ZocdocAnswersMy left toe corner is swollen. It hurts a lot, what should I do?

Question

My left toe corner is swollen. It hurts a lot, what should I do?

I've tried soaking my left foot in salted warm water. I'm not sure if it's because i dance too much/ I have this thing with my foot when i can crack my toes often to make it feel better.

Answer

From your description of the pain and the location on your toe, it seems quite possible that you could be developing an ingrown toenail. I recommend that you see your primary care doctor. On its own this can be very painful, but ingrown toenails can also lead to infections in the soft tissue around the nail; these can also be very painful and debilitating. However, there are several other explanations for what could be causing pain in a toe, including a fracture or problem with connective tissue. If you are a dancer, you could be particularly prone to developing a stress fracture or other injury associated with repetitive trauma to the feet. In order to determine what exactly is going on and to protect your health moving forward, the best thing to do is to see a physician right away for a thorough history and physical examination. In this case, taking a good look at your toe and being able to examine the painful area (possibly getting some x-rays if suggested by exam) should help your doctor determine what is wrong. If this is an ingrown toenail, he or she may want you to see a podiatrist to help clip the nail to relieve the pain and help ensure that this doesn't develop again. Hopefully you'll be feeling better soon!

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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