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


by gina
(salinas, california)

Hello! I'm a 34 year old female in fairly good health. About a week ago i started to experience pain in my toes. I figured it was from the cold. My husband and I decided not to have the heater on this season so we can save money on our electric bill. It's not so bad since we live her in California, but it's still cold nontheless. About 2 days ago I my toes started to get red, swollen and tender. The pain increases when I apply pressure. If my feet get too warm my toes turn bright red. I am not sure what is causing this. Any suggestions?

Thank you,


Hi Gina,
If it is cold and possibly damp where you live then the discoloration may be due to the weather and is a harmless situation.
Having said that, the discoloration may be due to other factors, so your best bet would be to see a podiatrist and let he or she determine whether or not your discoloration needs further treatment.
Marc Mitnick DPM


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Jan 11, 2017
cure for red swollen toes
by: Craig

I am not taking credit for a cure!! I am thanking the person for enlighting me to Clotrimazole cream!!! Found in Lotrimin at Wal-mart! I have had this condition for several decades, I have always worked construction in the cold weather!! Dr. have said raynards diasese which it still may be. But I've never found any relief till now!! I put a coating on my infected toes every morning and wear wool socks! Right now it keeps it in check! THANK YOU!!!!!!

May 29, 2016
Erythromelalgia do you have it?
by: Anonymous

Look up Erythromelalgia. After 3 podiatrist,one orthopedic surgeon,my GP and brilliant neurologist I thought I'd never find the answer to my red toes that went from just being red to now very swollen and painful.
My dermatologist that i saw for yearly checkup noticed the big red toes, wrote down Erythromelalgia. I looked it up as she suggested and bam. i then remember the time the soles of my feet looked pink in the bath. How hot showers make them worse. How for yrs after exercise my toes would be red.
Anyway it a rare disease but I think its rare because like all you who can't get a diagnosis its RARE that a doctor has heard of this disorder.
Well I matched every symptom . The treatment is complicated but I feel such relief in finally knowing whats wrong but yet very sad that there is no cure.
More seriously for a very very small percentage of sufferers its
the first sign of a very serious illness and so for that reason please check this out.

Apr 09, 2016
by: Vijay

I found this discussion very useful and Thanks everyone who pointed it out at chillblain. I was thinking it was gout and taking extra medication now with good lotion iam gettting better.

Mar 20, 2016
It could be athletes foot
by: Anonymous

I've had a very sore toe for a couple of years which got worse in winter. This year it was much worse so after trying everything else I finally thought it might be athletes foot, some types of which are a fungus which grows under the nails. I went to the chemist and he recommended Canesten cream (Clotrimazole). Marvellous - worked a treat. Within two weeks it cleared up and my tootsies are very happy.

Feb 13, 2016
Red toes
by: Anonymous

My vascular Doctor says I have small veins and to wear socks in the winter and keep my feet warm. This does help, but not always. Sometimes I use HOthands Toe warmers, found at Home Depot for $1.38 and put on after I put on my socks. I am looking for electric warming shoes to use when I am at home and this does happen in the winter time.

I am not familiar with Hothands Toe Warmers, but if your circulation is compromised at all,even from exposure to cold, you have to be careful when applying heat to your feet. If the heat is too much, in conjunction with reduced blood flow, your toes could begin to ulcerate out. Check with your vascular doctor as to whether or not you should be using this product.

Marc Mitnick DPM

Jan 17, 2016
Red, swollen, painful toes
by: Georgia

I am a 62 y/o woman. I have MS. My right leg has increased spasticity. I have walked with a cane or walker over 5 yrs. I have had three swollen, red toes that are very painful over three years during the winters. I was wearing an ankle brace on my right ankle to keep my foot up but it made the swelling and pain worse. The only diagnosis I have been given by a podiatrist some 6+ yrs. ago after a Doppler sonogram was done, was "small vessel disease".

Apr 24, 2015
Consider Gout and Diabetes
by: Anonymous

Have your doctors check your uric acid and blood sugar levels. Gout attacks are characterized by red, painful and warm to touch; with medication and diet, gout can be controlled. Diabetes is a good thing to know if you're having it or moving towards it - failure to detect diabetes or follow your treatment plan could result in loss of toes - they will have to be amputated.

Jan 13, 2015
by: Anonymous

My 3rd toe on left foot swollen n red on tip n surrounding area

Nov 21, 2014
Sore Red Toes
by: Marlo

I, too, have this condition and it gets worse as soon as cooler weather comes along which requires socks! I have been reading about gout as it`s in my family, but when I read Anonymous`s letter about gluten, I realized that could be the problem. I already have a gluten intolerance that shows itself in a rash on my arms and hands. I haven`t been `behaving`lately and have been eating gluten products. I wonder if that could be the answer...

