3 Common Toe Problems and How To Fix Them

By on February 25, 2019

Your toes suffer a lot of abuse throughout the day. They are closest to the grime of the floor, and it can be incredibly painful if they have any sort of a problem, even if it’s just a tiny splinter. If you’re suffering from pain in your toes and are wondering what might be causing it, then here are three very common toe issues to be aware of.

Ingrown Toenails

What is it? An ingrown toenail is when your toenail begins growing to the side of your toe, into your skin, instead of just growing out. As it grows to the side it can be quite painful as it presses against the skin, and sometimes it can even cause sores and infection.

How to avoid it: One way to avoid ingrown toenails is to always trim your toenails straight across. Cutting your nail in a curve or too short can cause the nail to grow incorrectly. Also, be aware that tight shoes can cause an ingrown toenail to form so always make sure your toes have plenty of room in your shoes.

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Dealing with it: Typically you should be able to treat your ingrown toenail from the comfort of your own home. Try soaking your feet in warm water to help relieve the pain. You can even try lifting the toenail slightly and sticking cotton under it to relieve pressure from the nail on your skin. If it hurts enough you might consider taking some pain relievers (like Tylenol) and you might put some antibiotics on your toe as well.  


What is it? Hammertoe, also referred to as mallet toe, is a condition when one of your small toes points downward instead of straight out. This typically happens because there is an imbalance of the muscles and tendons that control the toe alignment.

How to avoid it: Hammertoe is something that you can be born with but typically it forms later in life. One major cause is wearing shoes that don’t fit correctly and that distort your feet when you’re wearing them. Typically these are shoes that are too small or tight, pointed heels.  

Dealing with it: Sometimes the fix is as easy as changing shoes to some that allow your feet a little more room at the toes. Sometimes a splint or pad can be used to help protect the toes from the inside of your shoes. In severe cases, surgery may be required to fix the issue.

Toenail Fungus

What is it? Your toenail might have a fungus problem if your nail has yellow spots. When the fungus has taken over your toe it will completely discolor your nail, making it yellow or brown, and it will make your nail thick and crumbly at the edges. Another sign that it is toenail fungus is the bad odor that will accompany the other symptoms.

How to avoid it: To help your feet avoid toenail fungus always wear shoes in wet community areas like locker rooms and around swimming pools. Keep your feet dry and if your feet do get wet make sure to dry them thoroughly before putting them back into enclosed shoes.

Dealing with it: There are some over-the-counter medicines you can get to help treat toenail fungus, but if you have an especially persistent case you might want to chat with your doctor. They should be able to prescribe you some anti-fungal prescription to get rid of your fungus.

If your feet are causing you significant pain, then schedule a visit with your doctor. Your feet are so vital for every function that it’s better to take care of the problem sooner than later.



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3 Common Toe Problems and How To Fix Them