Podiatrist (Foot and Ankle Specialist) Questions Toe Injuries and Disorders

What's this feeling on the bottom of my toe?

Randomly, I get a prickly feeling on the bottom of my big toe. It feels like a splinter but I don't see anything there. It's never on any other toe or any other part of my foot. What could it be?

18 Answers

Hi! it sounds like a nerve impingement. I recommend arch supportive inserts such as power steps available online
Hello

It seems as though it could be a few things, if you don’t feel anything in your skin, I would confirm that with a diagnostic X-ray or ultrasound. It could be a fibrous tissue mass under the toe. I would start with epsom salt soaks to help draw out anything stuck under the skin.

Dr. Patel
There are a lot of possibilities for this. It could be caused by an impingement of nerve with certain shoes in that area. if it becomes uncomfortable I would recommend evaluation to determine the cause of this.
It could be a splinter that has gone into skin deeply. It could also be a fissure or crack in the skin. That can feel like a sharp pain or like something sticking you.
The prickling sensation you are feeling on your bottom of your big toe is associated with nerve pain. You can go visit a podiatrist near your home, so you can get a proper diagnosis and treatment.
Just like people can get a nerve impingement in the back, there are nerves in the foot that can get pinched. Other times, if there is a bunion of crooked first toe, that can cause pressure along the nerve. Just because you don’t see a splinter doesn’t mean nothing is there.
It could be an irritated digital nerve to the big toe possibly caused by irritation from a shoe. It depends how long it's been going on; needs to be evaluated.
You didn't say exactly when you get this; on or off the feet, in bed, during the day, activity (if so, what kind of activity and how long before the feeling starts), how long the feeling lasts and how often the episodes occur, how long between episodes, and what kinds of shoes you wear, or if it only happens when barefoot. E-mail me back with your answers.
It could be nerve degeneration of that nerve root. Increase your intake of vit B and Folic Acid.
Could be sesamoid problem, could be nerve compression and can be spur that pressure the nerve. Do X-ray, do vascular testing and change your foot gear.
Hello and thank you for your question. There could be many reasons why you are experiencing this ‘prickly’ sensation in your big toe. The most common reason I see in practice is that a foreign body somehow is lodged in the skin. Other reasons are dermatological conditions. Its difficult to know without a complete exam and workup. If you have additional questions please feel free to call the office during normal business hours. Thank you so much for your inquiry.
It could be the start of a seed corn or verruca. If the sensation continues to trouble you then it should be examined.
may be nerve entrapment from the back or trauma
Your subjective symptoms of a prickling feeling on the bottom of your great
toe randomly is most suggestive of some type of peripheral nerve process.
More than likely it is local and effects one of the cutaneous or skin
nerves in the area. Given that you do not describe any radiating
presentation to involve other parts and it is quite limited in its area of
involvement this appears to be a benign focal irritation. Since you do not
describe any type of overlying skin eruption or rash, I do not believe
there is any type of skin disorder that may similarly present with this
type of feeling. I do not believe any formal evaluation or treatment is
required other than observation. Clearly if symptoms become more constant
and begin to involve a greater area of the foot this would warrant some
type of medical evaluation. There are systemic causes for what we
described as peripheral neuropathy to include diabetes and other metabolic
disorders, nutritional vitamin deficiencies, metal toxicities, traumatic or
entrapment and many that are simply idiopathic, we simply do not know the
cause. Best recommendation at this time is to simply keep a close eye on
the process and make sure there is no appreciated worsening.
This feeling could be an irritated nerve. Neuritis can cause and sensations such as a prickly feeling. Somewhere along the nerve root. There could be an irritation or pressure point creating this symptom. Sometimes nerve conduction study can be performed on nerves..


Best wishes.


Dr. Jonathan Kletz
Make an appointment with a foot and ankle specialist. It could be a nerve issue or a retained foreign body that’s now below the skin and is no longer visible.
Unfortunately there are a myriad of possibilities. If there are no lesions on the skin, (wart) it could be caused from sesamoiditis. If becomes troublesome, consistent I'd seek out an examination. If it's perhaps simple osteoarthritis, try heat and mild anti inflammatory. Hope this helps.
The paresthesia description you are reporting are classic symptoms of a condition called Morton's Neuroma. These symptoms may also include a feeling of sickness or form us in the ball of the foot in addition to the symptoms reported in the actual toe.