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The response to the question below was authored by Marc Mitnick DPM
Gout? 2nd Toe Issues?
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
Johns Hopkins Medicine
University of Rochester Medical Center
American Academy of Pediatrics
Penn State Medical Center
National Institutes of Health
Columbia University Department of Rehabilitation
Stanford Health Care
Illinois Bone and Joint Institute
Mount Sinai Hospital
Institute for Chronic Pain
University of Florida Health
American Family Physician
University of Maryland Medical Center