Conditions that can cause bumps on the bottom of the feet include plantar warts and fibromas, cysts, and eczema. Some causes require medical treatment, including medication, orthotics, and physical therapy.
There are various reasons a person may experience bumps on the bottom of their feet. This includes uneven weight distribution, plantar fibromas, limited movement of the big toe, and bursitis, among others. Treatment depends on the cause of the bumps.
This article explores some of the causes of a bump on the bottom of the foot and how a person can treat each cause.
Sometimes, the long bones behind the toes (metatarsals) become misaligned. This affects how weight is distributed across the ball of the foot as a person walks.
Uneven weight distribution in the foot means some areas absorb more pressure than others. These may cause calluses to form on the ball of the foot.
Bumps caused by uneven weight distribution tend to occur in people with diabetes.
If a person with diabetes develops lumps or calluses on their feet, they should monitor them carefully and consult a healthcare professional. If left untreated, these lumps can cause ulcers.
Foot ulceration is one of the
A molded insole or orthotic can help treat bumps caused by uneven weight distribution. This helps to remove the pressure from the balls of the feet.
For people with foot ulcerations due to diabetes, treatment may include antibiotics, braces or special shoes, and removal of the calluses. Preventive measures, such as using a walker or therapeutic shoes to relieve pressure on the feet, may also help heal ulcers and prevent future occurrences.
Injury, trauma, or genetics can cause limited movement in the big toe. This is often referred to as hallux rigidus. Hallux rigidus causes limited movement in the joint of the big toe due to stiffness at the base of the joint.
The pain and discomfort from hallux rigidus can affect how a person walks. They may find they are walking on the outside of their foot to avoid putting pressure on the big toe. A person may also experience difficulty bending their toe.
Treatment for hallux rigidus is easier when started right away. If a person has already developed bone spurs, treatment can be more difficult.
Healthcare professionals may recommend using nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to help with inflammation and pain. Applying ice to the area may also help reduce inflammation and manage symptoms. It is important to remember not to apply ice directly to the skin.
Wearing shoes with large box toes may help relieve pressure. A healthcare professional may also recommend corticosteroid injections to the joint.
If nonsurgical treatments are not effective, a healthcare professional may recommend surgery to help increase toe mobility.
Plantar fibromas are nodular masses that can form in the arch of a person’s foot. These noncancerous growths form in the plantar fascia, which is the ligament in the arch of the foot.
The cause of plantar fibromas is unknown. They are also unlikely to get smaller or go away without treatment.
The main sign of plantar fibromas is a firm bump in the arch of the foot. This bump may not cause any pain. If a person does experience pain, it is typically due to pressure from walking or wearing shoes.
Nonsurgical treatments can help to manage any pain a person may experience. These include corticosteroid injections, physical therapy, and orthotic shoe inserts. These treatments will not reduce or clear the mass. They will only help manage pain and help improve mobility.
If a person experiences pain even with nonsurgical treatments or the mass grows, a healthcare professional may recommend surgical removal.
Dyshidrotic eczema may cause bumps on the bottom of the foot that are itchy and filled with fluid, like blisters.
The cause of dyshidrotic eczema is unknown. However, it is more common in people with another type of eczema or with a family history of eczema.
Dyshidrotic eczema can also cause skin that is:
- painful to touch
The blisters during flare-up may last 3-4 weeks before they clear. Some people may experience only one flare-up of dyshidrotic eczema. However, it is more common for it to be chronic and come and go over time.
A healthcare professional can help individuals create a treatment plan to help manage dyshidrotic eczema. Treatment plans often include:
- Cool compresses and soaks: Using cool compresses and medicated soaks for 15 minutes four times a day can help dry out blisters.
- Topical corticosteroids: A person should apply topical corticosteroids after each soak or cool compress. This helps clear blisters and reduce inflammation.
- Antihistamines: Antihistamines or anti-itch creams can help reduce the discomfort from itching.