May 13, 2014
Red painful swollen toes
by: Anonymous

I am female 41 and have had swollen red painful toes for about 1 year. Been to podiatrist which sent me to vascular dr. Which sent me to a neurologist. Got different answers from all three but none really knew what was wrong. Lots of tests but no answers. I looked at everything I was doing and started changing things and watching. I kept a log of everything. Excercise,clothing material,food,drink, you name it. When I got to food I eliminated meats, then fruits, vegetables and finally breads. I gave every elimination at least 2weeks. When I went off the breads and baked goods I started clearing up. Looking further I saw many articles about people being allergic to wheat flour or gluten. It is in almost everything. It's similar to celiac disease but not as severe. I eliminated all gluten and toes are normal. Still get a flare up if I take aspirin or presc. Migraine drugs but I otherwise I am better. Hope this helps.

May 04, 2014
Painful Feet
by: Fran

I experience the same thing and the doctors have no idea or remedy. The one thing that brings instanty relief is .....I know this sounds crazy...
but i keep beaded sox in the freezer and as soon as I put them on my feet the flaming hot pain disappears.

placing my feet in hot water has a negative effect on my problem.

Feb 23, 2014
Possible remedy
by: Rider169

Chilblains (I think). I found a remedy that has helped big time for this.
I have had a problem with 1 or 2 toes on each foot swelling and getting red and sore in the winter time. This is the 4th year and I am 44 years old. I have poor circulation in my feet and legs. I discovered that this was happening when I would wear long underwear (which was all the time in the winter). Common sense would say to keep legs warm but the tightness of long underwear or tight socks makes this worse. It is February now and this is the coldest winter on record here in MN. I swear by this one. Wear Wind pants instead of long underwear. They are easier to put on and off when going places and are amazingly warm. Also, wear big loose fitting mittens when snowmobiling or outdoor activity. Having poor circulation sucks but don't let it get the best of you. No tight clothing that restricts blood flow! I hope this will help someone else.

Jan 08, 2014
by: Poppy

Hi, i'm 13 years old and ive had bad swollen toes since I was about 10. I went to the doctors about 6 months ago and they said that I had Reynard syndrome, but since then I went a few weeks ago and they said it was chilblains, they rub on my shoes and at the moment it is only one toe. its normally about 3 toes on each foot!!
I would recommend going to your doctor as they can identify the cause.

Dec 20, 2013
Any remedies?
by: Anonymous

I have the same swollen, painful toes. It might be chilblains not sure. Anyone have any success with any treatment? It's not extreme pain for me, but some days are worse and it is painful to walk in some shoes. I tried soaking it tonight and didn't seem to help. Any ideas?

Dec 18, 2013
toe redness and swelling
by: Anonymous

I am 66 and also notice this especially in the winter. I have one toe on my left foot which is a bit longer than the others and it may just be hitting the end of my shoe. Its red, its swollen but there is no pain, no infection, drainage ect. I am type II diabetic and an ER doctor advised me last year to stay off my feet as much as possible for a several days and to keep the foot elevated as much as possible. It did disappear after a few days but I was never given a reason for why it happened or...if it was due to diabetes - an explanation on how to keep it from happeninv

Dec 14, 2013
Raynaud's Syndrome
by: Wendy

I have been diagnosed with Raynauds syndrome, but lately my toes have been very red and the bottoms of my toes are so sore it feels like I'm walking on razor blades. I get this every winter, but I still go to the doctors every year to get checked.

Oct 22, 2013
Pain in toes
by: borshki

Wow I thought I was the only one. I have had gout in one toe. The pain is excruciating! Then my entire foot felt like it had gout, swollen and like putting my foot into a grinder... Put me in the hospital. They checked for gout and no uric acid in my body. The pain in my foot started back in July 2013. It's still here without 1 minute of excruitating pain. Now they say it's a cousin to gout. With different crystals caused by the joint itself. CPPD. I'm on Percacets and Torodol. I'm now to get a ct scan to find out more. I've been off of work for 2 months and in no way good enough to go back. Has anyone heard of such a condition? Will it go away? Please help anyone...

Dec 31, 2011
by: Tom -Ont.Cdn

Like everyone with these symptoms, I have no received no substantive info. from medical profession to explain or treat condition. Like others, it seems to arise mostly in Winter. Recently I purchases a "toe sox" at my local pharmacy. This little device had a profound impact on all symptoms. Within 24 hours the toe looked virtually normal. I take the sox off at
night just to let the digit breathe but wear it most of the day in Winter. I would recommend this inexpensive "medical" device.

