Digital Mucous Cyst (Myxoid Cyst)

Serving Hamilton, Stoney Creek, Grimsby and surrounding areas

Digital Mucous Cyst (Myxoid Cyst):

  • The cause is not known, but may be associated with osteoarthritis in the fingers or toes
  • The “cyst” appears as a clear bump, usually 3 mm to 5 mm in diameter at the base of a fingernail or toenail
  • Sometimes digital mucous cysts are located over the joints of the fingers or toes
  • The “cyst” is filled with a jelly-like substance
  • Is not dangerous
  • Is not cancerous and will not develop into a cancer
  • Is not contagious
  • May affect the toenail, producing a groove or dent in the nail
    • This is usually reversible after the lesion is treated


  • Drainage and Liquid Nitrogen:
    • The cyst is opened with a small needle and the jelly-like contents are expressed by gently squeezing the cyst
    • After removing the cyst contents, the cyst is sprayed with a cold freezing spray
    • This causes the treated area to become red and swollen and sometimes a crust may form
    • You may bathe or shower after the treatment
      • A bandage may be worn, but this is optional
    • It may take 3 to 4 visits for liquid nitrogen treatments to eliminate a digital mucous cyst
    • After a treatment, the area will become swollen and crusted
    • This will heal in about 2 weeks time
    • You may bathe or shower normally after a treatment
  • Intralesional Steroids (Cortisone Injections):
    • If liquid nitrogen doesn’t work, the cyst may be injected with a steroid (cortisone) solution
    • The cortisone is injected directly into the affected area with a small needle
    • Only one injection is required to treat the entire lesion
    • The main side effect from the injections includes, but is not limited to: is thinning of the skin in the area of injection, although this is uncommon and reversible
    • Several treatments may be required
  • Surgery:
    • If the cyst is resistant to treatment it can be cut out.
    • This is usually done by a plastic surgeon
  • Treatment of digital mucous cysts is an OHIP insured service
  • A referral from a doctor is necessary to make your first appointment