Skip to main content

Foot & Ankle Cysts: Types, Causes, & Treatments

Simple lumps and bumps can appear anywhere on your feet. Most growths do not pose a severe risk to your overall health, but they can be troublesome. When on the foot or the ankle, a cyst can cause severe discomfort and it needs to be treated right away.

Cysts can be caused by infection, trauma, clogged oil glands, or inflammation. Some of the most common types of cysts that appear on the foot and ankle are:

If you suspect that you have a cyst on your foot, make sure to go to your local Chicagoland foot specialists at Vittori Foot and Ankle Clinic.

Foot & Ankle Cysts: Types and Symptoms

Below we are going to tell you about the common cysts that can appear on your foot and how to identify them.


The cause of ganglions is unknown. Some medical professionals believe that trauma may be the reason for them, but nobody is 100% sure. These round lumps look like a knot filled with some kind of liquid. They are usually found on the top of the foot, pushing on nerves, tendons, or joints. You may experience pain if the cyst is constantly rubbing up against a sock or shoe. No matter how tempting it may be, never try popping a cyst!

Mucoid Cysts

These types of cysts are very common to Ganglions. They are larger bumps filled with fluid, but they often appear by the joints or nails on the toes. Mucoid cysts frequently occur in those over 40.

Inclusion Cysts

Inclusion cysts are also referred to as epidermoids and epidermal; these cysts are lumps of keratin. Keratin is the thick yellow substance that sometimes comes out of cysts. Usually, the lump is quite small and forms if you have recently suffered an injury to the skin. The cyst will eventually drain on its own, but a foot specialist can help move the process quickly along.

Sebaceous Cysts

A true sebaceous cyst is big lumps that is filled with sebum. Sebum is an oily, waxy substance produced by your body’s sebaceous glands. These cysts are caused when your glands are blocked, trauma to the foot, or there are swollen hair follicles in the skin.

Plantar Fibromas

One of the most irritating and bothersome cysts is Plantar Fibromas. These sit along the skin that runs from your heel to the toes and can often feel like you are walking on a pebble. Unfortunately, the cause of Plantar Fibromas is unknown.

Keeping Your Feet Healthy: Ways to Prevent Developing Cysts on Your Foot

Though most of the causes of Cysts are unknown, there are a few things that you can do. Prevention techniques are not guaranteed to work, but they do help.

Several lifestyle changes have been linked to preventing foot conditions from worsening—things like comfortable shoes, proper foot hygiene, and taking care of damaged feet, among others. Unfortunately, research shows that certain medical conditions can make you more at risk of developing cysts. Some of these conditions include:

It is essential that if you suffer from any of the conditions mentioned above, you visit Vittori Foot and Ankle Clinic so that a foot and ankle specialist can constantly check your feet and prevent you from suffering unbearable pain should a cyst develop on your foot.

Diagnosing and Developing a Personal Treatment Plan for You

If a mass has formed, is not cancerous, and is not causing you any kind of discomfort, treatment may not be required. But, we cannot express how important it is for you to get any mass on your foot or ankle checked by the experts at Vittori Foot and Ankle Clinic. We will perform non-invasive tests to determine:

We may recommend custom orthotics to make your foot more comfortable when walking, steroid injections, foot baths, heat therapy, and draining the cyst professionally. As we mentioned above, if it is non-cancerous and you are not in pain, you could avoid a special treatment plan altogether. Keep an eye out on it, and as long as it does not get bigger or causes you discomfort, you should be in the green.

If you see an abnormal bump anywhere on your ankle or your foot, contact Vittori Foot and Ankle Clinic right away. The lump can leave you in discomfort, and it should be examined by the experts.. Our team of foot care specialists will provide you the necessary information to make an informed decision. Remember, it is essential you do not try to pop the cyst.

Meet with a Vittori Foot and Ankle Clinic specialist today and trust your feet in the hands of the experts!

You Might Also Enjoy...

How Can I Prevent My Bunions From Getting Worse?

How Can I Prevent My Bunions From Getting Worse?

If you’re living with bunions, you probably want to keep them from getting in the way of your life as much as possible. That means taking steps to prevent them from worsening — or at least slow their progression. 
Heel Pain: 5 Common Causes

Heel Pain: 5 Common Causes

If you’re dealing with heel pain, a few different conditions could be in play. To help you get to the root of the issue, we outlined five common causes of heel discomfort here.