Feb 12, 2011
by: Anonymous

I see a lot of people throwing out Reynaud's around when this is something more common.

Jan 13, 2011
add me to this list
by: Anonymous

I am 45/female and went to the dr. thinking it was ingrown toenails. She said no, prescribed me some antibiotics and said to soak in epsom salt for a week to see it that helps. I get this quite often, but have noticed this winter it is much worse. I also suffer from Raynauds (circulation disorder) so I wonder if somehow all of this is related. Either way, my toes hurt, are swollen, red and it is painful to walk.

Jan 05, 2011
me too
by: Anonymous

I'm 32 yrs old and i've had the same problem every winter for 3 winters. Went to the foot doctor and they said it wasn't chillblains. I have no answers...very frustrating & painful.

Dec 21, 2010
Painful toes
by: Lindsay

I have the exact same problem every winter!! No answer
From doctors at all! Anyone figure out a remedy?

Jan 21, 2010
red swollen painful toes
by: SMR

I'm a 35 year female I went to the doctor 3 days ago with the same symtoms. He told me that it was very common when your feet are cold all the time, he also told me to try to keep them dry and warm. To wear socks all the time and to change them after comming from outside because they get sweaty and that means wet and cold.

Jun 12, 2009
by: Anonymous

It's a condition called Chilblains.

Try keeping your feet warm and dry.
Avoid extreme changes in temperate.
Try to do some exercise to warm up your whole body.

Hope this helps! :)

Feb 13, 2009
Same Symptoms!!!
by: Anonymous

I am 30 years old, in good health and am experiencing exactly the same thing. Have you found any other suggestions or remedies?

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(items I prescribe in the office)

Orthotics for multiple types of foot pain
best buy in a pre-made orthotic
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I've been doing some aggressive research lately (it's how I found your incredible website) and realize now that my symptoms are not consistant with the diagnosis.


Hunterville, NC
….after reviewing your amazing site (great for the avg. jill). So thank you very much!!!


I am really, really impressed with your plain-speak explanations for the various conditions.


This was an extremely helpful site. I have an appointment on the 18th and your info. Was right on target…..


A well organized site containing much information written in a manner that the average reader can comprehend.


Ontario, Canada
I found your website and articles most interesting.


Thank you for a quick response. I think your site is the best information site on foot pain and I have viewed many.


(location unknown)
I came to your website, via www.foot-pain explained .com which I think is also your website? I thought explanations for different types of problems were well addressed and thoughtfully stated for the patient in mind.


New York
You have an amazing and extremely informative site. I enjoyed looking through all of the data and stats.


Memphis, TN
Thanks again so much for the information in the article. Very interesting.


Great article. I have had plantar fasciitis since I was in high school……..

J. Simmons

(location unknown)
Dear Dr. Mitnick, The orthotics arrived four days ago and I slipped them into my shoes immediately. I was skeptical as to the usefulness of the item, they really didn't look very exotic. I have to say though, after using them for just four days, I have experienced grand relief from my foot pain. Even the very first day, I was able to do a lot of work while on my feet with at least a 75% reduction of pain. It has only gotten better every day, and I go nowhere without my shoes with the orthotics. I had been experiencing extreme heel and sole pain for about six months and had to take extended breaks off my feet many times a day as well as regular doses of Ibuprofen. Since getting the orthotics, my life has returned to normal and I feel good again. Just wanted to say thanks for the recommendation for a very effective item, I had no idea what a change this item could affect.

Yours truly,

J.C. Forbes

Thanks for the Response, you hit it on the head.


Redondo Beach, CA
Thank you for your time and expertise in answering my question…..


(location unknown)
First, thanks for putting together this website. Its the most informative site I have found dealing with foot problems. Last June I started having pain and swelling at …….


(location unknown)
First of all, thank you for having all this useful information available in one place. I've been through most of your website and based on my research, pain and evaluations I think I've narrowed things down quite a bit.

Pete M.

(location unknown)
Thank you for the best site I have found when researching foot pain.

Glenda B.

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


Denison, TX
Dr. Marc, Thank you so much for your reply which seemed to be right on. I have researched many sites but you put me on the right path to the possible answer. My foot pain may not rule the rest of my life after all! I believe I'll make a sign that reads, "THE END IS NEAR!" Thanks Very Much,


West lafayette, IN
Dear doubt you get positive comments re your site...May I please be added to the list of your admirers. In all of my years of web surfing I would say your site is right there with the very best. Thank you for taking the time to write the terrific info you provide and for putting things into laymen terms for us mere mortals. I pray you have much on going success and thank you again for a deed well done. As for me I did not find much help for my symptoms and will continue on my quest. Were you anywhere in the South I would make and appointment...Thanks again dear sir...m.e.

