What are the causes of a burning sensation in the toes?

Strange or chronic feelings of burning, pain, or numbness about the body may be alarming, and can be symptoms of serious medical problems. If you experience burning in the toes it is important to determine the cause of the sensation, since you may need treatment for an underlying condition.


One potential cause of burning in the feet is any traumatic event that affects the foot directly. If the foot is struck hard with an object, sprained, or broken, the toes may feel as if they are burning. Running or walking excessively, or with improper padding in the shoes (or barefoot) can cause burning in the toes. If blisters form in between the toes they may be uncomfortable and burn.


It should come as little surprise that a burning sensation in the feet and toes can be caused by being burnt. Burns from heat will cause blisters that can result in a lasting burning sensation. Subjecting the toes to extreme cold for an extended period of time can also cause numbness and skin burns or frostbite. Sunburns and chemical burns may also be a source of the sensation.

Circulatory Problems

Numbness and burning in the extremities, especially the toes, can be caused by an ineffective circulatory system. Obesity and diabetes are likely to be a risk factor for toe burning and pain. Heart disease and clogged arteries (peripheral artery disease) may also lead to burning sensations in the feet.

Nerve Damage

The nerves are communication lines in the body that sense pain and other feelings and transmit those sensations to the brain. When a person has damaged nerves, the nerves may send signals the the brain indicating pain or burning sensations in different parts of the body. There are many underlying conditions that can affect the nerves and cause nerve damage, such as bodily trauma and accidents during surgical procedures.


Another common cause of burning sensations are various types of infections. Normal bodily infections, such as bacteria getting into an open wound or blister may cause burning in the toes. Athletes foot or other fungal infections are also well known causes of burning sensations around the toes. Often these causes can be treated with store bought medicines to reduce the amount of pain, and eliminate the fungus.