Small Pinky Toenail Problems: A Guide On Causes And Treatments

You must be curious about your pinky toenails as much as the next person.

They come in different shapes and sizes and almost always seem to have a mind of their own. Sometimes, they’re so small that they’re barely visible to the naked eye.

They’re also known to grow sideways, turn yellow, and even fall off!

If you’re concerned about your toenail health, then you’re not alone. Deformities in toenails are a common problem faced by a lot of people.

Some of the worst cases include toenail fungus and ingrown toenails. Instead of letting your deformed toenails slowly become your worst nightmare, you should consider getting a treatment.

In this article, we’ll take a look at some common problems related to small pinky toenails and how you can treat them with creams and natural remedies.

Common Problems

small pinky toenail

Your pinky toe is susceptible to several ailments because it’s unprotected on one side and that alone can lead to several deformities.

The most common problems observed are hammertoe syndrome, broken bones, ingrown nails, and fungal infections.

When you have a hammertoe, the simple act of walking can lead to swelling and inflammation and cause toenail problems.

Let’s take a look at some common issues associated with pinky toenails and how you can treat them.

Why Does Your Pinky Toenail Fall Off?

small pinky toenail

If your small pinky toenail is beginning to fall off, you should avoid wearing shoes that are too tight on your feet or you’ll be in a lot of pain.

You shouldn’t wear any socks either because you don’t want the material to rub against your exposed nail bed.

Once your toenail falls off by itself, you can’t do much except wait for it grow back.

When you have an exposed nail bed (the tissue under the nail), you need to take great care of it because it’s very sensitive.

It can take around 7 to 10 days before the skin can harden and your nail can start growing back naturally.


To minimize the pain you’re feeling on your pinky toe, you should use a topical analgesic cream. You need to apply it every night before going to bed.

It’s also necessary to apply this cream or another anti-bacterial cream to the sensitive area and cover it with a bandage before wearing socks.

There’s not much you can do to speed up the process except take vitamins (like Biotin) for nail growth.

Why Is It Shorter Than the Rest of Your Toenails?

small pinky toenail

It’s understandable if you’re concerned that your pinky toenail is too short and barely visible.

The reason behind this could be that the size of your pinky toe itself is too small and doesn’t have enough room to allow your nail to grow.

If you’re in the habit of wearing tight shoes, then your pinky toe could get cramped and start looking deformed.

It’s quite common to have a tiny toenail and it isn’t a cause for alarm.

You should avoid buying shoes that fit you a little too snugly to give your pinky toenail some space to grow out.


Since having a small pinky toenail isn’t a problem that you can fix, the most you can do to have long toenails is to let them grow for as long as you can.

When your nail bed itself is quite small, you’ll have shorter nails. You should also note that you can’t increase the length of your nail bed.

How Can You Tell If You Have Ingrown Pinky Toenails?

small pinky toenail

Ingrown toenails have to be the worst of all toenail problems. If you’ve never experienced them, you should know that they can be extremely painful.

Here are some signs that you need to look out for to see if you have this dreaded condition:

  • You’ll feel a sharp pain on one side of your toenail.
  • You’ll notice that the skin around your nail has turned strangely tender or red, and it may even get swollen.
  • You might notice an infection on the tissue around your nail. This happens because the ingrown nail digs into your skin and leaves little cuts that can easily get infected.

You should consider getting treatment right away before your toenail gets so deep inside that it cuts into your bone.

You can get it fixed with or without surgery, depending on your condition.


tea tree oil

Several things can cause your toenail to grow inward.

To get proper treatment, you may have to deal with several issues first before you can get rid of this condition completely.

Nails that are trimmed a little too short are prone to this condition.

If you have a fungal infection, then you need to treat it before you can move on to the bigger problem. Use an anti-fungal cream or tea tree oil on your toenail fungus.

You should soak your feet in warm water for about 15 to 20 minutes three or four times every day. This should reduce the swelling.

After soaking, you need to put fresh pieces of cotton under the edge of your ingrown toenail to allow it to grow above the skin.

If none of these remedies work, then you should consult a doctor so they can examine your condition.

They may suggest lifting the toenail, removing the nail partially, and if the condition persists on the same toe, even after treatment, then you may have to get a portion of your nail and nail bed removed.

Final Thoughts

small pinky toenail

Now that you’ve learned all about small pinky toenails and the problems associated with them, you shouldn’t hesitate to seek treatment after noticing the first sign of a nail deformity.

Take care of your toenails and keep them clean or they’ll become a pain for you to deal with down the road.

Found this article useful? Take a look at other informational guides on toenail health on our website.

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