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

Pea sized hard bump on inside foot side of big toe.

by Britt

For 4-5 years I have had this bump and I thought i had got a sliver of Glass in the side of my foot in the same spot. But have had it cut open to find any glass and have been unsuccessful. It is always there and is a pea sized hard bump and at times is more inflamed than others and with certain shoes it is extremely painful. When I squeeze or push on it, it is an intense sharp pain( and sometimes only in the middle or certain part of the bump) And sometimes is debilitating to walk, but then i can go months without it be that bothersome. It gets irritated with sandals or high heels or

Even some flats that rub on the spot. I have done some minimal research and don't have most symptoms nor
Do I for the criteria for gout. I am a 27 yr old female, eat healthy and am in healthy shape( but I could be wrong). I know I should of seen a dr. But I procrastinated and now no longer have health insurance and before spending the money which I don't really have to see a foot dr. I was just curious if this is something treatable. I don't believe it's bunions because it's not really on the bone/ joint but I could be wrong and like I said it is only on one foot and I always thought it was a piece of glass and would eventually surface and my body would reject it. Any possible explanations, thoughts, possible diagnosis would be greatly appreciated thanks. Also my iPhone will not let me add a photo but location is on side of big toe right where toe meets the ball of foot under big toe, and is about 1 cm in width and length and when irritated becomes red. Thanks again


Hi Britt,

I certainly do not know what it is simply because I cannot actually examine you, but I will tell what I think it might be.
First off, unless you actually remember stepping on glass, the odds of it being a foreign body are fairly remote. Secondly, it would be difficult to step on broken glass and have it lodge in the side of the toe, more likely the glass would enter on the bottom of the toe, or the foot.
Now, there are two kinds of bumps that can occur in your part of the foot, one is a skin lesion and the other would be a growth below
the skin.
Since this bump has been cut open before (looking for glass), I am going to assume it is a skin lesion. A growth beneath the skin is usually not cut open, it is simply removed.
So, that being said the growth in the skin could either be a skin cyst or a wart. So the question becomes, does the growth have any discoloration to it, either black or dark red, perhaps in a spotty way?
If so, it would probably be a wart. If the bump is of normal color and is just hard, it could be a skin cyst.
In either event this is a readily treatable condition if it one of these two growths; the problem is it is going to require health insurance, as it will probably have to be removed.
Based on its location, what may be happening is when it is pressed against by your shoe, the growth itself can hurt, but many times it can then press against the nerve underneath it, that runs on the side of the toe and that will increase the intensity of the pain.
You might consider spending a few dollars and just go to a podiatrist to find out exactly what it is, you do not necessarily have to have treatment as that will be more expensive.
Call around and find out what a doctor will charge just to look at the foot. If you find that to be affordable, just go in and get a diagnosis.
I mention this because, it for example, it is nothing but a wart, you certainly can try over the counter medication to try and rid you of the problem, but you first have to know what kind of condition you are dealing with.
I may be stating the obvious here, but try and avoid shoes that aggravate the problem, at least until you can have the growth treated.
Your condition is not gout as gout is rare in pre-menopausal women, but a condition that may mimic the appearance of gout could be an inflamed bursal sac that is occurring on the inside of the toe that becomes red and swollen from time to time and can hurt. The thing that is throwing me off is that these conditions are not cut into looking for broken glass.
So.....I guess if you figure out a way to upload a picture, it would probably help.

Marc Mitnick DPM

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Jul 26, 2015
Unknown foot lump
by: Anonymous

I also have a BB sized hard lump on top of my middle toe at first thought it was a blister but its rock hard and sometimes painful I know its not a wart I have had them on my hands this is very different looking

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