Why Do I Have Itchy, Swollen Toes?
Toes are often grossly overlooked in their importance. They’re stubby, smelly, and quite frankly they’re often not too pleasant-looking. Without our toes, however, we would find it very difficult to balance while walking, standing and running as well as pushing off from the ground when in motion.
Since these activities are an essential part of normal human behavior, it is important to maintain proper foot hygiene and keep tabs on the health of our toes. With that being said, if you’re finding that you have itchy, swollen toes, then this article is for you.
What Causes Itchiness and Swelling?
If you’re experiencing itchy, swollen toes then you may be undergoing a myriad of conditions that have the potential to produce this effect. This could range from allergies to joint problems and while some may simply require a change of diet, others may warrant a visit to a physician.
A common catalyst for itchy and swollen toes is contacted with an allergen. This could be the result of a bee sting, poison ivy, insect bite, or even a specific chemical. As the symptoms of an allergic reaction may take hours to appear, the cause may be difficult to isolate.
If you are seeing an irritating array of red dots on the skin of your toes, then you may have a common skin disorder called Eczema. This is caused by a wide
Technically a type of arthritis, gout is caused by uric acid in the bloodstream that collects on your joints to form painful crystals, swelling the joint and irritating the skin. This is a chronic condition that is not treatable at home and required a physician’s attention.
If enough bacteria or fungi collect on the surface of your toe, or worse, inside an open wound on your toe, then you are prone to an infection that will usually result in a painfully swollen and often times itchy toe. This commonly comes in the form of the highly contagious fungus Athlete’s foot.
All being told it is still advisable to visit a doctor in case you have gout or a serious infection and immediate action is required to prevent further progress.
What are Some Remedies for these Conditions?
12 Home Remedies For Swollen Feet
When dealing with allergens, the remedy is relatively simple provided that the allergic reaction remains local to your toe.
The first step is to remove the source of the reaction. After that, the swollen itchiness can usually be reduced with an over-the-counter antihistamine and a salve such as an aloe or lotion.
- If the reaction has spread and is affecting other parts of your body, consult your doctor to understand the severity of your allergies.
- If you find that you have eczema, there are several different ways to alleviate symptoms, but a cure for it doesn’t exist. Some sufferers find that eczema eventually goes away, while others have a chronic condition that continually resurfaces.
To reduce the symptoms, it is recommended to wear comfortable shoes, use moisturizer, and avoid scratching.
Daily soaking the affected area has been shown to help as well as maintaining a humid environment with a humidifier. Rapid changes in temperature and sweating can also aggravate it.
Over-the-counter corticosteroids and other topical anti-inflammatory medication should be used if the above methods failed to alleviate your symptoms.
Antihistamines and antibiotics may be prescribed by your doctor if lichenification has begun, meaning that the area has become grey, dry and scaly.
You can find an effective corticosteroid here.
Gout is the most serious of the potential causes of your itchy, swelling toes. Fortunately, it is also the least frequent. As a form of arthritis, symptoms can lie dormant for years before resurfacing. There are many ways to reduce the likelihood of an attack, but there is no cure.
Due to the severity of the pain felt by the accumulation of uric crystals in your toe’s phalanx joint, painkillers will only succeed in taking the edge off. Aspirin has been noted as a potential aggregate of gout symptoms so you should avoid it entirely.
Certain foods can increase the amount of uric acid in your bloodstream. Avoiding beans, red meat, full-fat dairy products, organ meat, and sardines can help deter the onset of gout symptoms.
Some people process uric acid more effectively than others and so are less likely to have the condition.
If you’re itchy, swollen toes are a result of a bacterial infection, then treatment is usually simple and your symptoms should be temporary. Keeping the affected area clean and taking prescribed antibiotics will almost always cure the infection and return your toe to its normal state.
Fungal infections may also be the cause of your condition. Most sufferers of this have a common fungus known colloquially as athlete’s foot. If this is the case, then home remedies and over-the-counter antifungal medication will usually eliminate the infection. You can find that here.
Soaking the affected foot in a warm mixture of water and vinegar or garlic can fight the infection without the use of medication, but you may see that the medications are more effective. It also helps to change your socks twice per day and never wear the same pair of shoes two days in a row.
What You should Do
If you find that you have itchy, swollen toes you should immediately make an appointment with the appropriate physician whether it be your podiatrist or your dermatologist. Allow him/her to assess your condition and diagnose the problem.
If the condition is a mild and temporary one such as athlete’s foot, then you can follow the steps in this article to alleviate your symptoms and cure the ailment completely.
If your condition is more severe and chronic, like gout, then surgery or potent prescription drugs may be necessary. You need your toes, and you also may want to learn how to prevent more instances of these conditions.
Listen to your physician, take your medication as prescribed, and follow the home and over-the-counter remedies listed in this article to be well on your way to healthier toes.
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(By Carlos Rivera - Lamont Ly)
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