Corns often appear on the toes and feet, especially if you’ve been wearing shoes that are too narrow. One of the most common places to develop a corn is on the side of your pinky toe.
Pinky toe corns can be quite uncomfortable, but the good news is that they often are simple to remove.
Let’s cover what they look like, and the home remedies and in-office treatments for getting rid of a corn on your pinky toe.
Corns on your pinky toe may look inflamed or irritated. Corns are usually raised above the skin’s surface and beige-yellow in color.
In the center of a corn, a hard white spot (core) can be seen. Over time, the skin under the corn may develop a red, brown, or black appearance due to chronic irritation. It is important to watch for signs of infection.
Treatment and removal
A pinky toe corn can typically be treated at home. There are some situations where you might need to get professional medical help to remove it.
There are several things to try on your own before going to a doctor for pinky toe corn removal. They include:
You can start by simply soaking your foot in warm water. This will soften the layers of dead skin, and you may see some of the corn start to lift from your pinky toe. If soaking alone doesn’t work, move on to filing.
Pumice stones are made from naturally occurring volcanic rock. These types of stones are available at most pharmacies, beauty supply stores, and online. After soaking your foot, dry it well before using a pumice stone to apply gentle pressure to the corn and file the layers of dead skin off.
This method can take some patience, and you might need to repeat the process of soaking, drying, and gently filing the corn away.
You can purchase medicated corn pads over-the-counter. These pads provide a cushion for your pinky toe while applying medication that dissolves the corn.
These treatment pads, and other corn treatments sold over-the-counter, typically contain salicylic acid to dissolve the corn. Doctors recommend approaching these products with care.
Occasionally, home remedies won’t work to remove a hard corn on your pinky toe.
Your doctor may use a surgical blade to shave off the dead skin and remove the corn completely. You shouldn’t try this method yourself, as it needs to be done in a sterilized environment to avoid damage to your toe.
In some rare instances where a corn keeps coming back, you may need to see a surgeon who specializes in podiatry. The surgeon will work to correct underlying issues in your pinky toe’s bone structure that may be causing recurring corns
Corns, also called clavus, are not at all unusual. Some people are more prone to them than others. A corn on your pinky toe may be caused by:
- shoes that aren’t wide enough, or shoes that slip up against your pinky toe when you walk
- having a job where you spend a lot of time on your feet, such as working in a restaurant, working outside, and health care
- structural problems in the shape of your feet or your toe bones
- an abnormal way of walking
People who have diabetes, joint disease such as arthritis, or who are over the age of 65 are more likely to develop corns.
The typical pain level for a pinky toe corn is mild to moderate. You may feel pressure on the corn when you’re putting on your shoes or when your feet are constricted, but otherwise, the pain level should be manageable.
If you are feeling severe pain from a pinky toe corn, it’s possible that you’re dealing with a different condition.
There are some steps you can take to prevent getting a pinky toe corn in the future. These steps include:
- wearing properly fitted footwear that doesn’t rub against your pinky toe
- investing in adhesive pads or silicone sleeves that can protect your toes when you’re on your feet
- keeping your feet dry when you’re wearing shoes
- moisturizing your feet regularly
- trimming your toenails often
When to talk with a doctor
It’s normal for corns to cause discomfort and some dull pain. But in general, you should see a doctor if the pain from your pinky toe corn is severe.
Other signs that you should see a doctor include:
- difficulty walking
- swollen feet
- pain that stabs or burns
- an open wound on your foot that oozes or appears infected
- yellow or green discharge coming from your pinky toe corn
The bottom line
Your pinky toe is one of the most common places for a corn to show up. You can try home remedies to manage symptoms and, over time, remove the corn. If home remedies don’t work, you can speak with a podiatrist about other options. If the pain from your pinky toe corn is severe, it’s time to make an appointment with your doctor.