Michael E.

Tampa, Florida 33624
Hi. This is a great site! I'm a healthy middle aged woman who is in good health, but.....


Just a wee word of thanks for your wonderful website...It is a terrific service...Thank you for providing your knowledge and help...With highest regards, m ebeling

Michael D. Ebeling

Tampa, Florida 33624

Thanks for a most interesting website, which has helped a lot.



Dear Dr.Mitnick

I usually do my research on the Mayo clinic website. I think your website is the most informative site I have found when researching foot pain.

I thank you for putting together this incredible website.


Dragica W.


....I have been told that it is not hard enough to be cut off. Please help, I am not sure what to do now! THANKS FOR A WONDERFUL AND VERY HELPFUL SITE!


South Africa

You have an unusually clear, informative and well-written website for laypersons. Thank you for that.

Matthew W.

Mansfield Ctr, CT

First, I'd like to thank you for all the information that you provide on your website and the opportunity to write to you.


Placentia, California

First, I want to let you know that you have the best web site I've found related to foot issues. (The only thing I had difficulty finding was the "ask a question" page.)


Unknown location

I received the orthotics Monday afternoon and began wearing them Tuesday. After two days I would say that I have noticed a huge improvement in the discomfort I have been experiencing. My foot feels better than it has in months.

Ric J.

Unknown location

I greatly admire someone like you who would donate and dedicate so much time and effort to helping strangers with no compensation. Truly, it is uncommonly kind. And your site is so intelligently arranged.

Ron R.

Pacific Grove, CA

I used to work for a podiatrist (front desk) back during summers in college years ago, so I know the benefits of good care. Again, I want to thank you for an EXCELLENT website. It was so great to get to your site (top of google search) and actually find all the answers I needed EASILY and QUICKLY! Clearly you put a ton of work into it and I really appreciate it.

All the best,


Alameda, California

By the way, millions of websites could use yours as a guideline on how to organize information and make the site user-friendly. Kudos to you!


Thank you for your very interesting and informative site!


Hi. I come to your site often looking for information. It is really informative and I appreciate it very much. I have RA and have been having considerable amount of foot pain...... Dee RN

Thanks very much for the wonderful informative site.


New Zealand

Thank You for my answer! I have been schedule for a bone density scan, allingment, and I am in the process of getting orthotics made, and checking out the natural remedies. Thank again! What a great web site!



Yes I want both pair of orthotics. You don't have an option of ordering 2 at one time so I had to place the order twice. Thanks. My husband likes these and wants to put them in all of his shoes. (referring to Superstep orthotics)

Cindy H.

I searched the internet everywhere for a clear description and illustration of my symptoms/problem. was where I ended my search with answers. If I lived in Jersey (left 30 years ago) and didn't live in Florida I would definetly make an appointment with Dr. Mitnick.

Thanks, Kathy

1st of all THANKS A LOT for your great site......


Thank you so much for your response. I will let you know how I am doing if you would like. Your website is awesome!


South Carolina
Hello! I want to thank you for such an informative website! I found you based on my ankle pain search and am happy to realize that there may be a relatively simple cause and solution....


unknown location

...Thanks for your fantastic service.


Arlington, VA

Thank you so very much, that would be much appreciated. I love those insoles, by the way. (referring to Superstep orthotics)

Kelly W.

San Clemente, CA

Dr Marc is fantastic...He seems to know exactly what you are feeling with the problems you are having. I wish he was in my home town so I could go to him with my problems!!!!!!!!!!!!!


location unknown

Great insights! Thanks Doc, you're the best.


location unknown

I have been experiencing foot pain of various sorts and am working to figure out what it is. I found this site and can only say BRAVO!! What an excellent site! The time it must have taken to put all this together must've been a daunting task! I am sure it has helped so many people. Thank you so very much for doing this.


location unknown

Dr. Mitnick, Thank you so much for your reply. I did let my physician know and they took an x-ray - all is well! Also, thank you for providing this wonderful site, it is very helpful with lots of useful information! I appreciate your gift of time! God bless.


Dr. Mitnick, Thank you, you were 100% correct. The pain finally brought me to the ER. I spent 8 days in the hospital. The Doppler you spoke of was able to show that there was no pulse in that foot. This was an arterial clot that split and traveled throughout my leg. My leg was almost amputated. I am in rough shape but have all my parts intact!! You certainly know what you are talking about. Thank you for taking the time to answer. Yours Truly!


