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Swollen Toe Causes

Although swelling of the toe is not a life-threatening problem, it is better to seek medical attention to prevent it from becoming serious. Determine the cause of the edema in your toe before you begin worrying. There are many medical conditions which could be responsible for this problem like arthritis, cellulitis, allergic reactions, injury, etc.
Pushpa Duddukuri
Last Updated: Apr 22, 2018
When excessive fluid builds up in the toe, that's when it gets swollen. However, it may or may not be accompanied by pain. There are several tiny blood vessels in the body called capillaries which get broken due to a number of reasons, resulting in the accumulation of blood in a part of the body which causes swelling. Edema in toes should be examined by a medical practitioner who can determine whether it is a localized cause or indicates a serious problem. Aside from the swollen toe causes mentioned below, diseases like gout, diabetes, arthritis etc. can also be the underlying factor behind red swollen toes.
Lymphedema: It is a disease in which lymphatic fluid is retained locally in the various body parts and hence, causes swelling. It can induce general as well as local swelling in several body parts including toes. Lymphedema treatment is possible through pump therapy, compression and surgery.
Venous Insufficiency: When blood does not reach properly from the leg veins to the heart, it results in the accumulation of blood in the defective veins. It causes cramping and throbbing pain in the legs and also, causes swollen ankles and feet.
Cellulitis: Cellulitis is the inflammation of the skin tissues and is caused by many different conditions, ranging from fever to an injury. Cellulitis of the legs results in soreness, redness around the affected area, swelling and even scabs and blisters.
Ingrown Nail: This condition is quite painful and results in swollen and infected toe. The skin grows over the nail from the sides, resulting in soreness. This commonly occurs among teenagers and people who do not follow foot grooming properly and cut their nail too short. This in turn encourages the nail to grow into the skin. Ill-fitting shoes are also a major cause behind ingrown nails.
Infection: Skin or blood infections or even bacterial infections cause the toes to swell up. Skin infections like atopic dermatitis can be one of the causes of itchy toes.
Blunt Trauma: An injury like banging into the wall or any other hard surface is one of the common swollen feet causes. Runners and joggers alike, experience swelling in the toes from running hard. After heavy running exercises, they often complain of throbbing pain in limbs, followed by swollen toes and swelling in the ball of the feet. Ice baths for the foot is the best and simplest cure for this.
Tight Footwear: Avoid wearing shoes that are too tight as ill-fitting footwear could be culprit behind your redness in toes. Notice whether you are experiencing pain in the toes particularly after you wear tight footwear.
Allergic Reaction: Allergic reaction to medications or insect bites usually affects the sensitive part of the body like the lips, fingers or toes etc. Hence, it is wise to be aware of what could trigger allergic reaction in you and avoid it completely.
Infected Cut: An infected cut or scrape on the toes can lead to swelling of the toes and fingers. The swelling subsides when the injury is healed or septic cut is taken care of with help of medicines.
Thorn or Splinter: A thorn or a splinter in the toes can go undetected but duly cause pain and swelling in the foot. To ascertain that this is not the case with you, check the palm of your ankle or toes to eliminate this possibility.
Venous Thrombosis: It can be a direct result of blood clot inside the vein. Deep vein thrombosis usually occur in the leg and cannot be noticed visually. This condition can become serious when the clot breaks off and blood travels to the right side of the heart and also to the lungs.
If the swelling is the result of the another condition, then it will be accompanied by other symptoms particular to that disease. However, such toes are usually red and tender to touch. Itchiness due to swelling often indicates skin infections. For home treatment, you could just dip your feet in warm water containing Epsom salts which effectively cures swelling caused by infection. A paste of turmeric with red sandalwood will also work wonders to reduce the swelling in the feet. Applying ice pack is the tried and tested cure for swelling in the body. Besides these, hydrogen peroxide can also reduce inflammation in toes.
If you are experiencing a lot of pain in your toe and have not experienced any injury in your foot recently, then it is best to consult a doctor immediately. So get cured as soon as possible. After all, nobody can fill your shoes better than you.