sure-footed manner, exercise to your heart's content? If so, then your problem is purely cosmetic, and the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons would tell you that the risks don't warrant a surgical intervention, says John M. Giurini, chief of the division of podiatric medicine and surgery at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston. But if your foot problem is limiting your activities, consult with a podiatric foot and ankle surgeon.

Bottom line: Though there aren't any treatments proven to reverse the development of a bunion or prevent its progression, an orthotic device may slow the process. And make sure your shoes fit well; though they don't cause bunions, shoes that pinch can definitely exacerbate them.