If you've been having pain in your big toe, and the pain won't go away, see a foot doctor to find out what's wrong. Several things cause toe pain, and the sooner you get proper treatment, the sooner you get pain relief. Here's a look at some possible causes of toe pain and treatments your foot doctor might recommend.

1. Fungal Infections

A fungal infection in your toenail can cause pain around your nail. You might also notice a discoloration under your nail, and your nail might get tough or yellow and split apart. Toenail infections are difficult to fight, so you may need prescription medications from your foot doctor. First, the doctor may want to test a scraping of your toenail to confirm you have a fungal infection and determine the type of fungus you have.

2. Nerve Damage

Peripheral neuropathy can be caused by a health condition such as diabetes. You might have sharp, stabbing pain in your toe or your nerves might be overly sensitive. You might experience burning pain too. This pain might be accompanied by a loss of general sensation and reduced circulation.

A podiatrist should evaluate and monitor your foot health when you have peripheral neuropathy to help you guard against infections. They may provide treatments that pad and protect your feet and encourage you to get your medical condition under tight control for good foot health.

3. Arthritis

Gout is a type of arthritis that flares up occasionally and commonly affects your big toe. Gout can be very painful and make walking difficult. Your foot doctor can help you manage gout and other forms of arthritis. If your arthritis becomes advanced, your doctor might need to do joint surgery.

4. Injury

A stubbed toe is a common injury that can result in a broken bone. You might also drop something heavy on your toe and crush it or the nail. Any severe toe injury should be evaluated by a doctor so you can get proper care to help the injury heal properly to reduce the risk of chronic toe pain.

5. Bunion

A bunion is a bump on your big toe and movement of the toe toward your other toes. If bunion pain interferes with your life, your foot doctor might recommend bunion surgery that removes the bony bump and straightens your big toe. However, surgery might not be needed since your doctor might have other treatments that can help with your toe pain.

6. Ingrown Toenail

An ingrown nail can be very painful since the nail cuts into your skin as it grows out. A foot doctor might dig the nail out of your skin so it can grow without hurting you. They may also prescribe antibiotics if the toe is infected, and teach you how to trim your nails to avoid future problems with ingrown nails.