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The response to the question below was authored by Marc Mitnick DPM

Bilateral cysts at base of second toes, pain with ambulation

by Stephanie
(North Pole, Alaska)

I am trying to diagnose my father. He has bilateral cysts below the second and third toes on the balls of his feet about the size of a half dollar. They have well formed callous' on both areas. They intermittently swell, but never go away completely. His bone structure seems sound based on manipulation of the foot/toes. It is possible they are fluid filled. He says he was once diagnosed with gout but I have never known him to be on meds and he doesn't know how they diagnosed him. There is no reddness or warmth on the area. This is the only area he experiences swelling. It is causing his significant pain while ambulating, especially without shoes. Any suggestions to consider?

Hi Stephanie,
Growths that are the size of half dollars are usually just plain garden variety calluses (unless he has some strange esoteric condition). Assuming such, a trip to a podiatrist to trim the calluses will go a long way to relieve the pain. If a podiatrist is not available, the next best option would be to get a good pair of arch supports that will more evenly distribute your father's body weight over the entire course of the foot and thus reduce pressure on the ball of the foot.
Marc Mitnick DPM

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Dec 22, 2016
Small lump in between toes
by: Terry

I have found a small lump under the skin in between my big toe and second toe it's not painful. Just puzzled as to what it could be.
The only way to know exactly what it is would be to consult with a local foot specialist. Anything less then that is just guessing.

Marc Mitnick DPM

Nov 13, 2015
Bumps on foot
by: Anonymous

Or they could be deep seeded plantar warts. Go to dermatologist and they can inject a drug called bleomycin. This really works. I used to inject this in patients of all ages. We would spray the area first with cold refrigerant so the shots didn't hurt so bad

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lump on my small toe

by Jill
(Tyne & Wear)

I have been told that what I thought was corn on my small toe, is
probably a small bone growing out, as my toe is turned under and is
taking all the pressure on the side of it. The chiropodist said I may
have to have surgey to straighten the toe, if I do what is involved?
She made a rubber mould to keep my toe off the ground to ease the
pressure, would you recommend surgey?


Hi Jill,
I would only recommend surgery if the conservative measures do not help and you are in a lot of pain.
Marc Mitnick DPM

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bursitis in the forefoot

by Magina

I have been suffering pain in my right leg from a long time ago. Moreover since 4 years ago, I can not wear normal shoes, I was feeling a lot of pain in the ball of the foot. The MRI result has been that I have a small bursitis in the first and second metatarsal space. I feel that my big toe is slightly bigger than the one of the other foot and sometimes I can feel like an electric feeling. May leg pain also and I do not know if both circumstances are in relation. I used to run everyday, and now I can just walk.

In addition to the mentioned problems, when the weather is cold, a suffer attacks of the Raynauds in the same feet.

The doctor has injected cortisone three weeks ago, but I have pain.

Can you please help me? What do you think is my problem? Is normal that the cortisone did not alleviate my pain? Thanks

Hi Magina,
It is not uncommon for cortisone to not be effective. Sometimes it may take more than one injection. Although not common, at times people can have a neuroma in between the first and second metatarsal space; this might be what is causing your "electric feeling".
You do not mention your age, but I find it odd that you get Raynauds in only one foot; I have never seen that before. I just wonder if your circulation is at issue.
I would go back to your doctor, tell he/she that you only get Raynauds in one foot and have your circulation checked. If the circulation is fine, consider having another cortisone injection.
Good luck.
Marc Mitnick DPM

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a small raised bump in center of right heel and I am a runner and run everyday.

by Beckie
(Rogers Arkansas)

I run on my treadmill daily (two miles) and I have developed a sore spot slightly raised bump on the base of my right foot, back part of my foot(heel). Could this be due to poor running shoes, or from not stretching before I run? My achillis will hurt on the same foot occasionally also. I know it is due to running but what is it and what can I do to make it better. It is starting to hurt more each day when I walk around my house.

Hi Beckie,
Since you do not mention if this raised bump is in the skin, or the bump is from swelling in the area I am at a loss as to the source of your pain.
Commonsense would dictate that if the pain is worsening the problem needs to be addressed, because the worse it gets the harder it will be to remedy.
See a podiatrist and have the problem treated.
Marc Mitnick DPM

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Painful knot in heel.

by Gail D

I have a knot the size of a large grape on the bottom and side of my right heel. I have had heel spurs in the past and have orthotic inserts that usually help. This time is different. Is it a heel spur or something else? It is very painful and I have problems walking because of it. Thanks for your help and time!

