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Swollen Toe Treatment in Texas

Painful swollen toes are a common problem. A swollen toe can result from many different conditions, but typically becomes swollen due to accumulation of fluids in the soft tissue of the toe. Knowing the root cause of a swollen toe will determine treatment.

Swollen Toe Symptoms

The most obvious symptom of a swollen toe is an increase in its size, so it appears bigger than the other toes. Other symptoms of a swollen toe include:

  • Pain
  • Stiffness, 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 conditions that could cause swollen toe. These conditions need to be treated before the swollen toe can return to normal size. Conditions that can cause swollen toes include various forms of arthritis, infections, injury, ingrown toenails, bunions and more.

How do you treat a swollen toe?

We treat a swollen toe based on the condition that caused it. We 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 characterized by inflammation of the joints. It causes swelling, discomfort and stiffness in joints. It also causes pain and tissue damage. There are many different types of arthritis. The two most common are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Other types of arthritis include psoriatic arthritis, gout and hallux rigidus.

Treating Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis

Osteoarthritis is the breakdown of cartilage between your joints. It occurs as a result of general wear and tear. Rheumatoid arthritis occurs when your body’s immune system attacks your joints and other tissues. Osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis have different treatment options ranging from medications to physical therapy and surgery. The medications for treating arthritis include:

  • Analgesics such as acetaminophen (Tylenol), oxycodone (Percocet), and hydrocodone (Vicoprofen). These medications help reduce pain, but not inflammation
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) help reduce inflammation
  • Counterirritants 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 and 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 joints. Psoriasis causes swollen toes and fingers.

Treating Psoriatic Arthritis

Psoriatic arthritics can be treated with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). This helps relieve pain and reduce inflammation. We normally inject medication into the inflamed, painful joint and the pain resolves the same day. Disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) can also improve the condition. Immunosuppressant drugs, ultraviolet light therapy and surgery are other 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.

Treating Gout

We typically treat gout with a cortisone injection into the joint, which resolves the pain within hours. We then determine a long-term treatment plan. We draw blood to check uric acid and make sure you don’t have other inflammatory causes.

Hallux Rigidus

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

Treating Hallux Rigidus

Hallux rigidus can be treated with:

  • Glucocorticoid injections
  • Wearing shoes with a wide toe box
  • Wearing orthotics
  • Physical therapy
  • Surgery for severe cases

Ingrown Toenail

Ingrown toenail is a condition in which the toenail grows into the flesh of the toe and causes pain, redness and inflammation.

Treating 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

Traumatic Injury

Different kinds of injuries or trauma can cause a swollen toe. You can get injured from sports, accidents, hitting your legs against hard objects, dropping a heavy object onto your toe, etc.

Treating Injuries

Injuries can be treated with:

  • Home care remedies (RICE: rest, ice, compression and elevation)
  • Pain relievers
  • Antibiotics
  • Over-the-counter medications


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

Don’t live with a swollen toe. Schedule an appointment with Graff Foot Ankle and Wound Care today. Call (972) 403-7733 or use our convenient Request an Appointment form to schedule your visit.

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