Summer Foot Hazards # 3: The Stubbed Toe

Published On: July 29, 2020

Walking around barefoot or in sandals can leave our toes vulnerable to injury. We all know the feeling of accidently kicking an object or catching our toe on a corner, causing injury and intense pain. With that in mind, we have put together a guide on how to assess and treat a stubbed toe.

Check the condition of the toe: it can be difficult to determine if it is just stubbed and bruised, or if your toe is broken.

Signs of a broken toe may include:

      • Trouble moving the toe
      • A change in the shape of the toe
      • A visible bone poking into or through the skin
      • Pain that continues to intensify.

If you suspect a broken toe, seek medical attention promptly.

Address any cuts or abrasions: Gently cleanse any wounds. This can be done by washing the area with warm, soapy water. Gently dry with a clean cloth and bandage the wound. Change the bandage daily as the wound continues to heal. Watch for signs of infection which may include:

  • redness
  • swelling
  • oozing pus

People living with diabetes should be especially careful with these types of injuries or infections. If you suspect you may have an infection, book an appointment with your Chiropodist. We are here to help!

Once any bleeding has been controlled, follow the RICE method to reduce pain and swelling.


  • Rest: Avoid putting any weight on the injury
  • Ice: to reduce pain and swelling, apply an ice pack for 10 to 20 minutes. Ensure the ice is not applied directly to skin but wrapped in a cloth or towel
  • Compression: wrap or bandage the area to reduce swelling
  • Elevation: while sitting or lying down, elevate the injured toe. Keeping the injured area at or above the level of your heart will help minimize swelling

Toenail trauma or injury: A stubbed toe can damage your nail plate or nail bed.

Signs of toenail trauma may include:

  • A cracked or broken nail
  • Bleeding along the edge or under the toenail (Subungual hematoma)
  • Hematomas may cause a feeling of intense pressure and pain under the nail

Your Chiropodist can fully assess the injured area, treat any wounds as well as release the pressure under your nail if necessary.

If you require any assistance with an injured foot or toe, please book your footcare appointment today!


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