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What Cause Mucous Cyst

What Cause Mucous Cyst

Mucous cysts are a common type of cyst that can develop on fingers. In this post, we explore the causes, symptoms, and treatment options for these cysts.

What are Mucous Cysts?

Mucous cysts, also referred to as digital mucous cysts, are small, round cysts that develop on the fingers. The cysts contain a clear, thick, jelly-like fluid and are typically painless. They can occur on any finger but are most commonly found on the digits nearest to the nail, also known as the DIP joint.

While the exact cause of mucous cysts is unknown, they are commonly associated with osteoarthritis, a degenerative joint disease. In many cases, mucous cysts are formed due to the repetitive trauma or pressure on the affected finger.

Symptoms of Mucous Cysts

Mucous cysts are generally asymptomatic and do not cause any pain or discomfort. However, in rare cases, the cyst can become infected, which can cause swelling, redness, and tenderness around the affected area. Additionally, if the cyst is located near a nail bed, it can cause deformities.

Treatment for Mucous Cysts

In many cases, mucous cysts do not require any treatment and will disappear on their own. However, if the cyst is causing significant discomfort or deformity, medical intervention may be necessary.

One of the most common treatments for mucous cysts is a needle aspiration, which involves draining the cyst with a needle. This procedure is typically performed in the doctor's office and is minimally invasive. However, needle aspiration may not be effective in treating mucous cysts that are located near the nail bed.

If needle aspiration is not effective, surgical excision may be necessary. During this procedure, the cyst is removed along with a portion of the surrounding tissue. This is typically performed by a hand surgeon and may require a local anesthetic.

Prevention of Mucous Cysts

While there is no guaranteed way to prevent mucous cysts, several measures can be taken to reduce the risk of developing them. First, avoid repetitive trauma or pressure on the hands and fingers. If necessary, wear gloves or protective gear to minimize the risk of injury. Additionally, maintaining healthy habits, such as a nutritious diet and regular exercise, can help to reduce the risk of developing osteoarthritis, which is a common underlying cause of mucous cysts.


Mucous cysts are a common type of cyst that can develop on the fingers. While they are typically painless and asymptomatic, medical intervention may be necessary in some cases. If you are experiencing symptoms of a mucous cyst, it is important to speak with a healthcare professional to determine the appropriate course of treatment.

Image Credits:

Mucous Cysts in Fingers

Photo Credit: John Erickson, MD

Mucous Cysts

Photo Credit: Fife Virtual Hand Clinic