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Star-Crossed Digits: Why Toes Overlap

The idea of people whose tragic fates were determined by the stars has been around for centuries and famously used by Shakespeare to describe Romeo and Juliet, his “star-crossed lovers.” The idea is, of course, that these people who crossed paths were also crossed in fate and doomed to an unhappy end. While it makes for classic stories, we know that the patterns of stars crossing does not doom you an unhappy life. Similarly, toes crossing—or rather, overlapping—are not a sign of being doomed to foot problems. Overlapping toes are common and not necessarily a problem for you.

Overlapping toes are exactly what they sound like: one or more of your digits crosses over and “overlaps” its neighbor. While this is most common in the littlest toe, it can develop in any of your small digits. Generally, toes overlapping are something you are born with. The specific causes of the condition aren’t completely understood, but the problem tends to run in families. Children are more likely to have overlapping toes if one or both of their parents have them as well.

The good news for you is that most of the time, toes that overlap don’t cause problems. Normally they are flexible and act like normal toes. The biggest issue is that, for many people, the appearance of this minor deformity is embarrassing and uncomfortable.

Occasionally, however, this minor deformity can stiffen and cause problems. You might be more prone to calluses or blisters on the affected digits. The stiffness could give rise to other problems and make wearing certain shoes, or doing certain activities, uncomfortable. The good news is that a few treatment options could help deal with this problem—and, better yet, many people grow up and live with overlapping digits that never cause any difficulties.

Whether you’re concerned about how your overlapping toes look or you’re worried about foot pain, know our team is here to help. At Absolute Foot Care Specialists, we’ll help you take care of your feet and toes. You’re not “fated” to have foot issues control your life or add to your worries. Contact our Las Vegas offices for an appointment by calling (702) 839-2010 or by using our web request forms.

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