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Yellow or White Foot Bump Symptoms, Causes & Common Questions

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Last updated October 20, 2021

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If you have yellow or white bumps that look like pimples on your feet, this may be caused by whiteheads, skin abscess, or cysts. Read now for more information on causes and how to treat a yellow or white bumps on the foot.

6 most common causes

6 causes of a yellow or white foot bump

This list does not constitute medical advice and may not accurately represent what you have.

Whitehead

Whiteheads are caused by hair follicles becoming clogged with oil & dead skin cells. When the clogged pore is closed to the air by a layer of skin cells, the oil/dead skin cells remains white (as opposed to a blackhead).

Though large whiteheads can be removed by a dermatologist, most cases can be treated with proper hygiene and over-the-counter medications/treatments. Look for products containing benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid.

Rarity: Common

Top Symptoms: small facial lump, yellow or white facial bump

Symptoms that always occur with whitehead: small facial lump, yellow or white facial bump

Urgency: Self-treatment

Wart

Warts, also called common warts or verrucae, are small, rough, rounded growths on the top layer of the skin. They may appear singly or in clusters.

Common warts are caused by the human papilloma virus (HPV) and are contagious through direct contact, especially through a break in the skin. They may spread from one place on the body to another simply through touch.

Anyone can get warts but they are most common in anyone with a weakened immune system, as from illness or chemotherapy. Children and teenagers are also susceptible to warts.

Warts often first appear on the hands and fingers, especially near the nails or after any injury to the skin. This is why biting fingernails is a risk factor for warts.

Warts are benign, meaning they are not cancerous. But they can be unsightly and interfere with normal use of the hands, so treatment is often beneficial.

Diagnosis is made through physical examination. Warts in children sometimes go away without treatment, but otherwise most warts can be easily removed in a doctor's office.

Skin cyst

A cyst is a small sac or lump, filled with fluid, air, fat, or other material, that begins to grow somewhere in the body for no apparent reason. A skin cyst is one that forms just beneath the skin.

It's believed that skin cysts form around trapped keratin cells – the cells that form the relatively tough outer layer of the skin.

These cysts are not contagious.

Anyone can get a skin cyst, but they are most common in those who are over age 18, have acne, or have injured the skin.

Symptoms include the appearance of a small, rounded lump under the skin. Cysts are normally painless unless infected, when they will be reddened and sore and contain pus.

Diagnosis is made through physical examination. A small cyst can be left alone, though if it is unsightly or large enough to interfere with movement it can be removed in a simple procedure done in a doctor's office. An infected cyst must be treated so that the infection does not spread.

Rarity: Common

Top Symptoms: skin-colored armpit bump, marble sized armpit lump, small armpit lump

Symptoms that always occur with skin cyst: skin-colored armpit bump

Urgency: Wait and watch

Skin abscess

A skin abscess is a large pocket of pus that has formed just beneath the skin. It is caused by bacteria getting under the skin, usually through a small cut or scratch, and beginning to multiply. The body fights the invasion with white blood cells, which kill some of the infected tissue but form pus within the cavity that remains.

Symptoms include a large, red, swollen, painful lump of pus anywhere on the body beneath the skin. There may be fever, chills, and body aches from the infection.

If not treated, there is the risk of an abscess enlarging, spreading, and causing serious illness.

Diagnosis is made through physical examination.

A small abscess may heal on its own, through the body's immune system. But some will need to be drained or lanced in a medical provider's office so that the pus can be cleaned out. Antibiotics are usually prescribed.

Keeping the skin clean, and using only clean clothes and towels, will help to make sure that the abscess does not recur.

Rarity: Common

Top Symptoms: rash with bumps or blisters, red rash, red skin bump larger than 1/2 cm in diameter, pus-filled rash, rash

Symptoms that always occur with skin abscess: rash with bumps or blisters

Urgency: Primary care doctor

Molluscum contagiosum

Molluscum contagiosum, also called "water warts," is a common, benign, viral skin infection. It causes a rash of bumps that may appear anywhere on the body.

The virus spreads through direct contact with the bumps, including sexual contact. It also spreads through touching any object that an infected person has handled, such as clothing, towels, and toys.

Most susceptible are children under age 10. Other risk factors include dermatitis causing breaks in the skin; a weakened immune system; and living in warm, humid regions under crowded conditions.

Symptoms include a rash of small, pale bumps with a pit in the center. The rash is usually painless but may become reddened, itchy, and sore.

Diagnosis is made through physical examination.

In some cases, treatment is not needed and the condition will clear on its own. However, if the bumps are unsightly or are present in the genital area, lesions can be removed through minor surgical procedures or treated with oral medication or topical agents.

Rarity: Common

Top Symptoms: rash with bumps or blisters, leg skin changes, skin changes on arm, head or neck skin changes, genital skin changes

Symptoms that never occur with molluscum contagiosum: fever, headache

Urgency: Phone call or in-person visit

Dermatofibroma

A dermatofibroma is a fairly common skin growth that usually appears on the lower legs, but may appear anywhere on the body. These mole-like growths are benign (noncancerous.)

The cause is not known, though a dermatofibroma may appear after a minor injury. The growths are not contagious.

Dermatofibromas are most common in adults and are rarely found in children.

Symptoms include a hard, raised growth that is red, pink, or brown and less than half an inch across. They are usually painless but may be tender or itchy, and may appear alone or in groups.

Any new growth on the skin should be seen by a medical provider, especially if the growth is very dark in color or changes its shape or appearance quickly.

Diagnosis is made through physical examination and sometimes biopsy.

A dermatofibroma does not require treatment unless it is interfering with clothing or is unsightly. They can be surgically removed, though this will leave a scar and the growth may eventually return.

Questions your doctor may ask about yellow or white foot bump

  • Do you feel pain when you touch the bump?
  • Any fever today or during the last week?
  • Are you experiencing a headache?
  • Do you have a rash?

Self-diagnose with our free Buoy Assistant if you answer yes on any of these questions.

Yellow or white foot bump symptom checker statistics

People who have experienced yellow or white foot bump have also experienced:

  • 21% Big Toe Pain
  • 11% Toe Pain
  • 7% Foot Bump

People who have experienced yellow or white foot bump were most often matched with:

  • 80% Skin Abscess
  • 20% Whitehead

People who have experienced yellow or white foot bump had symptoms persist for:

  • 38% Over a month
  • 23% Less than a week
  • 16% Less than a day

Source: Aggregated and anonymized results from Buoy Assistant.

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