Dear Foot Blogger Chick,
HELP! I have this thing on my little toe. I don’t have any idea what it is but it hurts. I can’t believe how much my tiny little toe can hurt! What can it be and what should I do?
Wee Wee Wee all the way home
Dear Wee Wee Wee,
I think that you probably have a corn on your little toe. A corn is when you have a buildup of hard skin with a dense core. In your case, it is on the baby toe, which is not unusual. The skin is thickened from irritation – like being rubbed by your shoes.
The little toe is often the toe most affected by tight shoes. Yes, you heard me right, tight shoes. So, first off, you need to figure out which are the offending shoes and (are you ready?) stop wearing them! Even if you work to get rid of the corn, it will come back if your shoes are too tight.
Now, there is a possibility that the problem is the bone structure of your foot and that over time the bones have shifted so that your toe is in a position that will be irritated. If that is the case, then you may need a custom orthotic that you can put in your shoes so that your toe is not irritated by your shoes.
Usually for corns or calluses, the treatment is to apply a small amount of acid to get the hard layer to flake off. The problem is that while that works where your skin is tough, like on the ball of your foot, the skin on your little toe is very thin. (Look at it and you will see it for yourself.)
I was quite amused at the things I saw that can be used to get rid of corns. There were of course the over the counter remedies which are fine for the areas of tougher skin on the foot. I also read about using banana peels and apple cider vinegar. If this were the movie My Big Fat Greek Wedding, I would expect to read that Windex would take care of corns. You can take my word for it – apple cider vinegar, bananas, and even Windex will not remove your corn.
Because the skin is so thin, you really need to be careful. It is very easy to get an infection from over treating the little toe. If you are diabetic or suffer from circulatory problems, I urge you to go to see your friendly local podiatrist. Please do not try and treat the corn yourself. Actually I urge everyone in this case to go to their friendly local podiatrist. The skin is so thin and your feet are important. Even if it is “just your little toe”, you will have trouble putting on shoes if you are being treated for an infection in your toe. Also the doctor will check to make sure that your toe is lining up correctly. The doctor can see if you need a custom orthotic to help prevent problems in the future.
So, while corns may seem commonplace, having a corn on your little toe can really be painful and need treatments.
The Foot Blogger Chick
If you have questions, don’t hesitate to send them to firstname.lastname@example.org or leave them in the comment section below. I am not a doctor but I check with one before answering questions.
Trivia Question of the week – Why are they called corns?
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Mag Mile Foot and Ankle Institute
333 N. Michigan Avenue Suite 1825
Chicago, IL 60601