Funny weird growth on hands and feet - is it serious?

In our clinic, we have seen many patients with lumps or growths on the hands and feet. These lumps can grow on the fingers and toes. Some of these lumps are painless, and others can cause a bit of discomfort or pain. If you see any growing lump, please do see your friendly neighbourhood doctor!

In this article, we will share with you

  1. Some causes of Lumps on hands and feet that we see in our clinic commonly

  2. Treatment Options of these lumps, including a video on freezing of warts

  3. How we can help you

So what are the causes of such lumps?

Here are some common conditions that we see in our clinic - a non exhaustive list!

  1. Corns

  2. Calluses

  3. Warts

  4. Abscess

Let's learn about Corns and Calluses first!

Corns and calluses are thick, hardened layers of skin that develop when your skin tries to protect itself against friction and pressure. They most often develop on the feet and toes or hands and fingers. Treatment for corns and calluses is needed only if they cause discomfort. For most people, simply eliminating the source of friction or pressure makes corns and calluses disappear.

If you have diabetes or blood vessel diseases that causes poor blood flow to your feet, you're at greater risk of complications from corns and calluses. So it is advisable that you see a doctor for proper care for corns and calluses if you have such conditions.

You may have a corn or a callus if you notice, but it's best to seek medical attention if you suspect any of these:

  • A thick, rough area of skin

  • A hardened, raised bump

  • Tenderness or pain under your skin

  • Flaky, dry or waxy skin

Risk factors for corns and callus formation

These factors may increase your risk of corns and calluses on your hands or feet:

  • Bunions. A bunion is an abnormal, bony bump that forms on the joint at the base of your big toe.

  • Foot deformities. Certain conditions, such as a bone spur and hammer toe foot deformities, can cause constant rubbing inside your shoe.

  • Not protecting your hands. Using hand tools without wearing gloves exposes your skin to excessive friction.

So what are the differences between corns and calluses?

Corns are smaller than calluses and have a hard center surrounded by inflamed skin. Corns tend to develop on parts of your feet that don't bear weight, such as the tops and sides of your toes and even between your toes. They can also be found in weight-bearing areas where your body weight goes through the foot, and in these areas, corns can cause pain and some distress.


Calluses are rarely painful. They usually develop on the soles of your feet, especially under the heels, on your palms, or on your knees. Calluses vary in size and shape and are often larger than corns.

Callus on the foot

What causes corns and calluses to form and how can I prevent them?

Pressure and friction from repetitive actions cause corns and calluses to develop and grow. Some sources of this pressure and friction include:

  • Wearing poor-fitting footwear.

  • Tight shoes and high heels can compress areas of your feet. If you can't wiggle your toes, your shoes are too tight, go half or one size bigger!

  • When footwear is too loose, your foot may repeatedly slide and rub against the shoe or slippers, causing a callus to form. This is quite a common cause we see in clinic, all that is needed is to stop wearing slippers! Much easier said than done!

  • Wear felt pads, nonmedicated corn pads or bandages over areas that rub against your footwear. You can also try toe separators or some lamb's wool between your toes.

  • Skipping socks.

  • Wearing shoes and sandals without socks can cause friction on your feet. Socks that don't fit properly also can be a problem.

  • Playing instruments or using hand tools or not wearing hand protection.

  • Calluses on your hands may result from the repeated pressure of playing instruments, using hand tools or even writing.

  • Going to the gym and using weights without gloves can cause such calluses to form at the base of your fingers.

  • Certain sports like badminton or golf, where gloves are not worn, can causes calluses to form also.

When to see a doctor for Corns and Calluses

If a corn or callus becomes very painful or inflamed, see your doctor.

If you have diabetes or poor blood flow, do see your doctor fast, because even a minor injury to your foot can lead to infection.

What can your doctor do for you for corns and calluses?

Most of the time, no major intervention or procedure is needed. For most people, all that is needed is the modifications as listed above. However, in some cases, a minor procedure to shave the hard skin is needed to pare down the corn or calluses, especially if it's causing pain.

If you have diabetes or poor blood flow, your doctor will need to ensure that infection doesn't happen, and proper wound dressings may be needed.

So that's all for Corns and Calluses!

Lets's now learn about the next condition that we see in clinic


Warts are raised or flat growths that appear on any part of the skin. Warts are caused by human papillomavirus (HPV) infection.

Warts on the Foot
Warts on the Foot

Warts can develop at any age but are most common among children and least common among older people. People may have one or two warts or hundreds. Warts are contagious. Because prolonged or repeated contact is necessary for the virus to spread, warts are most often spread from one area of the body to another, but they can also spread from one person to another.

There usually needs to be a break in the skin for spread to occur, but the break can be extremely small.

Most warts are harmless, although they may be quite bothersome. The exceptions are certain types of genital warts that are due to HPV types that can cause cancer of the mouth, throat, or genitals.

Diagnosis of Warts

Doctors recognize warts by their typical appearance.

Sometimes, an ultrasound scan may be indicated to see how deep the wart has extended to below the superficial skin layer.

Growths on the skin that cannot be definitively identified may need to be removed for examination under a microscope for a proper diagnosis to be made

Warts on the Foot
Different Types of Warts

So, what are the treatments for Warts?

There are several options to get rid of warts and these include:

Creams to apply on the wart itself

  • Creams like salicylic acid or 5FU cream may help to a certain extent, but in our experience, most of the time, most patients do not have a good response to the treatment

Freezing (cryotherapy) of the wart

  • Freezing is safe when it is done by a trained doctor. The area usually does not need to be numbed, but freezing with no numbing may be too painful for children to tolerate. Warts may be frozen with various commercial freezing probes.

  • Cryotherapy is often used for foot and hand warts.

  • Multiple sessions may be required, especially for large warts.

Freezing of the Wart
Freezing of the Wart
Wart after freezing
Wart after freezing

Click to watch a video of the Wart Freezing process in our clinic

Surgical removal of the wart

This is usually done if all other treatment options fail. Click here to learn about how surgical procedures including wart removal is done in our clinic.

So in summary,

  • Warts are raised or flat growths appear on any part of the skin and are caused by human papillomaviruses (HPV)

  • Most warts are painless.

  • Doctors identify warts by their appearance or rarely do a biopsy.

  • Warts can be removed with chemicals, freezing, and/or burning and cutting.

What is Paddington Fast Care and

How Fast Care can help you?

At Paddington Medical, we understand that having corns, calluses or even warts can cause distress and pain, hence we have created Paddington Fast Care, for you.

In the assessment of these lumps, to speed up diagnosis and treatment, if applicable, we are equipped with an advanced Ultrasound System to conduct immediate Ultrasound scans in clinic.

Equipped with specialised instruments, we are able to do the following:

1. Remove the callus and corn

2. Freezing of most warts

3. Surgical removal of most warts


Don't suffer in silence any longer, let us help you for your corns, calluses or warts today!

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