Doctors don't know exactly what causes bunions, but it appears to be related to the genetic foot structure that you inherit from your parents. Certain types of foot structures are more prone to developing bunions than others. A bunion is a progressive disorder, which means it will get worse over time. It doesn't fix itself.

However, a bunion will get worse faster if the wrong types of footwear are worn. Shoes with narrow, pointed, toe boxes that squeeze the toes into an unnatural position (i.e. high heels) can contribute to worsening bunions. According to the American Orthopedic Foot and Ankle Society, 88 percent of women in the U.S. wear shoes that are too tight and 55 percent of women have bunions. Also, women get bunions nine times more often than men.