Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors

"I have a small painless lump on my thigh. What could it be?"

ZocdocAnswersI have a small painless lump on my thigh. What could it be?


It appeared earlier this year. I wasn't convinced it was anything until late summer when I could see it. Just a slight bump, maybe a pea size. It is 3 inches above my knee.


Thank you very much for your question. A lump has many possible diagnoses depending on your age, past medical history, family history, and other risk factors. I suggest that you seek an evaluation by your primary care physician or your local health center. Be sure to tell your physician when you first noticed the bump, if it has gotten bigger or smaller since you first noticed it, whether it is painful, whether it is red or draining fluid, and whether you have any other associated symptoms. You may have a lipoma, a benign mass of fat cells. Alternatively, you may have an abscess, a collection of pus that is walled off by your body in an effort to fight infection. Abscesses are usually tender and red and may drain pus. You could also have folliculitis, inflammation of the hair follicles in your leg. These can cause a reddened, bumpy area. A more concerning potential diagnosis is sarcoma, a malignant cancer of the muscle cells in your leg. It is not possible to receive a diagnosis without being evaluated by a doctor. I suggest you see your primary care doctor or local health center for a possible diagnosis and potential management options.

Need more info?

See a surgeon today

Zocdoc Answers is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.