Hi Gail,
Without seeing it I have no idea what it might be, but my best guess would be a cyst. Since it is an abnormal finding I would recommend you have it checked out by a local doctor.
Marc Mitnick DPM

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melonma vs cysts top of foot

3 years ago, I had a melanoma removed from my foot. Now, I have 2 lumps close to
the scar of my removed melanoma on the top of my left foot.

My doctor does not think this a re-occurrence of a melanoma because the skin on
the lumps have no color. He thinks that the lumps are cysts because I am a
runner & run everyday.

Question: WE are going to have a MRI to determine if these lumps are cysts and
not melanoma lesion.

1.Can an MRI determine "CONCLUSIVELY" a cysts from a melanoma
lesion/mass? Is there a chance that the MRI will not be able to determine if it
is a cysts or re-occurance of Melanoma?

2. What is your opinion as to what these lumps could be?

Thanks for your time!

Hi Cath,
I would not play games with this, I would ask my doctor to excise and biopsy one of the cysts just to make sure it is not a melanoma, that is the true way to know for sure. By the way there is a condition known as amelanotic melanoma which is a melanoma that has no color, so go for the biopsy to have peace of mind.
Marc Mitnick DPM

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a lump/growth on the top of my right foot

by nazneen

thank you ever so much Dr.Mitnick for you your prompt response.
if the growth on my foot is a ganglion cyst should i opt for surgery? from your site i understand that a surgical removal of the cyst may not be a total cure. the cyst may recur. honestly, i don't want to undergo any more surgeries.i have already had three to four of them for different causes. is it alright to wait and observe a few days and see if the inflammation subsides and the pain reduces.i know for sure that my doctor will opt for surgery and i am very scared to undergo any form of surgery on the foot as i heard there are lots of delicate nerves around this area.please advise what i should do.
thank you.

Hi Nazneen,
First confirm that your lump is a ganglion cyst by seeing your doctor. If it is and it does not hurt there is no reason to have it surgically removed. In fact even it hurt I would ask the doctor to drain it first and then see if it comes back; it may, it may not. If it does come back have it drained a second, even third time.
The bottom line here is that if it a true ganglion cyst, your doctor cannot guarantee even if he or she removes it, that it will not come back anyway, so again, if it does not hurt, just leave it alone.
Marc Mitnick DPM

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stiff foot with a large bump on top

by Rebecca
(Rochester, MN)

After sitting, even for a short time, my foot is very stiff. It has a large bump on top about 2 inches long and 1.5 inches wide. My ankle also looks swollen but doesn't hurt. It is very painful, especially if I've done a bit more walking in a day. I wear doctor prescribed orthotics but it has not helped the problem. I'm not sure if I should go to a chiropractor or a foot doctor. The foot doctor I've gone to recommended a cortizone shot but I'm not sure if I should take that route.

Hi Rebecca,
Your best bet is with a foot specialist (podiatrist). Prior to taking a cortisone shot ask your doctor to prescribe some anti-inflammatory medication or perhaps physical therapy in an effort to reduce the pain. If that does not help than I would consider the cortisone injection.
Marc Mitnick DPM

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Pea size growth on left middle toe

by Denny Strand
(Silverdale,Wash. 98383)

As I was washing my feet recently I noticed a small "pea size" growth on the left side, of the left middle toe. It is hard but not painful. I am 72 years old and in good shape physically. This thing seemed to pop up over night with no warning.

Is it serious? Can I have it cut off by a doctor? Is it a common thing with older people? What are your suggestions as to what I should do?

Thank you for your kind assistance......I will await your response.

Kind Regards,

Denny Strand -

Hi Denny,
It sounds like a cyst but without actually seeing it I cannot be sure.
See a podiatrist, if it hurts it probably can be removed.
Marc Mitnick DPM

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by Janet Santiago
(Bronx, ny)

I have a recurring cyst type growth on top of my foot by the crack of the toe. It has been treated with various anti-biotics and topical ointments. It went away and a week ago from out of nowhere, it flared up again. The area is very tender to the touch. It has some pus but there are days where it doesn't appear to have any. I am not a diabetic nor have I injured that area. It had to be lanced last year when it first occurred. What could be underlying causes for this type of cyst?

