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The response to the question below was authored by Marc Mitnick DPM

Gout? 2nd Toe Issues?

probable superficial frost bite

probable superficial frost bite

I work out at gym 4-5 times weekly. I wear flip flops all the time in locker room. Father and older brother have some history of gout. I never knew what it was until recently. Every so often, mainly my 2nd toe gets enraged, red, tender to the touch. Almost looks like a rash? Sometimes it seems to spread onto the Large toe as a simple DOT. You can see the dot on the big toe, 1-2mm dia, and tender to the touch. Not near a joint, just on the surface. I went to podiatrist and he had no idea what it could be and promptly asked for his $200 exam fee....It comes and goes. I seem to have very cold feet and hands (in good shape, but poor circulation to the ends of my 6'4" frame?). Problem tends to flare up if it's cold, then i put socks on or put feet under blankets. I wake up a couple hours later with the foot sweaty, beating, red, enraged. Or, if i work outside in the snow and socks get damp from sweat. It's always the 2nd toe and sometimes goes onto the 3rd toe. But never the 3rd toe or big toe alone. I've learned to just deal with it as it doesn't stop me from doing what i want to do (i.e. no work stopping pain). I've tried chemicals, epsom salt baths, tee tree oil, etc. The only thing that seems to work is a prescription topical steriod (topicort). It seems to calm it down, then a day or so later, you can see the red replaced with dark purple and tan/brown like a funus was just killed. Then, if i keep my foot under the blanket or in wet socks, it starts all over again. It's hard to control it from happening....but worst of all i have no idea what it is and if there is a permanent cure! Help. Photos attached.

You do not mention whether you are male or female, nor your age but it appears if it is a circulation problem rather than gout. My first thought would be superficial frostbite which you can read about on my site.
See another doctor for confirmation (and call the first doctor and ask for your money back, he/she has a lot of nerve telling you they do not know what the problem is and then charging you for it)
Marc Mitnick DPM

Comments for Gout? 2nd Toe Issues?

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Apr 28, 2015
Thank you!
by: Anonymous

I forgot about this page as I posted it over 2 yrs ago. Thanks for the feedback. I have not run across Chilbains, but that sounds exactly like what it is. Anyone looking at it usually says "Reynalds" but can't really explain more. I tried blood thinner, didn't like the side effects. But, Chilbains sounds exactly what it is...especially the cold to warm aspect. I also find that shoes (mainly plastic - like snow boots and cheap shoes i.e. not leather) play a part in it. The lack of proper air flow would make my feet flare. May also be an allergic reaction to plastic?? I can feel it coming on...then i take my boots and socks and you can see it all flared up. Takes about a good 3-6 days to go away and the skin looks dead (like it's healed), then back to normal. I have not had a flare up in over a year. To anyone out there that has this, my advice is, avoid plastic shoes of any kind, drink lots of water (this helped a lot!) and for flare ups get prescription for topical steroid and apply thin coat. Good luck

Apr 25, 2015
by: Annie


I know this post is very outdated but I figured I would write a comment in case this issue was never solved. I think this is something call Chilblains. It's caused by your blood vessels shrinking in the cold and then being warmed up too quickly. It creates a bottle-neck affect. So, heating up the toes when you first get inside actually makes the problem worse. It's a common issue in Britain because it is very cold and damp there.

I hope this helps!

Dec 03, 2013
raynauds cold red sore toes
by: Anonymous

Yes people on the raynauds . I am 47 just had it flare up again after not having issues for the last 1o years. I was diagnosed in my early twenties, went on norvasc with in issues and it cleared up. Norvasc helps dilate the blood vessels in order for blood to circulate. Hope this helps. You should see a circulatory specialist. Family physicians should refer you to one rather than misdiagnosing by taking a wild guess.

Jan 10, 2012
by: Anonymous

I solved a couple of problems related to cold, damp feet by applying "clinical" anti-perspirant to my feet every night. My feet stay warmer when they are dry, plus I get fewer blisters and athletes's foot rashes. My shoes smell a whole lot better, too. :)

Mar 01, 2011
by: Anonymous

they said reynaulds. I get the feeling no one really knows for sure. I'm 43 yrs old, 6'4" and work out a lot. For some reason i'm suseptable to this and there's no magic cure. I seem to have had a good year since by just controlling it like i said....when i feel it coming on, i dry the feet, use topical steriods, change socks and all works out. I do believe it is a circulation issue.

Hope this helps.

Feb 28, 2011
Gout ?
by: Anonymous

Erythromelagia or Raynauld's ?

Feb 28, 2011
by: Anonymous

Yes, my doctor ruled it as Reynalds (spelling?)(circulation issue). He prescribed a heart blood pressure med, but it made me drowsy. I think it kind of helped? But, mostly, i just control it better now. If i feel it coming on (and yes, you can feel it coming on) i change socks immediately. I also was prescribed a topical steriod that seems to help the flair ups.

Bottom line, no magical solution, just minimizing the flair ups.


Feb 26, 2011
any answers yet
by: Anonymous2

Hi. I found your comments interesting as I have had the same thing. My doctor mentioned circulation issues but ruled them out due to my age and small size. Defintely no frostbite where I live. I've tried several treatments with no luck...creams, antibiotics. Did you ever find anything out?

Jan 17, 2011
So what is this condition ?
by: Anonymous

Definitely NOT frostbite. So what is this conditon... athlete's foot or rheumatoid arthritis ?

Jan 10, 2011
I'm so glad I'm not the only one!
by: Sophia

I seem to have the same problem as well. It started last year in the fall. I remember wearing sandels and someone stepped on my toes and it took at least ten mintues for the burning pain to calm down. It hurts so bad. Its doing it again this year. I understand what you mean about 2nd toe. I don't get it on my 1st but I do on my third. And maybe fourth. My blood also doesn't cirrculate very well to my hands and feet eitherr. But I don't think height has anything to do with it cause I'm 5'5". Well I went to the doctor last year and pretty much all he say was that it was inflammation. Do they come out as slightly raised bumps as in swolen and like right befire the nail kinda close to the joint? I have no idea what it is. Cold weather deffinatly does affect it though. Well please email me back or something. My email is [email protected] Thanks!

Apr 01, 2010
by: Anonymous

42 yr old, male. I wish going back to the dr for a refund were as easy as contacting you. Would you recommend a podiatrist or some other specialist?

thank you,

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(items I prescribe in the office)

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Thanks for replying so quickly. I was a bit concerned. I think your website is great, and chock full of info.....


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Wonderful advice

by: Anonymous

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a mom

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