Causes and Cures for A Swollen Toe

Fact Checked
swollen toe
swollen toe

The toe gets swollen when a fluid or some inflammatory substances accumulate in the toe. Swollen toe is painful, especially on touching and can cause a lot of discomfort. It can also be caused by an underlying disease like arthritis. A swelling of toe can causes problem during walking as it will hurt when it will touch the ground. The balance maintenance is a serious concern in case of such swelling. In most cases, it is the big toe that gets swelled. The causes are numerous ranging from some bacterial infection to a trauma or injury. Following are described the main causes and cures to handle the swollen toe.

The material posted on this page for swollen toe recognition and management is for learning purposes only. To learn to recognize and manage skeletal emergencies as well as injuries and infections sign up for a first aid course today.

Symptoms of swollen toe:

The major symptoms of the swelled toe are following:

  • A prominent swelling of course
  • High temperature at swelled toe
  • Redness
  • Tenderness
  • Dull pain which may occur on rest too
  • Formation of blisters in a few cases
  • Collection of pus
  • Skin color change over the affected toe
  • Soreness of toe

Causes of swollen toe:

The main culprits that cause the toe to swell are:

  • Toe infection (due to close footwear)
  • Toe injury
  • Trauma of the toe
  • Bunions (toe bends towards other toes abnormally)
  • Medical conditions like gout
  • Edema of foot
  • Excessive salt in the body
  • Fungal attack on toe due to moisture present in the base of toe

Treatment of the swollen toes:

Here are some useful tips to treat the problem of swollen toe:

  • Look for any underlying disease that may be producing the problem like arthritis. Treat that and the swelling will resolve on itself.
  • Clean the toe; remove any particle present over there like an iron piece etc. use a disinfectant to wash the area to prevent the bacterial attack.
  • Apply ice cubes or soak your foot in the cold water to reduce the inflammation. It will cause the numbness in the foot and will also relieve the pain die to the inflammation. The inflammatory substances production is also lessened by this method so it’s a useful and convenient method to reduce inflammation.
  • If an infection is suspected, antibiotics like ceftriaxone or ciprofloxacin can be taken. Antifungal should be used in cases of fungal infection.
  • Special shoe inserts are used if there is some pre-existing foot abnormality like bunions. Surgery should be performed to remove bunion and treat swelling if cause is a bunion.
  • If gout is present in the patient, NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) are used to treat it. Corticosteroids are also given along. Diet control ad use of mentioned medicines cures and gout and thereby swelling is also cured.
  • If salts level is high and salts are retained in the toe, which also attract water there, then soak the foot in warm water. The salts will go away from toe in the water and inflammation will reduce rapidly.
  • Take care of swollen toe as irritating it will result in more swelling and more pain. Use soft footwear while walking and try to walk less. While sitting or lying down, place the swollen toe on soft place like pillow.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • All content is reviewed by a medical professional and / sourced to ensure as much factual accuracy as possible.

  • We have strict sourcing guidelines and only link to reputable websites, academic research institutions and medical articles.

  • If you feel that any of our content is inaccurate, out-of-date, or otherwise questionable, please contact us through our contact us page.

The information posted on this page is for educational purposes only.
If you need medical advice or help with a diagnosis contact a medical professional