There are several reasons why your toe may be painful. The important thing to do is not ignore it, especially if the pain is accompanied with redness and swelling. Keep reading to find out what your next steps should be to find out the culprit to your pain.
An ingrown toenail is when the sides of your toenail grow into the surrounding skin. Once the nail pierces the skin, your body reacts by creating an inflammatory response to this, which leads to redness, swelling, warmth, and pain in the area. The longer the toe is left in this condition, the higher the risk of infection. How can you tell if you have an infection? The signs of an infection are somewhat similar to those of the body’s natural inflammatory response to a cut or wound, but greater in a sense. For instance, an infected ingrown toenail will increase in redness, swelling, pain, and warmth in addition to being accompanied by any of the following: a foul odor, maceration (moisture), pus (cloudy, creamy liquid), blood.
To find out more about ingrown toenails, such as what causes them and how they can be managed, click the link here
Paronychia is the medical term to describe an infection of the hand or the foot at the location where the skin meets the nail, either on the sides of the nail or along its base. This infection can be bacterial or fungal in nature and is usually the result of damage to the skin (via biting or picking or any other physical trauma). Excessive and chronic moisture can also make the skin more vulnerable to these infections.
Similar to an ingrown toenail, paronychia will also present as a red, swollen, warm, and tender digit.
Although Tinea pedis also known as Athlete’s Foot, usually presents as itchy, dry, and flaky skin on the bottom of the foot, it can also be localized between the digits or along the sides of a single or multiple digit(s). Sometimes, Tinea Pedis features a cluster of small red vesicles, along a digit and may spread to adjacent digits. When left untreated, the toe may become red, swollen, and tender to the touch.
If you have a red, swollen, painful toe, regardless of the cause, book an appointment with a chiropodist today! Your chiropodist will be able to determine the cause of your pain and provide the necessary treatments to get you back on the path to good foot health. All the above conditions require medical attention, including a prescription for an oral or topical antibiotic or anti-fungal. In the meantime, as you wait for your appointment, try soaking your feet in a salt water bath for 5-10 minutes.
When you’re not soaking your feet, practice good hygiene and keep your feet clean and dry. Wear a new pair of clean socks everyday and let your feet breathe at home. Most microorganisms thrive in moist, dark environments.