Your Toes Are Swollen — Is it Time to Worry?
We all know that body parts become swollen when fluid is trapped in a certain area, and your toes are no exception. Swollen toes are more common than you think and can become a hassle when you’re trying to fit in your favorite pair of sneakers or rock your new sandals. Your toes can become swollen for a variety of benign reasons, but if the swelling continues to get worse or hinders your day-to-day life, you may be experiencing one of the following:
- A skin infection. If your toes are swollen, hot to the touch and producing discharge, the podiatrists at Triad Foot and Ankle recommend consulting a professional. Warm, tender and enlarged toes could signal a bacterial or fungal infection.
Whether your infection is fungal (i.e. athlete’s foot) or bacterial (i.e. cellulitis), skin infections can become severe and a threat to your foot and skin health if left untreated.
- Gout. Does the first little piggy look like it’s the only one allowed to go to the market? A swollen big toe could be a sign of gout. Gout is classified as arthritis and causes severe pain in the big toe that’s a result of built-up uric acid.
Gout affects the joint in your big toe, and results in intense pain, redness and lumps beneath the skin. Want more information on how to treat gout? Check out this article from our experts at Triad Foot and Ankle Center.
- Bunions. Like gout, bunions also typically affect the big toe. Found at the bottom of your big toe, bunions are painful lumps that develop over time between your big and middle toe as a result of not wearing shoes that fit correctly.
Those who are 65 or older are also more likely to develop bunions. If treated in a timely fashion, pain from bunions can be soothed and bump growth can be stopped by wearing wide shoes, icing the area and using aids like bunion pads. If left untreated, your podiatrist may recommend bunion removal surgery.
- Heart failure. Although less common, swollen toes may be a symptom of heart failure due to the decrease of blood flow and circulation. If you suspect that your toes are swollen as a result of heart failure, the professionals at Triad Foot and Ankle recommend seeking advice from a physician immediately.
- An old-fashioned stubbing. Whether your toe endured a nasty battle with a table leg, or fell victim to a dropped hammer, trauma is one of the main reasons your toes are swollen. Swollen toes related to traumatic accidents are usually physically purple and bruised.
Treatment for toe stubs includes rest, ice, elevation over-the-counter pain relievers, but if you suspect your toe is broken, it’s time to head to the doctor.
If you’re experiencing prolonged swollen toes, or you suspect that your foot’s health is in danger, it’s time to set up your appointment at Triad Foot and Ankle Center. Find a location near you ASAP.
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