- Moisturizer: Dyshidrotic eczema can dry out skin. To help manage this, a healthcare professional may recommend a moisturizer or barrier repair cream.
Plantar warts are a common type of skin condition that is the result of a version of the human papillomavirus (HPV). HPV is a group of viruses that occur regularly in the environment. It can occur on a person’s skin without symptoms. However, for some people, it can cause plantar warts on the bottom of the feet.
A person may be more likely to develop plantar warts when they use a public shower or walk around an area like a locker room barefoot. Individuals can help prevent plantar warts by regularly changing their socks, keeping their feet dry, and wearing footwear in public areas like locker rooms.
Plantar warts may clear on their own without treatment. However, if they cause pain, a person should speak with a healthcare professional.
Medical treatment includes carefully trimming the wart and applying a treated dressing to the area. The healthcare professional may also recommend self-care techniques, such as salicylic acid patches or solution and regular use of a pumice stone.
Another treatment option may include removal of the wart. This involves numbing the area and then freezing the wart with liquid nitrogen to dissolve it. Healthcare professionals typically recommend this when other treatments are not effective.
Bursitis is an inflammation of the bursae, which are natural cushions between bones and soft tissue. This inflammation often occurs as the result of direct pressure, like from tight shoes or high heels, or repetitive motion, such as running or jumping.
Bursitis can cause:
- redness or discoloration
- stiffness in the joint
If the affected bursae is just under the skin, a person may be able to see the outline due to the swelling. This can appear like a bump on the foot.
If a person is experiencing persistent foot pain, they should speak with a healthcare professional.
Treatment for bursitis typically involves reducing the pressure on the affected area, NSAIDs for pain, ice, and stretches. A healthcare professional may also recommend corticosteroid injections.
They are normally benign (noncancerous). Cysts can develop anywhere on the body, including on the bottom of a person’s foot.
Cysts will often go away on their own without treatment. It is important to not squeeze or puncture the cyst, as this can lead to infection.
If a cyst is large or becomes painful, a healthcare professional may recommend removal.
Synovial sarcoma is a type of cancer that develops in the soft tissue, such as muscles or ligaments. It often occurs in the feet, arms, or legs. This may be near joints, such as the wrist or ankle.
Synovial sarcomas are rare. They account for
This type of cancer
If left untreated, synovial sarcoma can metastisize, or spread to other areas of the body. However, since synovial sarcomas can grow for awhile before they are discovered, there is a greater chance of it spreading.
Treatment depends on the stage of the cancer at diagnosis. Common treatment options include:
- radiation therapy
Haglund’s deformity is a bump on the back of the foot or heel that forms under the Achilles tendon.
The shape of a person’s foot can lead to Haglund’s deformity. They may be more likely to develop it if they have a tight Achilles tendon, high arches, or a tendency to walk on the oustide of the foot. People who often wear shoes with a firm or rigid back, like high heels, may also be more likely to develop Haglund’s deformity.
The main symptom of Haglund’s deformity is a bony and enlarged bump on the foot. It may cause pain, discomfort, or blisters when a person’s shoe rubs against it.
Treatment may include heel pads or lifts, arch supports, or orthotic inserts. A healthcare professional may also recommend NSAIDs or topical anti-inflammatory medication to help with pain and inflammation.
If inflammation is severe, a healtcare professional may recommend a soft cast or walking boot to immobilize the area so it can heal. If nonsurgical treatments are not effective, they may recommend surgery.
If a person has a bump on the bottom of their foot that does not go away after a few days or is causing pain or discomfort, they should contact a healthcare professional.
A healthcare professional can examine the feet and ask questions about a person’s medical history to determine the cause. They may also recommend imaging tests, such as X-rays.
One a healthcare professional determines the cause of the bump and discomfort, they can recommend the most effective treatment options.
There are several different causes of a bump on the bottom of the foot. These include cysts, eczema, and plantar warts.
Some causes of bumps on the feet may not require medical treatment. However, if a person has a bump that does not go away or causes pain, they sould speak with a healthcare professional.