Wednesday, January 26, 2011

How To Minimize Overlapping Pinkie Toe Pain (as written for Demand Studios)

An overlapping pinkie toe occurs when the toe is extended at the metatarsophalangeal joint and rotated to rest on top of the fourth toe. Overlapping pinkie toes are usually congenital deformities, meaning they are present at birth but can become more obvious later in life. The overlapping pinkie toe is equally common in men and women and usually occurs on both feet. About half of patients become symptomatic because of pressure from footwear, according to eMedicine.com. There are ways to minimize the complications of overlapping pinkie toes, including pain, irritation, blisters and calluses.

1 Stretch and tape irregular toes at birth. This can help, but complete correction rarely occurs. Your baby's doctor will examine the feet and suggest an appropriate treatment plan.

2 Wear wide shoes with broad tips. This is the main treatment for adults; it reduces friction and pressure on the toes. Consistently wearing shoes that are too narrow can squeeze the toes together, exacerbating the issue. Shoes should be roomy with lots of toe space.

3 Research the relevant medical devices available, based on your symptoms. One common product used is a silicone toe cap, which slides over the toe to reduce friction and pressure. Another product used is a toe separator or comb, which is inserted between each toe to keep them separate, ultimately minimizing pressure and friction.

4 Research the many possible home remedies, including lemons, raw papaya and chalk powder. Also, there is evidence that green fig juice softens corns. Soft corns are areas of white moist skin that most commonly occur between the fourth and fifth toes, due to an irregularity in the bone shape.

5 Inquire about surgical treatments applicable for your scenario. The surgeon will manipulate the tendon and soft tissue at the base of the pinkie to promote a straighter growth. For severe deformities, a pin may be used to hold the toe in position. The pin remains in the toe for about three weeks, then the toe may need to be splinted.
  • Tips & Warnings
The same treatments above apply to treating soft corns, in addition to soaking the area regularly and using a pumice stone or callus file to soften and reduce the size.

  • References
Podiatry Network
Social Issues Reference: Congenital Deformities
eMedicine: Fifth-Toe Deformities
PR Log: Causes and Treatments for Overlapping Toes
Feet Relief: Gel Toe Caps

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