Staying at home after hallux surgery I spend quite a lot of time seaching info useful for avoiding problems which might come back. Today I found your site and I am .... delighted it happened. It's one of the best site I found last days.



Thanks for taking time to read and answer so many questions. It is truly a public service!


Seattle, WA

I just wanted to say that I am very greatful for this website!!


location unknown

Also, and importantly, just want to praise this web site. Thorough and thoughtfully presented, it certainly must be of considerable assistance to anyone with a foot problem. Terrific -- and very interesting.I trust the address comes up easily for those seeking information.


New Jersey

Thanks so much for answering my question. You've been more help to me than my own Dr. has been lately. Thanks again....I hope to be able to walk without pain someday.


location unknown

Wow, that is exactly the information needed!!! thank you thank you thank you!!! I appreciate this help so very much from Marc Mitnick DPM. Excellent information and help to improve One's life.


location unknown

Thanks so much for this website Dr. Marc! It is so nice that you have this ask the doctor feature..I'm sure I'ts been helpful for alot of people. I will try what you suggested and see if it helps...thanks again!


Evansville, IA

Dear Marc

I just want to say thank you for the quick response and the good info. I find it amazing and a super nice thing that you do here by answering medical questions at no charge.

Russ W.

location unknown

Your website is full of a lot of helpful information, and I am very impressed with the time in which you responded to my post. Thank you again for your time and consideration in your response.


location unknown

Thank you very much for the information, I will consider it. Excellent web site.


San Diego, CA

Dr. Mitnick, Just want to say thank you so very much for your quick response and very informative reply! After reading what you had to say, I called the doctor's office and was able to get in and see him the same day as my injury. Toe was x-rayed and luckily, it is not broken or fractured. Very badly bruised and will probably lose the toe nail. And although my toe and toe nail are still very black and blue and very sore, they ARE both starting to feel a little better. So again, thank you! I am so very happy that I came across your website. The service you provide is outstanding and immeasurable!


Albany, NY

Thank you so much for all of your advice. In searching the web for people dealing with this same issue i can tell you that you are a Knight In shining Armor! If I lived in Jersey I would gladly be your Spokesperson. Hopefully next time you hear from me it will be good news. God Bless,

Jill S.

location unknown



Whichita, KS

thanks again, this site is very helpful.


Boston, MA

Like others have stated...This site is amazing and I am so thankful that it was created.

....Keep up what your doing. Your a life saver.



Thanks again for the information provided on your site. It's easy for non-medical folk to understand your writing, and helps provide better communication between patient and doctor.



Wonderful advice

by: Anonymous

This is the best site for foot problem info.

Thank you for this information. This description fits my pain and inflammation behind my 2nd toe perfectly.

by: Max

location unknown
Again, I really appreciate that you responded to my inquiry, and that your mention of Parkinson's helped me to find my way to a diagnosis of this difficult to diagnose disease. Most patients see on average 16 doctors before they are diagnosed. I hope that you can help other people that ask for your expertise in the future.

Barb D.

I just wanted to say that I am very greatful for this website!! I have had a fusion in my rt foot and am finally getting a little bit better......


location unknown
Again, Thank you from the bottom of my heart for taking the time to answer my question....your an angel!


Thank you for your response. You have provided some great insight (to my question)....


location unknown
Thank-you so very much for responding so quickly and in such detail to my question!! I will give my surgeon a call today!! This website is terrific!!!! Thank-you again!


North Carolina
Many Thanks Dr Marc!
Thank you for your response. It sounds like a good plan to me. He did not cut the wart out first ...


location unknown

Thanks again doc for having this website and we STILL need qualified Podiatrists in beautiful sunny Tampa Bay (Bradenton) Florida.

Bessie Mae

Dear Dr. Mitnick, Thank you so very much for taking your time to answer my question. You have greatly relieved my anxiety related to the continual tingly I feel in my feet. I will share your response with my podiatrist next week. God bless you for having this question and answer page on your website! Most gratefully,

Lynne T.

location unknown
Your webpage is excellent, I commend you on sharing your knowledge to the public.


New Jersey

Thank you. you were more detailed than what others have told me they finally called from the last xrays and my son is now in a cast for 2 weeks he did have a fracture that was not noticeable.

a mom

location unknown

I have read your website and I have to admit that I am amazed at all the information that is on here. I have learned more than the three years I have been going to several doctors that I have seen!!


Lenoir, NC

Thank you so much Doc for a quick and thorough response!


Bellevue, WA

I cannot thank you enough for your response, opinion, and suggestions! I want you to know how much it means to me, and I'm sure everyone else who has ever asked you a question! I feel like you're a lifesaver and have empowered me to take a stronger role and stand up for myself and my feet!


location unknown

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