One of the most common, plaguing problems in the foot, is a painful little toe.

Where Is Little Toe Pain Located?

First of all, it can be found on the outside of the toe. Or, it can be between your baby or fifth toe and the fourth toe. Both of these are very common.

What Causes Little Toe Pain?

What do you see? How can you tell what's going on? Well, the most common thing you could see is a corn. It's just a thickening of the skin, in the area where there is irritation. Likely, from the outside of the shoe. This can also happen, between the fifth toe and the fourth toe.

At first you may see very little, maybe a little redness. Sometimes a corn, maybe it's white, but it's painful. And it will be made worse by shoes that aren't round and instead press across. This doesn't mean you were wearing tight pointed shoes. But, if you've got pain on that fifth toe, the first thing to do is take the shoe off. Wear an open sandal and see if you're more comfortable, on either the outside or the inside wherever the point of pain is, without that pressure on the toe.

Treatment for Little Toe Pain

The first thing you can do to reduce your pain is to change your shoes. See if you can determine which shoes are bothering you. Maybe it's only your hiking shoes or walking shoes or dress shoes. Anything with more of a heel in the shoe will add to more pressure in the front, by the toes.

In the second stage of this problem, you get a real corn, a thickening of skin. That's all that is, response to bone and pressure. Skin helps out, it's not a big help, makes a corn. And, it can happen between the fifth and fourth toes. No, they're not usually a wart. They're usually a corn, a painful thickening of the skin.

What You Do To Treat Corns at Home

How Your Podiatrist Treats Corns

When you come into the office, we'll take an X-ray. We may see an enlargement of the bone on the outside of the toe. We can also see the little toe drifting over toward the 4th toe, creating a red bump. 

What do we do about those things?

Well, the easiest one to treat is the corn between the toes. It actually takes a fairly minimal procedure, to shave down the little bone in between here. Because, you just don't have a fat pad between the toes. Underneath, yes. Between, no. On the outside, no pad. This can be corrected as well with a small bone procedure. Both of them are done on an outpatient basis. But, before you go there, check your shoes, pad your toes, space between the toes. Now, it gets beyond that? Come in, let's get an evaluation and get rid of your toe pain.

To learn more about other causes of little toe pain, visit Little Toe Pain: Causes and Treatments.

Dr. Rion Berg
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A podiatrist in North Seattle treating families for over 40 years.