Hi Janet,
I would have to see the exact location but my first thought would be shoe irritation. If it is an actual "growth" of some sort, ask your doctor to excise the whole thing instead of just draining it when it becomes infected. He or she could send it out for a routine biopsy to find out exactly what it is.
Marc Mitnick DPM

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painful pea-sized lump on sole of foot

by Lyn

There is a pea-sized lump on the sole of my foot - tender to the touch, and painful to walk on. Located in the center of the ball of the left foot. Also, perhaps unrelated, soles of both feet will have a burning sensation in the morning before arising, and sometimes during the night.

Hi Lyn,
Read my section on plantarfibromatosis and see if that does not describe your lump on the sole of your foot.
In many but not all instances, burning in the feet before arising is due to a radiculopathy (irritation of the nerves that come out of your spinal column), mainly due to pressure on the spine from the way you sleep.
I do not know your age, or other health issues but in some cases, the burning may be due to poor circulation coming into your feet.
A visit to your doctor might be indicated.
Marc Mitnick DPM

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nickel size knot or cyst between big toe and second toe with pain


I've had this cyst like nickel size bump to appear between my big toe and second toe.
It is very painful and just appeared out of no where, what can this be? I had something similar to this on mhy neck that had to be removed, could this be the same thing? Please help me with some answers.

Thank you, Tricia

Hi Tricia,
If the cyst is not hard like a callus then it may be an inflamed bursal sac. It can be readily treated by a podiatrist.
Marc Mitnick DPM

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Possible plantar fibromatosis

by Jessica
(North Carolina)

A few weeks ago I noticed a small, sometimes painful knot on the outside of my right heel. It seems to match the description on plantar fibromatosis. Until very recently I also had a somewhat severe case of plantar warts, which were much worse on the right foot. Can these problems be related or are some people just more susceptible?

Hi Jessica,
Plantarfibromatosis does not occur on the outside of the heel and they are not related to warts. I think it is time for you to consult with a podiatrist.
Marc Mitnick DPM

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lump on bottom of foot

by Nancy

I have a small white lump on the ball of my right foot. I have used ichthammol (unsure of spelling) thinking I had something to draw out, but 10 days later, site is less tender, but nothing has emerged. I have also used a needle to puncture it, but the lump is hard and dry. It is tender to the touch, uncomfortable to walk on. Lump is about 1 inch across, and has not changed since its inception about 2 weeks ago.

Hi Nancy,
Based on the information you have provided I would only be guessing at the condition and you are entitled to better than that. Why not see a podiatrist to give you an accurate diagnosis?
Marc Mitnick DPM

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painful lumps on the bottom of both feet

by Susan

I've got lumps all over the bottoms of my feet and it hurts to walk.

Hi Susan,
I cannot make a diagnosis without actually examining you but the most common condition that causes lumps is plantarfibromatosis. These are generally benign growths but in some individuals can be very painful.
There is treatment available and your best bet would be to see a podiatrist in your area.
Marc Mitnick DPM

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Lumb on top of left foot

A lump developed on the top of my left foot. I don't remember any injury. I went to the doctor. They said it looked like a trauma. They also thought it might be a cyst. They asked to try draining it. All that came out was blood. They wrapped it and told me to leave the wrapping on for 72 hours, loosen bandage slightly if pain occured. Shortly after the pain did start occuring. I released pressure on the area several times through out the 72 hours due to pain. The wrapping was removed and low and behold the lump had returned along with the pain and reoccuring numbness to my first 2 toes. I've returned to the doctor and he is telling me he believes it to be a ganglia cyst. I looked that up and it doesn't say it is a blood filled lump. Is that really what I have on my foot?

I do not have the luxury of examining you but it does not sound like a ganglion cyst as the fluid from those is similar in appearance to K-Y jelly.
You may need to have the cyst opened and drained rather than just having a needle aspiration.
Speak to your doctor about that option.
Marc Mitnick DPM

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ganglion cyst

by Rachael
(Flushing,MI, USA)

I had surgery last year, to remove a ganglion cyst the recovery was fine and pretty quick. However less than a year later, a lump has grown back in my foot. I also have very intense pain, when I'm walking, my foot will randomly twitch, and when this happens, I'll fall down. I do not know what to do. I'm scared my foot will be like this forever.

