Hammertoe is a condition where your toes lock in a bent position at the middle joint. Wearing shoes that fit too tightly can cause hammertoe, as can muscle imbalance. Consult a podiatrist about treatment options for this condition, who may recommend padding or suggest a specific type of shoe to correct the problem.
Usually related to an alignment issue, bunions are a bony protuberance next to the base of the big toe. Bunions are common – especially in older individuals. Some health professionals say wearing shoes that don’t fit properly cause this issue, but bunions can also be congenital, or caused by injury. Regardless, switching to a comfortable shoe (perhaps with padded inserts) is the first step in treating bunions.
Gout is an extremely painful arthritic condition that occurs when crystals collect in the toe joints and cause swelling and pain. If a podiatrist diagnoses your foot problem as gout, resting the affected foot is crucial, as is compressing and warming it. Avoid consuming foods that cause gout flares, such as seafood, red meats, and alcohol.
When the toe skin begins to overlap the nail, ingrown toenails are the result. It’s important to treat this condition early, as it can cause infections. When treating an ingrown toenail at home, soak the foot in warm water a couple times a day. While the skin is wet, try to wedge between the nail and skin. If you’re prone to ingrown toenails, avoid cutting the nails in a curve. A straight trim will help prevent the condition from reoccurring.
If these conservative treatments aren’t effective, surgical options can help ease painful toe conditions. Discuss these options with your podiatrist to learn more.