Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors

"What would cause my toes to be turning red?"

ZocdocAnswersWhat would cause my toes to be turning red?


I know i have bad circulation that's what a few doctors ive seen over the years have said to me, along with livedo reticularis im just wondering what could be going on with my toes turning red and if it has to do with my circulation or something else? I


If you are concerned about discoloration of your toes, I recommend that you see your primary care doctor or another healthcare professional for formal evaluation. There can be multiple causes for toe discoloration, some benign and others more severe. Toe discoloration is often a result of cutaneous or skin changes, which are often due to trauma or infection. Repeated pressure or abrasion due to ill-fitting shoes or repeated mechanical trauma to the feet may irritate to overlying skin and cause discoloration. Athletes foot, formally called tinea, is a fungal infection of the skin of the feet that results in itching, burning and redness, which may affect the toes. This can be treated with anti-fungal topical therapy. Circulation issues may also cause red toes. In particular, peripheral vascular disease, which is caused by decreased bloodflow to the leg and foot due to atherosclerosis of the arteries. Risk factors include age, hypertension, family history, smoking, diabetes and kidney disease. Over years, this process may lead to reddening and thickening of the skin of the feet. This disease is associated with claudication, which is pain with exertion and the foot may often be cold. Venous disease, specifically, venous hypertension may lead to reddening of the feet as well. It is important that you are seen by your doctor to rule out concerning causes of the redness, and treatment if possible.

Zocdoc Answers is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.