Wound Care

Painful Swollen Toe Treatment in Plano, Dallas, Prosper & Allen, TX

Painful Swollen Toe Treatment in Plano, Dallas, Prosper & Allen, TX

Posted On: March 23, 2020

Painful swollen toes are a common problem. A toe can get swollen as a result of different conditions. When it becomes swollen, it looks bigger than normal. A toe becomes swollen due to the accumulation of fluids in the tissue of the toe. Knowing the root cause of a swollen toe will determine the treatment.

Symptoms of a Swollen Toe

The common symptom of a swollen toe is the increase in its size. A swollen toe becomes bigger than the other toes.

Other symptoms of a swollen toe include:

  • Pain
  • Stiffness or limited range of motion
  • Warmth of the affected area
  • Redness of the affected area
  • Swelling of other toes
  • Swelling elsewhere in the foot or ankle
  • Stretched skin
  • Shiny skin
  • Stinging or itching between the toes

Causes of Swollen Toe

There are several different conditions that could cause swollen toe. If a condition causes swollen toe, the condition needs to be treated before the swollen toe can return back to its normal size. Conditions that can cause swollen toes include various forms of arthritis, infections, injury, ingrown toenail, bunion, and more. 

swollen feet ankle pain

How do you treat a swollen toe?

A swollen toe is treated based on the condition that caused it. The treatment option depends on the condition that causes the swollen toe. At Graff Foot and Ankle we will normally treat the symptoms of a painful swollen toe with an initial steroid injection to immediately relieve the pain. We then determine the cause of the painful swollen toe and formulate a long term plan. 


Arthritis is a condition that is characterized by inflammation of the joints. It causes swelling, discomfort, and stiffness in joints. It also results in pain and tissue damage.

There are different types of arthritis. The two most common arthritis are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Other types of arthritis include psoriatic arthritis, gout, and hallux rigidus. 

Treatment of Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis

Osteoarthritis is the breakdown of cartilage between your joints. It occurs as a result of the general wear and tear of your joints.

Rheumatoid arthritis occurs when your body’s immune system attacks the joints and the tissues in your body.

Osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis can be treated with different treatment options ranging from medications to therapy and to surgery.

The medications for treating both arthritis include:

  • Analgesics, such as acetaminophen (Tylenol), oxycodone (Percocet), and hydrocodone (Vicoprofen). These medications help to reduce pain, but not inflammation.
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) help to reduce inflammation
  • Counterirritants help to interfere with pain signals to reduce pain
  • Disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs)
  • Biologic response modifiers, such as etanercept (Enbrel) and infliximab (Remicade)
  • Corticosteroids, such as prednisone and cortisone

Psoriatic Arthritis

Psoriatic arthritis is associated with a condition known as Psoriasis. It affects some people with psoriasis.

Psoriasis is an autoimmune condition that causes the development of red plaques on the skin. It is common on the scalp, back, and around the joints. Psoriasis causes swollen toes and fingers.

Treatment of Psoriasis Arthritis

  • Psoriasis arthritics can be treated with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). This helps to relieve pain and reduce inflammation.
  • At Graff Foot and Ankle we normally inject the inflamed painful joint and the pain resolves that day. 
  • Disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) can be used to improve the condition.
  • Immunosuppressant drugs, ultraviolet light therapy and surgery can also be used as treatment options. 


Gout is another type of arthritis that is characterized by sudden soreness, swelling, and stiffness around the joints. It often affects the big toe joint also known as the metatarsophalangeal joint. It causes crystals to form within and around the joints which result in inflammation and pain.


Treatment of Gout

Gout is typically treated at Graff Foot and Ankle with a cortisone injection into the joint which will resolve the pain within hours. We then determine a long term plan to treat the gout. We will draw labs to check your uric acid and also make sure you don’t have other inflammatory causes.  

Hallux Rigidus

Hallux rigidus is another type of arthritis. It affects the metatarsophalangeal joint at the bottom of the big toe. This condition leads to inflammation in this joint that can cause pain and stiffness in your toe.


Treatment of Hallux Rigidus

  • Hallux rigidus can be treated with over-the-counter (OTC) NSAIDs
  • Glucocorticoid injections
  • Wearing shoes with a wide toe box
  • Wearing orthotic devices
  • Physical therapy
  • Severe cases may require surgery

Ingrown Toenail

Ingrown toenail is a situation in which the toenail grows into the flesh of the toe. This condition causes pain, redness and the toe becomes inflamed.


Treatment of Ingrown Toenail

Ingrown toenail can be treated with:

  • Home care remedies
  • Topical and oral antibiotics
  • Pain relievers
  • Removing the ingrown portion of the nail
  • Partially or completely removing the nail
  • Lifting the nail


Different kinds of injuries can cause the toe to get swollen. You can get injured from playing sports, accidents, hitting your legs against a hard object, dropping a heavy object on your toe, and so on.


Injuries can be treated with:

  • Home care remedies (RICE)
  • Pain relievers
  • Antibiotics
  • Over-the-counter medications


A bunion is a bump that develops on the joint at the base of the big toe due to changes to the bones within the foot. The changes within the foot cause the big toe to lean in toward the second toe. Bunion can lead to pain, soreness, burning sensation, redness, numbness and inflammation.