Toe Jam‘ is not a medical term and is a lay term for that yucky ‘stuff’ that accumulates between the toes. It is really a collection of things such as sock lint, dead skin cells and sweat that have nowhere to go in the tight cramped spaces between the toes. At the best of times this can be unpleasant, even have a cheese-like consistency to it and can emit a foul odour. It is likely to be worse if you wear closed in shoes, your feet sweat a lot and your foot hygiene is not as good as it should be.

The best way to deal with toe jam is to practice good foot hygiene. You need to carefully clean and then dry between the toes.

Toe jam can only become serious if a fissure or split develops between the toe and an infection can get in; or if a secondary bacterial or fungal infection develops in the unhygienic environment created by the accumulation of the toe jam.

Toe jam is unpleasant and yucky and can be the butt of jokes, but please take it seriously and practice good foot hygiene habits to get rid of it. If any of the complications of it develop then come in and see us.

We use a lot of the urea-based creams, specifically the Walker’s brand. We have found it very effective for the dryer skins and the Walker’s comes in two concentrations (15 and 25), so we can choose which is more effective.

Urea based creams have been widely used for since the 1940’s to treat dry skin and conditions like psoriasis and dermatitis. It has next to no side affects, though an allergic reaction is a rare one. Below a concentration of about 20 (ie the Walker’s 15) the action of the urea is to act as a humectant, which means it helps the skin retain moisture. Above a concentration of about 20 (ie the Walker’s 25) it causes a breakdown of proteins in the skin and the dry skin can flake of and soften the skin. We will often choose to use one or the other depending on the clinical needs. Varying the use of the two can prove to be quite effective.