Foot Problems

From warts to bunions, feet can suffer from some painful conditions. Use this chart to find appropriate self-care options.

Our trusted Symptom Checker is written and reviewed by physicians and patient education professionals. Find a possible diagnosis by choosing a symptom and answering a few simple questions.

Remember, be sure to consult with you doctor if you feel you have a serious medical problem.

Step 2

Answering Questions

  • Is the person a child or a newborn with a foot deformity?

  • Is the person a child or a toddler with toes that point in?

  • Did your foot pain begin after intense physical activity?

  • Did your foot pain or swelling begin with an injury or accident?

  • Is there swelling or redness on top of your foot?

  • Are you unable to stand or walk on your foot and is your foot swollen or bruised?

  • Is the pain on the bottom of your foot between the ball and the heel?

  • Is the pain only in one toe and did it start after you hit, twisted or jammed the toe?

  • Does your foot look flat and are you experiencing foot pain and pain on the inside of your ankle, along with swelling?

  • Does your foot hurt somewhere between the heel and the ball of the foot, especially when you take your first steps after getting up the morning?

  • Do you have a small, hard, thickened area of skin on the bottom of the foot or on the sides of the toe?

  • Do you have pain in your big toe or in the big toe joint, and does your big toe seem to be deformed, pointing toward the small toes?

  • Do you have a fever and are your joints tender, sore, red or swollen?

  • Do you have a red, swollen big toe that hurts when anything touches it?

  • Do you have intense pain near your heel when you put weight on it?

  • Do you have a moist, white area of peeling skin and itching between your toes, and/or scaling and itching skin on your foot?

  • Do you have a burning pain at the base of a toe on the bottom of your foot, along with tingling or numbness in your toes?

  • Is a part of your foot red, swollen, warm and tender?

  • Have your toes been exposed to very cold temperatures?

  • Have you lost sensation in your toes or are they discolored and foul-smelling?

Step 3

Possible Causes

  • Diagnosis

    Foot deformities are not unusual in newborns. CLUBFOOT is a common disorder in which one or both feet are turned inward or downward.


    Self Care

    See your doctor. Treatment is usually more effective when started early.


  • Diagnosis

    The cause may be FEMORAL ANTEVERSION, TIBIAL TORSION or METATARSUS ADDUCTUS, commonly called intoeing.


    Self Care

    See your doctor.


  • Diagnosis

    You may have a STRESS FRACTURE of the bones in your foot. The pain from stress fractures usually decreases with rest and increases with activity.


    Self Care

    Apply ice to the foot and take an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medicine to relieve pain. See your doctor if you don’t feel better within a few days.


  • Diagnosis

    Your pain may be from DAMAGE TO THE SKIN OR TENDONS on top of the foot.


    Self Care

    Use ice and an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medicine. See your doctor if the pain doesn’t get better within a few days.


  • Diagnosis

    Your FOOT or ANKLE BONE may be FRACTURED.


    Self Care

    See your doctor. Apply ice to reduce the swelling and take an over-the-counter analgesic such as ibuprofen to help relieve pain.


  • Diagnosis

    You may have SPRAINED the LIGAMENT in the arch of the foot.


    Self Care

    Use shoes with an arch support and take an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medicine. See your doctor if the pain is severe or if you can’t walk on the foot.


  • Diagnosis

    Your pain may be from TURF TOE (a sprained big toe), from a PULLED LIGAMENT or from a FRACTURE.


    Self Care

    See your doctor. Applying ice or taping the sore toe to the next toe can help relieve the pain.


  • Diagnosis

    You may have FALLEN ARCHES, a condition known as FLAT FEET.


    Self Care

    Wear shoes that have solid support and avoid weight-bearing activities until the pain and swelling go away. See your doctor if your symptoms persist.


  • Diagnosis

    Your pain may be from irritation of the arch ligament and tissues, called PLANTAR FASCIITIS.


    Self Care

    Try to keep weight off your foot until the inflammation is better. Use an anti-inflammatory medicine to relieve the pain. Rest and apply ice to the sore area. See your doctor if your pain doesn’t get better.


  • Diagnosis

    These thickened areas are likely to be CORNS. If they appear to have small granules in them, they may be WARTS. A small piece of retained glass can also cause these problems.


    Self Care

    Use an over-the-counter corn or wart remover. Remove the dead skin after each treatment. See your doctor if you have diabetes, if the corns or warts are painful or inflamed, or if they’re large, very numerous or resistant to over-the-counter medicines.


  • Diagnosis

    Your toe deformity may be from a collapsing joint, commonly called a BUNION.


    Self Care

    Wear comfortable shoes that provide plenty of room for your toes. Avoid high-heeled shoes and apply ice, or try over-the-counter medicines such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen to relieve the pain. See your doctor if your condition worsens.


  • Diagnosis

    RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS may be the cause of the pain.


    Self Care

    See your doctor. Treatment for rheumatoid arthritis may include medications, physical therapy, exercise and, in some cases, surgery.


  • Diagnosis

    You may have GOUT.


    Self Care

    See your doctor.


  • Diagnosis

    Your pain may be from a HEEL SPUR, a small bulge from the heel bone, but more likely to be due to PLANTAR FASCIITIS.


    Self Care

    See your doctor. He or she can suggest special stretching exercises to help relieve the pain. A soft insole or a firm insole with a hole under the spur may also help.


  • Diagnosis

    These may be symptoms of a fungal infection called ATHLETE’S FOOT.


    Self Care

    Use an over-the-counter athlete’s foot spray or cream. Wash your feet thoroughly with soap and water twice a day. Be sure to dry your feet completely. If your symptoms aren’t better in 1 to 2 weeks, see your doctor. If the affected area is very red and tender, see your doctor sooner.


  • Diagnosis

    You may have MORTON’S NEUROMA, a noncencerous growth of nerve tissue.


    Self Care

    Wear wide shoes with soft insoles. Over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication or ice massages may help relieve the pain.


  • Diagnosis

    You may have an infection called CELLULITIS. If you have diabetes, an infection of your foot may be more common and more dangerous.


    Self Care

    URGENT
    See your doctor promptly. Cellulitis is usually treated with antibiotics.


  • Diagnosis

    FROSTBITE may damage your skin and tissues.


    Self Care

    URGENT
    See your doctor. Warm the feet by immersing them in warm (not hot) water or by applying warm cloths to the affected area.


  • Diagnosis

    GANGRENE can occur if a body part loses its blood supply because of diabetes or hardening of the arteries.


    Self Care

    URGENT
    See your doctor. Good diabetic foot care may prevent some infections that could lead to gangrene and loss of toes.


  • Diagnosis


    Self Care

    URGENT
    See your doctor. Good diabetic foot care may prevent some infections that could lead to gangrene and loss of toes.