Why does my toe hurt?


So, you’re asking yourself, why does my toe hurt?

There are numerous reasons as to why you might be experiencing painful toes, it could be Hammer Toes, or something a little less obvious like wearing ill fitting shoes. It is easy to push it to one side as if it is nothing, but it is vital you do not ignore it, especially if redness and swelling accompany your pain. 

Ingrown toenails

An ingrown toenail is when the sides of your toenail grow into the surrounding skin. The longer your toe is left in this condition, the more vulnerable you are to infection. As your nail has pierced through your skin, your body reacts by creating an intemperate response, leading to redness, swelling, warmth and pain in the area. 

The signs of an infection are similar to those of your body’s inflammatory response, except they are accompanied by a foul odour, moisture, pus and blood. 


Paronychia is an infection of the hand or foot where the skin meets the nail, either on the side or along its base. The infection is usually bacterial or fungal in nature and is the result of damaged or broken skin. Excessive moisture can make the skin more prone to this type of infection. 

Much like ingrown toenails, paronychia symptoms include redness, swelling, warmth and tenderness. 

Tinea Pedis/Athletes Foot

Tinea pedis is also known as athlete’s foot. It is usually seen as flaky skin on the bottom of the foot, followed by itchiness and dryness. If left untreated, more severe problems can arise, for instance, redness, swelling and tenderness to the touch. 

It is vital that if you feel like you are experiencing pain in your toes, you should book an appointment to see a podiatrist like ourselves to find out the cause. All of the above conditions will require you to seek medical treatment. However, you can try soaking your feet in a saltwater bath for 5-10 minutes, practising good hygiene and keeping your feet and toes clean and dry. 

Remember to put on a clean pair of socks daily and allow your feet to breathe. Most bacteria survive in moist and dark environments!

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