Lumps on Toes

A foot lump is soft-tissue mass that can occur anywhere on your foot. Nodule, bump, tumor, contusion, and cyst are the other terms used to describe the several types of lumps. They can either be asymptomatic or painless, or they can be painful and even affect your foot’s function.

There could be a lot of conditions that cause foot lumps such as inflammation, infections, trauma or tumors. Depending on the cause, lumps may be soft or firm, single or multiple or may rapidly grow or may not change in size. This article will discuss the lumps that occur on toes.

What Causes Lumps on Toes?

Depending on the underlying disorder, disease or condition, foot lumps may accompany other localized symptoms such as joint immobility, bruising or bleeding, discharge or pus, localized swelling, pain or tenderness and warmth and redness. Below are the possible causes.

1. Blood Clot

A blood clot is a clump of blood that changed into a semisolid or gel-like state from its liquid form. Blood clotting or coagulation is a necessary bodily process that prevents you from losing too much blood in certain instances such as having a cut or injury.

Symptoms: Depending on the size of the clot, some may only have painless minor calf swelling while others may not have any symptoms at all. Most common symptoms of blood clot include pain, swelling, warm sensation, tenderness and reddish discoloration and lumps.

Treatment: The aim of the treatment is to prevent the clot from getting bigger and causing pulmonary embolism. Anticoagulants, also called blood thinners is prescribed to the patient to decrease the ability of your blood to clot. Your doctor may also prescribe clot busters or thrombolytics if you have more serious type of blood clot or if other medications are not working.

2. Broken bones

Also known as fractures, broken foot bones are very common condition as our feet are vulnerable to twisting and slipping. About one in every 10 broken bones happens in the foot.

Aside from the pain, other symptoms that you have a broken bone in your feet include:

  • Limping
  • Bruising
  • Swelling
  • Too painful when walking
  • Tenderness
  • Joint dislocation

Treatment: You should perform a RICE (rest, ice, compression and elevation) method as first aid treatment. Medical treatment depends on the severity of the broken bone and what bone is broken. It is important that you clean the open fractures very well to avoid infection. Surgery may be needed in some cases of broken bones.

3. Abscesses

Foot abscess occurs when oil glands or sweat glands get obstructed, causing a formation of puss collection under the skin of the foot, like lumps on toes.

In most cases, abscess is a mass that is too painful and red, tender and warm to touch.

Treatment: Apply warm compress to the affected area for about 30 minutes, 4 times in a day. Seek medical help if needed as your doctor may need to open and drain the abscess.

4. Cellulitis

This is a common bacterial skin infection that initially appears as a red, swollen area that feels tender and hot to the touch. This condition is usually painful and spreads rapidly.

Symptoms may include:

  • Inflammation or redness of your skin
  • Tenderness and pain in the affected area
  • A swollen, glossy and tight appearance of the skin
  • Rash or skin sore that appears and grows rapidly
  • Warmth feeling in the area that is affected
  • Fever and shaking
  • Presence of abscess with pus formation
  • Dizziness and fatigue

Treatment: It is important that you seek medical help on this condition. You will usually be given a 10 to 21 day prescription regimen of oral antibiotics for your treatment. Pain relievers are also prescribed in some cases.

5. Gout

Also known as gouty arthritis, this type of arthritis is caused by having excessive amount of uric acid in your body.

Common symptoms of this problem are:

  • Intense pain in the joint that is worst in the first 12 to 24 hours
  • Tenderness, redness and swelling of the joints
  • Joint pain that lasts up to several weeks and spreads to other joints over time

Treatment: Patients are prescribed with long-term medications to lower their uric acid. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can also be prescribed to alleviate the painful symptoms of gout.

6. Rheumatic fever

Rheumatic fever, which is another cause of lumps on toes, is an inflammatory disease that develops as a complication of untreated scarlet fever or strep throat. This condition is most common amongst children between 5 to 15 years of age.

Signs and symptoms can include:

  • Tender and painful joints
  • Fever
  • Hot, red or swollen joints
  • Pain in one joint that transfers to another joint
  • Chest pain and heart murmur
  • Small, painless nodules beneath the skin
  • Exhaustion
  • Jerky, uncontrollable movements

Treatment: Antibiotic such as penicillin is prescribed to eliminate strep bacteria. Pain relievers such as naproxen or aspirin may also be prescribed to reduce the fever, inflammation and pain.

7. Lymphoma

This type of cancer of the lymphatic system affects lymphocytes - a type of white blood cells – which play an important role in your immune system.

Signs of this condition is similar to those of common colds and viral diseases; however, they last longer than that would normally be expected. Other symptoms include fever, night sweats and chill, loss of appetite and weight loss, persistent fatigue and lack of energy, shortness of breath, unusual itching and swelling or pain of the abdomen.

Treatment: The treatment depends on the stage of the cancer and type of lymphoma. Necessary treatment may include biologic therapy, antibody therapy, chemotherapy, radio immunotherapy, steroids and surgery.

When Should You See a Doctor Immediately?

You should seek medical help immediately if these symptoms are present along with the lumps on toes:

  • Open wound
  • Chills and fever
  • Profuse or excessive bleeding
  • Red steaks that extend up to the leg or foot
  • tachycardia or rapid heart rate