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Swollen red toes
by Adriana Hubble
Two weeks ago my 2nd, 4th and especially my pinky toe of my right foot became red and swollen. There is also a small dark discoloration on the nail bed of the pinky toe near the cuticle. The toes occasionally feels itchy & burning with little pain but not always. They also sometimes turn a bluish color. My feet tend to be cold and a few months ago I suffered a sciatic flare up on my right side which left some numbness in the lower half of my leg and foot. The swelling is worse in the morning or if exposed to high heat & moisture. I have been getting acupuncture with no change. I am a generally healthy 36 year woman. I don't smoke am a vegetarian and practice yoga almost daily. I really hope you can at least help me identify this condition. Thank you, I look forward to your response.
Go to my section on "cold feet" and scroll down to the part about superficial frostbite. That is the first thing that comes to mind based on your description.
The reason the toes hurt more in heat is because the exposure to heat dilates (opens up) the arteries that bring blood into the toes and that along with the clamping down of the veins in the toes, forces the blood to pool in the area, so they swell and hurt.
You should probably see a local podiatrist to confirm this diagnosis.
Marc Mitnick DPM