Got A Pain In Your Toenail? Here Are Possible Reasons Why!

By January 18, 2022 October 31st, 2023 No Comments
how to get rid of nail infection

Have you been experiencing pain in toenail recently? It’s a very common issue we see in people of all ages. There are lots of things that could trigger a pain in toenail, such as feeling pain in toenail due to shoes, or experiencing pain in toenail in bed. In most cases, when you face pain in toenail in bed it’s because you’re ready to rest and your mind is finally free to notice the pain that’s been in the background all day. Pain in the toenail due to shoes can occur from wearing ill-fitting shoes that are too tight on your toes.

Whatever the underlying reason is, pain in the toenail can be a symptom of issues such as Ingrown Toenail and Fungal Infections. Other causes are Paronychia and Bunions.

In more severe cases, pain in the toenail can occur due to Arthritis. If you have Diabetes and notice something is off with your toes, see a podiatrist immediately because you could face severe consequences later.

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Common Causes of Pain in Toenail

Let’s take a more in-depth view of the common causes of pain in toenail:

  1. Toenail Trauma

    Toenail trauma can occur due to dropping heavy objects on your foot, stubbing your toe, falling, and wearing shoes that are too tight. The latter could lead to pain in the toenail due to shoes. Another cause for toenail trauma is exercises that are repetitive, such as running.
    When you face toenail trauma, your bruising should subside on its own. Make sure you wear comfortable shoes to help ease pain in your toenail due to shoes while you heal.
    If your toenail pain is severe, visit a podiatrist immediately. They’ll be able to drain the blood from under your nail to ease the pain. Never try this at home as you could mess up severely and it could lead to infection.
    In some cases of toenail trauma, your toenail could even fall off. If this happens, don’t worry, the nail will regrow in 6 months or so. In case this happens, keep your affected toe clean and dry. Make sure to wear protective shoes to mind the sensitive area that is normally covered by the nail.
    You can take OTC pain relievers to deal with pain at home. Acetaminophen and ibuprofen will work fine. Try to keep your foot elevated to lessen the swelling in your feet and toes.

If you notice discoloration that isn’t going away or a darkened area that’s “growing” underneath your nail, make sure to see a professional rule out skin cancer or a tumor.


  • Pain in toenail
  • Pain in toenail in bed
  • Pain in toenail due to shoes
  • Redd-ish black bruising under the nail
  • Pressure under the nail
  • Noticeable separation of the nail and skin
  1. Ingrown Toenails

    Ingrown toenail infections occur when the corner tip or edge of your toenail pokes into the skin surrounding it, instead of freely growing outwards. The toe that’s most likely to suffer from this issue is your big toe, since it’s usually the one that’s most in contact with your footwear.
    This condition is potentially very painful and can affect pretty much anyone, of all ages. Left untreated, an ingrown toenail infection can lead to other infections that may even spread into the underlying bone structure of your feet.
    If you have a condition that reduces the blood flow to your feet, like diabetes and peripheral arterial disease, you’re more likely to suffer from an ingrown toenail. In fact, if you suffer from any of these conditions, your ingrown toenail can turn sour very quickly and lead to severe complications. This is why it’s important to know the symptoms early on and treat it accordingly.
    Ingrown toenails are treatable at home, but at-home treatments can lead to complications if not carried out properly and hygienically. These complications will require immediate attention from a podiatrist or medical practitioner.


  • Swelling in the affected area
  • Pain when you touch the area
  • Pain in toenail
  • Pain in toenail due to shoes
  • Pain in toenail in bed
  • You feel pressure under your affected toenail
  • Throbbing sensations in the area
  • Foul smell coming from the affected area
  • Warmth in and around the infected area (this is your body’s way of telling you that you have an infection, while also fighting off said infection)
  • Hardened skin around affected nail, accompanies with redness
  • You may experience a build-up / ooze of fluid in the affected area
  • Your nail is thick, yellowing, or cracked. This is a key symptom of a fungal infection and must never be ignored
  • You may even develop an abscess that fills with pus, in the area where your nail has punctured your skin
  • The edges of your nail have an overgrowth of new and inflamed tissue
  1. Fungal Infections

    Toenail fungus is a form of infection that basically travels through the cracks in your nail / the cuts on your skin. It can change the color of your toenail and make it much thicker than normal. It can also be very painful to deal with. Since toes are usually kept warm and may be damp due to sweat, they act as the perfect breeding ground for fungus, allowing it to thrive in these conditions. There are different types of fungi and even yeast that can affect the different parts of your nail. When left without treatment, the fungus can spread to your skin, the other toenails, and sometimes even your fingernails!

What does toenail fungus look like, you ask? Here’s your answer:

  • A change in color of your toenail, to either yellow, brown, and even white
  • Thickened and often misshapen looking toenail
  • Chalkiness/cloudiness in spots on your toenail
  • Your toenail is separated from your nail bed
  • Lots of breaks and cracks in one or multiple spots on your toenail

There are many ways toenail fungus can alter the visual appearance of your toenails. That’s why it’s important to know what it looks like, so you can treat it before it gets more serious.


  • Pain in toenail
  • Pain in toenail due to shoes
  • Pain in toenail in bed
  • Redness
  • Nil splitting
  • Discolouration / thickening of nail
  • Itchy / painful toes / feet
  • Skin peeling between toes
  1. Paronychia

    A paronychia is an infection that forms on the skin around your nails. Though it occurs on fingernails more often, it is also seen to occur on toenails.
    Toenail trauma and ingrown toenails can heighten your risk of infections, which could lead to a paronychia. These issues make it simple for bacteria to cause infection by entering your body.
    If faced with a paronychia, soak your feet in warm water frequently to help deal with the swelling and pain. If your symptoms worsen despite 3-4 days of at-home treatment, if you notice pus or infection symptoms, or if you suffer from diabetes or other immune system issues, see a professional immediately. They’ll be able to drain the infection.
    In case of paronychia, watch out for signs of cellulitis. This infection is potentially very serious and can spread to other tissues. Watch out for pain, warmth in the affected area, and redness. There are symptoms of cellulitis and you should see a podiatrist immediately to start antibiotics.

If you suffer from severe cellulitis, you may notice red streaks on your leg, nausea, fever, and vomiting. In case this occurs, go to the ER immediately!


  • Pain in toenail
  • Warmth/redness radiating outwards from the nail
  • Swelling
  • Pus
  • Chills
  • Fever
  • Nausea


You now know the main reasons behind pain in your toenail. If you think you’re suffering from pain in your toenail in bed or pain in your toenail due to shoes, see a Podiatrist soon.

You can book an appointment at Bucks Foot Clinic for the best treatment in town!

Please call us on  0800 107 3290 / 077 99 122 099 Or contact us now