By Sarah Howes
What Causes a Swollen Toe?
If you have a swollen toe as a result of a recent injury and your looking for a cure then your going to want to read this article. We will go over some of the most common causes of swollen toes and cures so you can enjoy your healthy lifestyle. After reading this article you should be more confident in finding a cure for your swollen toe.
A swollen toe is an edema which is a natural body defense that causes a build up of fluids that get trapped under the skin leading to swelling. Toe swelling can occur in one or several toes at the same time from the result of an injury such as banging your toe against a wall, a cut, ingrown toenails or other problems. The swelling can be associated with bruising, itchiness, pain, redness, warmth, numbness and stiffness.
A swollen toe could be caused by injury from sports such as running or could be an underlying medical condition. Sports such as running puts a lot of stress on your feet, the continual pounding on hard surfaces can lead to your toes swelling. Bruised and swollen toes can be avoided by wearing the proper sized shoes and thick padded socks. Improper sized shoes can restrict the flow of blood to the foot and toes.
Another cause of a toe swelling is an infection caused by ingrown toenails. A swollen toe is a good sign in this case as it is telling you that your body is trying to fight off infection from the bacteria and germs that have invaded. When cutting your toes with toe nail clippers, ensure that the clippers are clean and never cut your nail too deep. If a toe with an ingrown toenail is causing you pain then try soaking your foot in a warm bath for 15-20 minutes to reduce the pain, repeat this process 3 to 4 times a day.
Gout can be another form of toe swelling. Gout is caused by high levels of uric acid in the blood and is an acute inflammatory arthritis which usually occurs in the big toe (the first metatarsal-phalanges joint) causing a painful burning feeling. Uric acid is formed from the breakdown of substances called purines which are found in foods such as liver, dried beans, peas and anchovies. Both lifestyle changes and medications can decrease uric acid levels in the body, please contact your doctor or specialist as soon as possible for treatment.
Check out this great video from Dr Bob Lahita which summarizes the common problems which can occur in your toes.
Treating a Swollen Toe
If your toe is swollen due to running or other related sports, a typical home remedy cure would include applying the ICE and ELEVATE treatment:
- ICE Apply an ice pack or a frozen vegetable pack from your freezer to the toe to reduce the swelling and pain. Wrap the ice pack in a tea towel before applying directly to your toe for 20-30 minutes. Repeat this process every 2-3 hours. Do not apply the ice directly to the skin
- ELEVATE Elevate your foot above you heart to reduce the swelling. This is usually achieved by lying down with your foot raised up above your heart with a couple of pillows.
Swollen Toe Summary
If you have been involved in an accident, squashed or dropped something on your toe, then the swollen toe could indicate a more serious injury such as broken toes or a ligament injury. Dealing with a swollen toe promptly is important to help prevent any further infections. If your swelling is minor then try one of the ICE and ELEVATE solution above, however if you are experiencing a lot of pain in your toe, then you should consult your doctor or specialist as soon as possible for further treatment.