How to Decrease the Swelling With an Infected Toe


You may have pronounced swelling of your toe when it is infected. A toe infection may be caused by an injury such as cutting yourself when trimming your toenails, or from an ingrown toenail. In addition to being acutely painful, an ingrown toenail will cause your toe to become red and inflamed. You need to treat the infection and swelling of your toe because failure to do so may result in painful walking and blisters. There are ways to decrease the swelling associated with an infected toe.

Things You'll Need

  • Doctor visit
  • Oral antibiotic
  • Antibiotic ointment
  • Warm water
  • Anti-inflammatory medication

See your doctor. If your infection is caused by an ingrown toenail, he may perform a minor procedure that will remove the ingrown toenail. After the ingrown toenail is treated, the swelling will decrease.

Take an antibiotic. Your doctor may prescribe an oral antibiotic for your toe infection. When your infection begins to subside, your swelling will decrease. Finish all medication to ensure that your infection has resolved.

Apply antibiotic ointment. In addition to oral antibiotics, your doctor may prescribe a topical antibiotic ointment. Apply the ointment to your toe per your doctor's instructions. He may recommend that you keep your toe covered to keep it clean. As the ointment treats the infection, the associated swelling will go down.

Soak your toe. Fill your bathtub with enough warm water to cover your foot. Sitting on the ledge of the tub, submerge your foot into the water. Soak your foot for 15 minutes, 3-4 times a day. This will reduce your pain and decrease the swelling.

Take an anti-inflammatory medication. An over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication will help reduce the swelling of your infected toe and help relieve discomfort that you may be experiencing.

Tips & Warnings

  • Stay off your feet. By resting your foot, you minimize the pressure put upon your toe. When you exert pressure on your toe by walking, it will take longer to decrease the swelling.
  • If your infected toe is accompanied by increased swelling, redness, drainage, throbbing pain, fever, chills, nausea or vomiting, call your doctor. These symptoms indicate a severe infection and require immediate medical treatment.

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