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

Swollen Red Toes

by Tammy B.
(Denville, NJ)

infected toes

infected toes

Four days ago my two toes starting to get red. I had not bumped them, cut them, nor anything else I could remember. By the next day they looked red (almost purple) and swollen. The do not itch. The bottom of the foot and toes are normal. (see picture attached) I went to my family doctor and he could not tell me what it is. No bite marks are apparent. He gave me Amoxicillin (antibiotic) to treat. It has been two days and, though not getting worse, doesn't look like it's getting any better. It is still hard to put any pressure on it to walk. I have not yet tried shoes. Would you have any idea of what this could be?

Hi Tammy,
More than likely you may have had a split in the skin, in between the second and third toes which then got infected. If that is the case and this is an infection then amoxicillin may not be your best drug. I would suggest you see a podiatrist or even a dermatologist as they would be better equipped to handle this problem.
Marc Mitnick DPM

Comments for Swollen Red Toes

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Mar 06, 2019
Red swollen toes
by: Dave

Please check out condition by the name of Erythromelalgia. I've had this condition for over a year. Swollen and painful toes and forefoot all day long, and at night time there are flare ups to the point that I can't walk.

Jan 06, 2019
Swollen Red Toes
by: Tina

11 months now with red swollen painful toes! It began as just pain + redness, no swelling; doc had me take a A1-C test which showed I was diabetic type 2 at 10.1 so gave a diagnosis of peripheral neuropathy. I declined metformin + went on a strict low carb diet + brought my A1-C down to a prediabetic level but saw no change in toes. After 4 months I finally noticed a cut between the 3+4th toes + was diagnosed with cellulitis + put on 10 days of cephalexin antibiotic. Redness + pain started to disappear but came back after med was finished. Was given another 10 days of antibiotic + the toe redness started to diminish but came back again after med was finished. Doc now focuses on saying it's a diabetic wound + I'm now on Glimipiride + waiting for my next A1-C but still in pain!

Dec 10, 2015
Red swollen toes
by: Anonymous

I went to my chiropractor and told him I had problems with my feet waking up in the morning. He then prescribed me calcium powder with magnesium. I went to a Whole Foods store bought it and took it that day. About two days later I had a couple swollen red toes and even one toe on the other foot was swollen as well. I continued to take the calcium for a few more days until I came across this website and read all of your comments. I'm going to stop taking the calcium now and get back to you for an update. This has left me frustrated hopefully I can get my toes back to normal.

Apr 06, 2012
Red toes and supplements
by: Anonymous

All the red toe complaints are too much alike to all come from some some exterior cause. I believe after suffering from this affliction for the last three months and going through the process of many - that it was a cut, shoes or a broken toe - that it finally hit me that this was when I started taking many supplements. So I concur with the person that mentioned calcium or some other supplement.

Now I've discontinued most and if I see an improvement will add them back to see which is the culprit. I've never a problem with Omega 3 or Multi-Vitamins or aspirin.

Omega 3
L-Theanine – reduces stress
Alpha-Lipoic against free radicals
Aspirin 83mg
Rhodiola Rosea

Feb 25, 2012
Red Toe
by: Anonymous

hi my name is esther I have this problem for 5 Months the doctor give to me 2 different crams and 2 different antiviotic.
Is still the some, some time is red swellen some time is okay and get very dray my sking.
Please any body know how to cure this is 5 months I cant take any more .I put my feet in warm water with alcohol, sal no work any think.
Thanks for some information.

Aug 17, 2009
Swollen and gross
by: Anonymous

I have an issue with both of my big toes
they are swollen and they hurt every time
I hit the top of them.
I have been soaking them in Epsom salts
and they have not gotten better!
Can anyone tell me what this is?
And how I can treat it.

Mar 03, 2009
swollen red toes
by: Anonymous

I took a calcium supplement - one of those over-the counter meds. My toes blew up and were red. I went to see a doctor but did not nention the calcium supplement because it hadn't occurred that this was the problem. After the usual discussion with the doctor - did I stub my foot? Did anthing fall on my foot? etc. he x-rayed my feet and said I had a calcium deposit there. I cut out the supplemnt and the problem disappeared. Then, because I was curious, I took the supplement again and the toes blew up.

Jan 22, 2009
by: Anonymous

My Name IS Crystal And I Am Having This Same Problem For About A Week Now They Hurt Really Bad. What Could This Be.

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