Your Humble But Important Toes


Oh the poor, neglected toe! While walking, these small but essential parts of your foot keep you connected to the ground 75% of the time and help you keep your balance. In fact, your big toes are so strong that they bear twice as much weight as all the other toes combined!

But your toes have lots of bones and joints that make them vulnerable to injuries and other problems. Here are some of the most common “toe troubles”:

Bunions. This painful joint problem usually affects the big toe joint. A bunion will be painful with tenderness around the joint and a visible bump on the side of the foot. Bunions often run in families and can be worsened by wearing high heels or narrow shoes. Switch to shoes with a wide toe box and lower heels. Come see us for an evaluation and for non-invasive treatments as well as surgery.

Athlete’s foot. If you have red, itchy and blistering skin between the toes, you probably have a fungal infection called athlete’s foot. It’s easy to pick up this very contagious fungus in warm, damp places like spas, swimming pools and locker rooms. For persistent cases, prescription topical treatments will do the trick.

Hammertoe. A muscle and tendon imbalance in the toe can cause it to bend upward at the middle, resembling a hammer. Hammertoes also run in families. Wear shoes with a wide toe box that is also high to prevent rubbing against the shoe. For permanent relief, we will discuss surgery with you.

Toenail fungus. Another type of fungal infection can get under the toenail causing it to become loose, thickened or brittle and to change color. Just like athlete’s foot, the toenail fungus is contagious so protect your feet in public areas. Keeping feet dry and clean and wearing shoes made of materials like canvas and leather can help too. For persistent fungal infections, topical and oral prescriptions can help and even removing the infected part of the nail.

Ingrown toenail. When shoes are too tight or narrow, or if you round your toenails when you trim them instead of cutting straight across, you may get an ingrown toenail. Ingrown nails are painful with swelling and even drainage from the nail cutting into the skin. Wear shoes that have plenty of room in the toe area. When giving yourself a pedicure, always trim the nails straight and not rounded at the edges. Please come see us for a painful ingrown toenail – we may have to remove a portion of the nail in a simple office procedure.

Don’t Put Up with Toe Troubles! We Can Help

The foot specialists at PodiatryCare, PC and the Heel Pain Center have extensive experience in treating all aspects of foot problems. Our team of doctors which consists of Dr. Robert Marra, Dr. Thomas Johnson, Dr. Kristen Winters, Dr. Laura Vander Poel, and Dr. Ryan Donegan is dedicated to serving you with all of the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies. Many treatments and surgeries can be handled right in our offices. Please call us at (860) 741-3041 to make an appointment in one of our offices in Hartford County, conveniently located in Enfield, Windsor and South Windsor, CT.