An acute attack of Gout is sudden in onset and frequently affects the great toe. The affected joint is painful, swollen, red and warm to the touch. It may affect ankles, knees, small joints of the hand and feet. Hip or shoulder joints are rarely involved. Acute attacks resolve spontaneously in a few days and there could be itching and peeling of skin during recovery.


Patients who experience repeated attacks of gout over several years with pain free periods in between, develop chronic arthritis. The deposits of uric acid crystals (Tophi) may become visible from the surface, and are mostly seen on the great toe, pinna of the ear and/or near the knee joint. Repeated attack of gout leads to progressive damage and hampers joint movement.

Factors which may precipitate an acute attack of gout:

  • Purine rich diet like meat, spinach, beans, mushrooms, legumes, oatmeal
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Trauma
  • Stress
  • Certain drugs (such as diuretics)