Many things can cause lumps and bumps on the hands and wrists. These range from noncancerous growths to rare cancers. In some cases, the masses can be seen, and in others, they can’t be seen at all. If you suspect that something is wrong with your hands and wrists, this blog post will explore the most common causes and what you can do.

Lumps and Bumps of the Hands and Wrists: What to Do

1 – Ganglion Cysts

These small lumps or bumps on the wrist are the most common type of mass on the hands and wrists. They can be felt just under the skin. These are fluid-filled sacs that develop on the tendons that run to the fingers. The fluid has a gelatinous consistency and is usually not painful. But when they develop on top of a joint, they can cause pain.

While generally benign and harmless, ganglion cysts can become infected and cause inflammation. If they are not causing any problems, it’s best to leave them alone. If an infection does develop, your doctor may remove the cyst and drain it.

2- Inclusion Cysts

Inclusion cysts are another type of benign cystic mass. They develop when an area of skin gets damaged. It’s most common on the hands and wrists, and although they are not painful, they can be unsightly. Many people choose to have them surgically removed.

3 – Bursitis

Inflammation of a bursa is a common cause of a bump on the hand. A bursa is a thin, soft tissue that covers a tendon and acts as a cushion. A tendon transfers the movement of one muscle away from another.

Bursitis results from an overuse injury or from a direct injury to the joint. It’s especially common in the joints of the hands and wrists. It’s characterized by pain and tenderness of the affected joint.

4- Lipomas

Also called fatty tumors, these occur when clusters of fat cells grow in a lump under the skin. A lipoma can appear on any area of the body, but they are more common on the upper body, especially the arms and legs.

Lipomas are usually painless and harmless. They can sometimes become inflamed and painful if they grow in an area of the body where there is a lot of pressure on the area. They can be surgically removed, but this is only recommended if they are painful.

5- Hemangiomas

Hemangiomas are a group of tumors that grow in the walls of the blood vessels. They can be found on the skin and inside organs and tissues. Hemangiomas are benign, noncancerous growths. They can be found anywhere on the body but are commonly seen on the hands and wrists.

These tumors usually appear as a red or purple mass that is soft and may or may not have a central core. They are usually found in small children. The color can vary from light to very deep red.


While many of these growths are harmless, some of them could be a symptom of a more serious health problem. If you have a bump on the hand or wrist that is painful, red, and swollen, or you experience debilitating pain, see your doctor right away. If the growth is unusual and you are not sure of its cause, seek medical attention.

If you are in need of ganglion cyst removal, come to North Florida Hand and Wrist. Hand and Wrist Center is led by Dr. Richard D. Curtis and Dr. Jose Baez, expertly-trained hand and wrist surgeons who are committed to providing patients with the absolute best care possible. We are a state-of-the-art surgical facility staffed by a team of dedicated practitioners whose primary goal is to ease any hand or wrist discomfort you may experience.