What To Do When You Stub Your Toe

Health & Medical Blog

Stubbing your toe can be pretty painful, but thankfully, it does not usually lead to a serious injury. The resulting bruises, strained tendons, and little cuts are all things you can typically deal with at home. Follow these steps to care for your stubbed toe.

Note: If you are a diabetic or have a circulation disorder, a stubbed toe can be a more serious injury because your body may not heal effectively. See your podiatrist or general physician to be safe.

Step 1: Apply some ice.

If you can keep the toe from swelling, you should be able to prevent the pain from getting much worse. Try setting your foot on a bag of frozen veggies, or hold a flexible ice pack against it. If you're struggling to ice your foot, try immersing it in a bucket of ice water instead.

Step 2: Treat any cuts or sores.

After you've iced your toe for a few minutes, take a moment to address any cuts or sores that may have resulted from the stubbing incident. Rinse them off with some peroxide or iodine, and then apply an antibiotic cream. Don't put a sock on immediately -- allow the toe some time to dry off and begin healing. If the cut is large or you think it may rub on your shoe, feel free to put a Band Aid on it. Just make sure you remove the Band Aid in the evening when you no longer have to wear shoes. Letting the cut be exposed to open air will speed healing.

Step 3: Trim the nail if needed.

Sometimes stubbing your toe may result in a broken nail. If your toe nail is rough and jagged, take a minute to trim and file it. If you notice a black spot starting to form under your nail, this is the result of an injury under the nail bed. The issue should clear up on its own. The nail will have a black spot on it until it grows out, but the pain should be over in a day or two once it stops bleeding. If you feel immense pressure under your toenail or the nail feels loose, you may wish to see a podiatrist, who may drill into the nail to alleviate the pressure by releasing some of the blood.

If your stubbed toe continues to ache for more than a few days, see a doctor. There's a change you've broken your toe or seriously strained a ligament. This is pretty rare, but it does happen from time to time. For more information, visit websites like http://familyfootanklephysicians.com/.


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