If you have red painful toes that are swollen on the sides of the nail you may have an infection beginning. This can occur from an ingrown toenail which is often the cause. All it takes is a warm, moist, bacteria rich environment to start. This is when the toenail penetrates the skin, which makes a perfect place for germs to collect and cause an infection.
If you are starting to have skin problems this may also be a sign of diabetes, but the best way for you to be certain is talk with your doctor. You can ask your local pharmacist for their recommendation for the appropriate moisturizing cream for your feet.
Corns are another type of skin lesion that can develop on top or between your toes, and this can cause red, swollen and painful toes. To reduce pressure on your corns you will need to have proper fitting shoes, then work on reducing any area with calluses by using a pumas stone or having them surgically removed.