Pinky Toe Pain: Identifying Its Causes and Treatment Options

Causes | Treatment

Prior to making conclusions about pinky toe pain, you should be more informed about the specifics of this ailment. Be reminded that your treatment against the problem will be more efficient if you have diagnosed it correctly.

Little toe pain may seem mild based on its name, but it can be debilitating. It can actually affect almost every part of the body. Primarily, you can consider this sore pinky toe common in people who wear closed shoes, resulting in the curvature of their smallest toe.

You can determine how to address it correctly by identifying its cause first. Similar to various health conditions, you should not be surprised that it also roots from various factors.

What Causes Pinky Toe Pain?

Pinky toe pain is a common problem. There are different foot and ankle clinics that can help you survive the issue. Fortunately, most records indicate a good response from the patient.

Nonetheless, if you confessed “my pinky toe hurts”, you should also carry out your own diagnosis. There are times when natural remedies may also work. You simply have to identify if you are indeed suffering from baby toe pain first.

Normally, this problem can affect the area outside the foot. The most common victim of the ailment is the fifth metatarsal.

To make things more specific, here are possible causes of the ailment:

Tailor’s Bunion

This is one of the common causes of pinky toe pain. It is also termed as bunionette. You will notice its development when your fifth metatarsal bone becomes prominent, particularly at your little toe’s base.

This small toe pain is not as common as a bunion. Nonetheless, you can consider that the causes and symptoms of both conditions are similar. The name of the health problem is derived from tailors sitting all day with their legs crossed.

As a result of this habit, their feet’s external edge gets in contact with the ground. Consequently, a painful bump develops.

Ingrown Toenail

A sharp pain in pinky toe may be due to the development of an ingrown. It is a common condition that almost everyone has encountered, particularly in the big toenail. According to research, athletes often suffer from this health problem.

If you are asking, “Why does my pinky toe hurt?” you should check if you have a history of toe injury. Alternatively, you may have selected an ill-fitting footwear. Apart from medical treatments, there are others who consider addressing it with good hygiene, foot soaks, and elevation among others.

There is also a possibility of infection apart from the pinky toe pain associated with the ailment. Minor surgery may also be carried in case things get worse.


Pinky toe hurts in shoes, which is why you should find out what causes it as soon as possible. Among the following factors that may contribute in its development is hammertoe. This is also identified as a deformity.

When you are suffering from this problem, the little toe pain is brought by the imbalance in ligaments, tendons, and muscles. These are parts that are responsible for keeping your toe in a straight position.

Other contributing factors to why a person develops hammertoe are the structure of your feet, accident, footwear, and ailments among others.

The pain in pinky toe is not the only symptom of hammertoe. Instead, it will also be characterized by the abnormal curve of your toe’s middle joint.

Ill-Fitting Shoes

Pain in pinky toe is just one of the dangers of wearing an ill-footing pair of shoes. The symptoms of the problem become worse if you have calluses. These are characterized by the development of tough skin.

If you have calluses, these will not only make your pinky toe swollen, but it will also promote difficulty in walking.

It is never ideal to force your feet to wear too tight or poorly designed shoes, especially if you only want to make a good impression. According to the survey done by the American Podiatric Medical Association in 2009, 78% of people in the United States wear shoes that are too small.

Corns and Calluses

Pinky toe pain may also develop due to the formation of corns on your toes. Normally, these build on the sides and tops of your toes. There are different types of corns. Nonetheless, it is often mistaken as calluses.

The corn’s development related to little toe pain is characterized by the thickening and hardening of skin areas. From this fact, you can already guess that this may be due to skin pressure, friction, and rubbing.

Calluses are different from corns since these are rough to the feel, which can develop on the feet and hands. The major cause of callus development is friction. One type of it is plantar callus, which is found on the foot’s surface.

As for corns, here are its top two types:

  • Hard Corn (Heloma Durum)

This is also associated with the pain in little toe, especially now that it can be found in different parts of your body. However, once it develops on your foot, you can find it at your toe end, sole, and side areas.

Normally, this hardened skin may have a yellow tone. When inflammation is present, it may also appear red. One of the possible reasons why it develops is the improper feet positioning every day.

In case there is added pressure on your toes’ tips, a great amount of friction is created. Rubbing action is one of the reasons why tearing of soft skin takes place.

  • Soft Corn (Heloma Molle)

Although this pinky toe pain is a different type of corn, it is still due to the same factor resulting in hard corns. Usually, it forms when your footwear’s interior and toes get in contact repeatedly.

The difference is the area where the hardened skin develops on your foot. You can locate this little toe pain between the fourth and fifth toes. Before soft corns appear, you will observe a burning sensation, which will be followed by the development of a blister.

Broken Toe

Pain in little toe also develops when you encounter a common injury, such as stubbing your toe or dropping an object on your foot. There are people who immobilize their broken toe by attaching it to the toe beside it.

Nonetheless, when the little toe pain gets worse, surgery or casting may be necessary to promote proper healing. This is applicable to the big toe.

Stubbed Toe

You can also consider this synonymous to a broken toe in a way. You can experience small toe pain with this condition. This pain may persist for a few hours and will return, particularly if you exert pressure on the affected area.

Furthermore, swelling and discoloration may also develop for a few days. Afterwards, you can also anticipate that your toe will suffer from an abnormal appearance. Pinky toe pain may also make walking difficult due to swelling.

High-Impact Exercise

There are some exercises that can cause pain to your feet, especially since it consists of over a hundred ligaments, tendons, and muscles. Plus, you can anticipate it to be easily affected, for it bears the weight of the body.

Among physical activities that can result in pain in your toe are golf, basketball, aerobics, cycling, and tennis among others. The injury may develop when you wear ill-fitting footwear, or when you jam your toe accidentally.

Toe Arthritis

Arthritis may also affect your toes, resulting in pain in your feet. The main cause of this ailment is the toe joint’s inflammation. Most of the time, this arthritic pain impacts the big toe. Toe arthritis may be due to sprain, broken toe, gout, rheumatoid arthritis, and osteoarthritis.

There are also risk factors associated with the ailment, such as being overweight, family history, and aging.

Nerve Irritation

It is true that nerve irritation may also cause pain to your toe, especially if tendons or joints are afflicted in your foot. The nerve concerned may be irritated direction or influenced by other ailments that are related to nerve irritation.

How to Treat Little Toe Pain?

There are a number of home remedies that can help you address toe pain. To provide you a few that are proven effective and can also serve as alternatives to immediate clinical surgery, here are the following:

  • Onions. You need to mix white vinegar and sliced white onion. The container holding the solution should be kept in a warm area. Afterward, cover your corn with the mixture prior to sleeping. Use a covering to keep it in place overnight.
  • Lemons. This is an effective solution in terms of eliminating corns on your foot. You simply need a slice of it, preferably one inch in length and as wide as your toe. The remedy should be applied on the corn and covered with a bandage. Also, wear socks over it and leave it overnight.
  • Vitamin B Complex. It is an effective solution if your toe experiences pain, numbness, a burning sensation, and itchiness. There are supplements that can be taken with food to enhance your nerve’s condition.
  • Stretches. Your flexibility and mobility have to be improved. You may do so by stretching. This gets rid of tendons and feet balls’ tension.
  • Proper Footwear. You should try purchasing special shoes in case you develop hammertoe, which is one reason that can cause your toe pain. This will provide relief and prevent doctor consultation.

The aforementioned facts about the condition will help you manage it more effectively. The home remedies are very easy to use, especially if you have identified what causes the pain of your pinky toe. Nonetheless, always remember that when things get worse, you should not hesitate to ask for physician’s assistance.


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