A hammertoe is formed due an abnormal balance of the muscles in the toes. This abnormal balance causes increased pressures on the tendons and joints of the toe, leading to its contracture. Heredity and trauma can also lead to the formation of a hammertoe. Arthritis is another factor, because the balance around the toe in people with arthritis is so disrupted that a hammertoe may develop. Wearing shoes that are too tight and cause the toes to squeeze can also be a cause for a hammertoe to form. It is important to prevent bunion deformity before it is too severe, since an untreated bunion can interfere with standing and walking. Here are some general guidelines to keep in mind. Avoid shoes that are too tight and shoes that are too loose. Tight shoes compress your foot causing unnecessary pressure. Loose shoes allow the shoe to rub back and forth against your foot – a repetitive motion that causes patches of hard , dry skin to form as the foot attempts to protect itself. Avoid wearing shoes without socks, even if it’s just a quick trip to the grocery store. Socks are there to protect your feet from friction! And beware of ill-fitting socks or socks with large seams that can also be a source of rubbing. The use of night splints for the treatment of bunions has long been a source of comfort as well as an aid to stretch the tendons typically shortened by the onset of bunions. Simple to use and inexpensive to purchase, night splints are a valuable source of pain relief. A tailor's bunion is a condition that affects the little toe. A bone deformity causes an inward bend and a bump forms where the bones of the toe and foot merge. Tailor's bunions can cause difficulty when walking or wearing shoes. Several methods can successfully treat a tailor's bunion and relieve the pain. Calluses and corns are another common cause of foot pain. They are actually patches of thickened skin caused by friction or pressure. Calluses appear on the balls of the feet or on the heels while corns will appear on the toes. Calluses are caused by an accumulation of dead skin cells. In severe cases, the callus has a deep seated core called a nucleation. This type of callus is exceptionally painful. Corns are similar to calluses as they are also thickened patches of dead skin cells which have formed as a protective mechanism against pressures on the foot. Corns however are found on the toes. Corns are made of thick layers of dead skin cells, are usually white or yellow in color, and appear tough and thick. Corns and calluses may also look flaky, or seem like really dry skin. A corn tends to be small and round, with a very painful spot in the middle and yellowish skin surrounding it. Calluses, on the other hand, are usually larger and may be a little painful. When picking out shoes, consider your feet for a moment. Thick, rough calluses and painful corns are a steep price to pay for fashion. Treat your feet to soft and comfortable shoes, and thus protect them from corns and calluses. Corns are actually calluses that develop on the feet due to pressure or increased friction from wearing shoes. The skin thickens in response to this friction as a defensive mechanism, but this buildup of hardened skin can become painful. Corns often occur on the outside of the small toe where it rubs against a shoe. However, it can also occur on the top or even in between the toes. Identify the Cause When other measures do not bring full relief, a doctor may choose to trim the corn with a scalpel. An antibiotic ointment may be used to prevent infection and the toe padded as it heals. Salicylic Acid Calluses and corns are layers of hard, thickened skin that form due to excessive pressure or friction over a bony prominence. This thickening of the skin is your body's normal response to repeated pressure or friction. The main difference between the two is where they are found. A corn is simply an area of hard, thickened skin that can occur on the top, between, or on the tip of the toes. A callus is similar in nature, but is larger and usually develops on the ball of the foot or on the heel.