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The response to the question below was authored by Marc Mitnick DPM
hard painful lump on ball of foot
I have been noticing a hard painful lump on the ball of my left foot (now it is appearing on my right foot also)near my last 2 toes (the two smallest toes). It is very sensitive to walk on and if I wear certain shoes the balls of my feet burn. I have noticed that the pain seems to be worse first thing in the morning then gets better as I walk around. I walk about 3 miles a day to and from work and am standing in almost the same spot for 6 hour shifts (I am a cashier at a grocery store). When I am working I stand on a pad and my feet do not bother me. I notice it when I am walking and as I said..it is especially bad in the morning. I am new to my area but I figure I really need to make a doctor appt. Any ideas before I go? Thank you
On the surface at least it sounds like a callus but I guess in the back of my mind I would think most people would know what a callus is.
So I will take this one step further and assume you may have a soft tissue growth like a wart or porokeratosis which is nothing more than a plugged sweat gland. Since the feet contain around 250,000 sweat glands, it is not uncommon for one or more of these to get "plugged" up and become hard and painful.
Since you mention the growth appears near the area of the fourth and fifth toes. This to me does not sound like the growth is directly under the metatarsal heads which is where calluses generally form.
So, with the idea of wart or a porokeratosis, both these conditions are readily treated by a foot specialist. I am not too sure any other medical specialist will be very good at handling these types of growths.
In most cases these growths are treated by having them scraped, which should not be a painful procedure and then have some medication applied to them.
The nice thing about treatment of these growths is that relief is instantaneous.
I would be remiss if I did not mention that I am only guessing as to what type of hard growth you have and if for no other reason, you should see a doctor to get an accurate diagnosis.
Marc Mitnick DPM
Johns Hopkins Medicine
University of Rochester Medical Center
American Academy of Pediatrics
Penn State Medical Center
National Institutes of Health
Columbia University Department of Rehabilitation
Stanford Health Care
Illinois Bone and Joint Institute
Mount Sinai Hospital
Institute for Chronic Pain
University of Florida Health
American Family Physician
University of Maryland Medical Center