Mycetoma is a chronic disease, which usually affects feet, but any part of the body can be affected. The disease is caused by bacterial or fungal infections.

Mycetoma is characterized by a combination of a painless subcutaneous mass, multiple sinuses and discharge containing grains. It usually spreads to involve the skin, deep structures and bone, resulting in destruction deformity and loss of function, which can be fatal. Given its slow progression, painless nature and the scarcity of medical and health facilities in endemic areas, many patients present late with advanced infection where amputation may be the only available treatment.

The disease commonly affects young adults, mostly males aged between 15 and 30 years, in developing countries. People of low socioeconomic status, and manual workers such as agriculturalists, labourers and animal herders, are the most susceptible.