Why Is My Pinky Toenail So Small? Pinky Toenail Problems Explained!

LuxeLuminous is reader supported. When you buy through our links, we may get a commission.

Toenails come in all shapes and sizes, and each of us has subtle variations in our nails. But sometimes the variations go a bit too far! Like for example, if you have a really small pinky toenail.

Are you wondering “Why is my pinky toenail so small?”

Many people feel that their pinky toenail is very small compared to the rest of their toenails. 

There are various reasons why your pinky toenail might be unusually small, from genetics to the shoes you wear.

In most cases, you really shouldn’t worry about it. But there could be other issues involving your pinky toenails that you should look into or visit a podiatrist to deal with.

In this article, I’ll go over why a pinky toenail might be small, and look at some other common pinky toenail problems. 


Why Is My Pinky Toenail So Small?

As compared to your big toenail, your pinky toenails will, of course, be smaller. They are simply naturally smaller because your pinky toe is small. That just means that the nail that grows from the toe is quite small compared to the rest. It may be that there is nothing wrong with your toenail at all, and it just needs to be treated differently.

However, there are cases when it may seem that your pinky toenail is so small that it seems like it doesn’t exist!

In such cases, you should take a closer look at the reason why your pinky toenails are too small. 


One of the first things you should assess is the type of footwear that you usually use. The shoes may be too tight. Shoes that are too tight have more effect on your pinky toenails than the rest of your toenails. 

When the shoes you wear are too small and there isn’t enough space for your pinky toenails, it can hinder them from growing. You might want to change your shoe size or shoe style so that your toes, especially your pinky toe, can be more relaxed and can have more space. 

When the shoes you wear are too small and there isn’t enough space for your pinky toenails, it can hinder them from growing.


Another reason is due to genetics. You may have a naturally short nail bed. That would mean that you would have a small nail that grows from it. That is because there is limited space for the nail to grow.

Even if you try to grow your pinky toenail longer, it can cause a problem if it gets too long and snags your sock or other fabric. When that happens, it can get loose, develop a wound, and could be infected. 

Other Problems You Can Have With Your Pinky Toenails

Apart from the size of your pinky toenail, there can be other problems that you can face such as the following: 

1. Pinky Toe Starts To Fall Off

A problem that you can have with your pinky toenail is if it starts to fall off. It could be due to fungal infection on your pinky toenail, or maybe due to toenail trauma from an injury. When that happens, you should avoid wearing tight shoes or tight socks because it could be extremely painful.

When your toenail falls off by itself, there is nothing much that you can do. All you have to do is to wait for the nail to grow. While it’s possible that the toenail may never grow back, most of the time the toenail will grow back over the next several months. While waiting, you should protect the exposed nail bed. 

This is a very sensitive part and could feel pain with the slightest pressure. When the toenail on your pinky toe falls off, the skin may take about a week to harden and for your toenail to start growing back. 

In such cases, topical analgesic creams can help deal with the pain. Your doctor may prescribe an anti-bacterial topical cream that could help prevent your exposed nail bed from getting an infection. 

You might need to protect the area by wearing a bandage on the toe. There is nothing much that could help grow the toenail quickly. 

2. Ingrown Pinky Toenail

Even if your pinky toenail is the smallest, it is still possible for you to have an ingrown pinky toenail. It is one of the worst problems you can encounter with your pinky toenail because it is very painful 

There are several signs that you have it. Watch out for a feeling a sharp pain on one side of your toenail. Sometimes, the skin on one side of your pinky toenails could feel tender, and look reddish or swollen. 

Fungal Infection from Ingrown Toenail

It is possible to develop an infection when you have an ingrown pinky toenail. That’s because the nail digs into the skin and cuts the skin leaving it open for bacteria to get into. 

Toenail fungus is no fun, and it can be hard to deal with.

Whenever you have an ingrown pinky toenail, the best thing you can do is to seek treatment right away. 

There are several things you can do to avoid having an ingrown nail. One of them is to avoid cutting it too short. If you already have a fungal infection, make sure that treat it so that it doesn’t spread and cause more problems in case you develop an ingrown. 

See also:

3. Double Split Pinky Toenail

Some people have a pinky toenail that seems to be split in the middle. The toenails grow parallel to each other. This is a genetic trait that some people might have. 

In f you have this, you should assess whether the extra nail is bothering you. If not, then you might not need to have it removed. 

On the other hand, if the toenail is always snagging on your clothes and fabric, which causes pain, then it would be best to have it removed. Surgical procedures are available to remove the extra toenail. 

It would be best to have it removed than for it to snag on fabric and be loose. When it is loose, there could be an infection that develops. This may cause you more problems in the long run so you should decide on having removed. 

4. Ski Jump Toenail

A ski jump toenail is a nail that is growing in a concave shape as opposed to a convex shape. They’re curved the wrong way and are shaped something like a ski jump ramp.

There are a variety of causes of ski jump toenails, and a variety of cures as well, including potentially simply waiting for the toenails to start to grow in the proper direction once again.

Written by Kayla Young

Kayla is the founder of LuxeLuminous. She has worked professionally in the tanning industry for years. She has been interested in esthetics since childhood, and has tried every hair, skin, and makeup product ever produced (more or less).