Hi Rachael,
Unfortunately, ganglion cysts have a high recurrence rate.
Obviously, because you are getting such severe pain the condition needs to be treated; you cannot keep falling down.
Instead of having it surgically removed a second time, you might consider having it drained on a periodic basis or injected with cortisone. At some point in time it may stop growing back.
Good luck.
Marc Mitnick DPM

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Read my section on hallux limitus, sounds like what you might have. If you are in any way concerned about a tumor then you need to see a doctor.
Marc Mitnick DPM

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little bump on the top right side of my foot

by Juan
(Atlanta, GA)

I have a little bump on the described section of my right foot( no bigger than .5 cm). This bump is not on the skin, it seems to be internal and it hurts a lot ( pain scale 8.5). So bad that after walking few steps it seems I can not stand my shoe anymore. Pain irradiates around the bump to the rest of the foot. The bump is internal, very hard, doesn't look like a callous or anything similar and you can barely see it. You can feel it though.
It started with some tight shoes and it got worse after few days.

Hi Juan,
Since I cannot examine you, I am only guessing, but I will tell you the most common bump seen in the area you describe is a ganglion cyst. This would be the case if this is a new finding. If your pain is coming from a "bump" that has always been there then I would think you may have just irritated a bone spur that has been there for some time. Perhaps a certain pair of shoes or activity may have precipitated it.
Since it hurts, your best bet would be to see a podiatrist, both possibilities are readily treatable.
Marc Mitnick DPM
Any idea what this may be?

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I Limp on my left foot when I walk now.

by Anita
(Miami, Florida United States)

Dear Dr.,

About three years ago I hit my leg on a large vase at a mall. I ran and got ice at a department store to stop the throbbing. I immediatley knew that I had injured myself since I saw the bulge on my left leg.

I work in retail now for the (last year and a half) and standing long periods of time has caused me great pain in my foot. I think it's aggravated from standing even though this happened many years ago. My vericose vein is now showing through my skin.

About two weeks ago I went for a Ultra Sound, but haven't heard back from anyone. When I called them they told me that I have to come in, so they can read me the results. I thought that was interesting since I will be charged.

The symptoms I am experiencing after standing long hours are as follows:
Red and Warm at the top of my left foot, cramping comes and goes, numbness, can't walk very fast since I limp. Maybe the vein isn't flowing properly.

I use to wonder what was worse, standing or sitting...I now know it's standing. I wear support stockings and it seems to help. I have also, elevated my leg at night, but it really doesn't help me.

Any advice you could share with me would put me at ease. I also would like to know what shoe to buy that would help me with this pain I am having. I now wear a Naturalizer clog with inserts, but it doesn't help me.

Best regards,

Hi Anita,
Without the luxury of examining you or knowing your age, you certainly have to consider the types of shoes that you wear if you are working long hours. Additionally having varicose veins probably does not help either. You should definately find out the results of the ultrasound, but one could assume if you had a blood clot, the doctor would be obligated to call you and inform you, otherwise it is malpractice.
Assuming no blood clot, you could try a good laced shoe with an arch support along with the support stockings.
If that does not help, the smart money would be to see a podiatrist in your area.
Marc Mitnick DPM

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lumps on the bottom of my right foot

by mitchell rose
(Pittsburgh, Pa./US..)

About six months ago, I began to experience discomfort on the bottom of my right foot. I didn't pay it a lot of attention at the time, and noticed that after a few weeks that discomfort went away. Then about a month later, the discomfort returned, only this time a small lump came with it, then two, then three. While it isn't reallly bothering me whenever I have shoes on my feet, when I walk barefooted, it feels as though I'm always stepping on something. What can be done about this condition?

Hi Mitchell,
Read my section on plantarfibromatosis and see if this does not sound like what you are suffering from. The article also discusses treatment options.

Marc Mitnick DPM

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There is nothing that I can think of that you could personally do to get rid of the cyst. Generally, speaking if they do not hurt you can leave them alone. You might want to consider having a doctor look at it to just confirm that it is nothing more than a cyst.
Marc Mitnick DPM

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itchy little lumps on my foot - 2

by Tricia

itchy foot

itchy foot

Hi there, thank you very much for your response. I am have been treating the foot for about five months now and so I am getting really fed up with. I only stopped the treatment this week and now I have loads of little blisters appearing, the ball of my foot is very red and extremely itchy. It is driving me nuts. Anyway I attach a photo I'm not sure you can see much from it though. Thanks again.

Hi Tricia,
It is very difficult for me to see the affected area, so try what I suggested in the previous post. If that does work for you then you will need to see a doctor.
Marc Mitnick DPM

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Nov 07, 2014
extremely itchy pea-sized bumps under skin of sole
by: Bob G Pittsburgh, Pa.

I, too, have periodically had small lumps under the skin of my sole (left foot only) which are extremely itchy--(makes me want to scratch my skin off!). These bumps seem to go away for a time if I apply moisturizing cream liberally & aggressively.

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