A sore little toe can make simple activities such as running, walking, or even putting on shoes very uncomfortable. In order to effectively treat little toe pain, a person must first identify the cause of his or her ailments. A sore toe may be the result of excessive rubbing from tight shoes, leading to a blister or corn. A bunion is a more serious condition in which an irregular bone growth causes the little toe to point inward. Dropping something on the little toe or stepping awkwardly can cause an actual break, which typically needs to be examined and treated by a physician.
Blisters are common in people who engage in frequent activity or wear ill-fitting shoes. Pressure and friction can cause the skin to break open, leading to irritation and tenderness. An individual can usually treat little toe pain caused by a blister by washing the area, applying over-the-counter antibiotic ointment, and wrapping the toe in an adhesive bandage. By wearing comfortable shoes and avoiding activity as much as possible, most blisters go away within one to two weeks.
Friction and pressure can also lead to a corn, a rough patch of skin that is tender to the touch. A corn typically appears as a raised bump on the side of the toe, and can be painful when it rubs against shoes or socks. A delicate corn can be treated in much the same way as a blister, by applying antibiotics and avoiding tight shoes. Especially large or painful corns can be surgically removed by a licensed podiatrist.
A tailor's bunion, or bunionette, occurs when a bone in the little toe protrudes outward because of a deformity or constant pressure from a narrow shoe. A hard, sensitive, red bump appears on the outside of the toe, which causes the end of the toe to point inward. A person can usually treat little toe pain caused by a bunion by applying ice to ease swelling and irritation, placing a protective bandage around the toe, and taking over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drugs. As with other types of toe pain, wearing appropriate shoes is important to allow tailor's bunions to fully heal.
Broken toes can be extremely painful and debilitating. In order to immediately treat little toe pain related to a break, a person can apply ice and tape it to the neighboring toe. It is important to seek medical care as soon as possible to ensure that the toe heals properly. A general physician or podiatrist can treat little toe pain by manually straightening the toe and wrapping it in a protective bandage. Healing time can vary depending on the severity of a break, but most people are able to return to regular activity in about two months.