It is very important that you choose your shoes well: ones that don’t squeeze your toes too much. And when you get home you should take your shoes off so your feet don’t suffer.
The toes on our feet are oftentimes forgotten. We don’t remember them until they get chafed, or until joint deformities start to form bunions (hallux vulgus), which are so painful.
So what can you do? What type of precautions can you take?
Today we want to focus on these types of problems and toe injuries that are so common, especially in women, along with how they should be treated.
Most common toe injuries and problems
We spend the majority of the day with our toes closed up and squeezed into shoes that aren’t always the best choice for them.
We may not be aware of it, but it’s not uncommon that over the years of using inappropriate shoes, toes will grow deformed and atrophied due to a lack of movement.
It is very important that in some way, you balance out this fake enclosure for your feet. We’re not talking only about the types of shoes you wear, but also about small exercises for your toes to prevent them from atrophying.
So let’s first take a moment to analyze what the most common problems associated with toes are.
1. Bunions (hallux vulgus)
A lot of people say that bunions are caused by using the wrong type of shoes for a long period of time, but this isn’t entirely true.
It is also known that people that “never wear shoes” have this deformity as well. So what causes them?
- Some people are predisposed to developing this condition. This anomaly is oftentimes hereditary, and therefore congenital, passed down from mother to daughter.
- If you are genetically predisposed and you use inappropriate shoes, the problem will be worsened, or it will appear much sooner.
- Having flat feet: especially if your big toes sticks out farther than your others. An excessively large big toe (known as an Egyptian toe) is the most common cause of bunions forming.
This is because the big toe is the most prominent. It ends up being squeezed by shoes more and turns out. Over time, this will create a bunion.
How can bunions be treated?
- Clearly, bunions cannot always be prevented. So if your family members have bunions (your mom, grandmother, or aunts) it would be a good idea that you avoid closed-toe shoes from an early age.
- It is important that you do exercises that promote movement of the toes, like walking. Try to grab things off the floor with your toes (cloths, towels, etc).
- If you already have bunions, it is important that you prevent them from becoming inflamed. Take relaxing foot baths and add rosemary or lavender to the water.
- And lastly, bunions can prevent you from walking properly, which could turn into a spinal problem. This means that over time, you may need surgical intervention.
2. Ingrown toenails
Having an ingrown toenail is as common as it is painful. Have you ever had one?
- Ingrown toenails are caused by using shoes that are too tight and it almost always affects the big toe.
- The way you cut your toenails could also lead to ingrown toenails. Sometimes you may cut them too short, or you leave the edges square rather than rounding them off. This creates a point that can dig into the skin.
- You should also keep in mind that a lot of people are born with toenails that curve down, sunk into the skin. This could make them more likely to suffer from these problems frequently.
How to prevent ingrown toenails
- Soak your feet in hot water.
- Don’t cut your toenails too short or leave them with sharp, pointy edges that could damage your skin.
- Avoid using overly tight shoes that could squeeze your big toe.
3. Calluses, inflammation and pain in the toes
Who hasn’t ever had a blister or callus on their feet? This is quite common and can be very tiring.
The feet have 26 bones and 14 of those bones are in the toes. If your toes hurt, you can’t walk well and this means that you cannot confidently or comfortably face the day.
What causes this type of problem?
- Wearing high heels or tight socks
- Dry feet
- Lack of exfoliation
- Calluses generally appear on the heals or the side of the big toe or little toe, caused by rubbing. This could become a more painful problem.
What can I do to treat calluses or rubbing?
- If you often spend several hours in closed-toe shoes, take a relaxing foot bath when you get home and try to exfoliate your heels well. Massage the toes and apply rose hip essential oil to them before going to bed. Wear comfortable socks while sleeping.
- In order to remove calluses, make an infusion with one liter of water and 100 grams of nettle. Then pour the resulting liquid into a tub and soak your feet in it for 20 minutes.
- Afterwards, scrub your heels with a pumice stone.
- To finish, massage your feet and toes with chamomile essential oil.