The condition known as mallet toe is characterized by a toe, generally the one next to the big toe, dropping down below the level of the others. This causes friction against the shoe and a painful callus may form on the tip of the toe. While it's often associated with diabetes or bunions, the cause is more frequently improper shoe fit. Shoes which are too short, narrow, or tight can cause the toe to buckle. It'xs more prevalent in women than men, and shoes with pointed toes and high heels are the suspected culprits. Shoeless tribes in Africa do not develop this condition. The simplest solution, in addition to looser shoes, is a device called a toe crest, which raises the toe to the same level as the others. If all else fails, the condition can be corrected through surgery, removing some bone to shorten the toe. For more information on mallet toe, contact a foot specialist in your area.
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