Lumps might be referred to as a nodule, bump, tumor, contusion or cyst and can be caused by a variety of conditions such as tumors, inflammation, infections or trauma. The cause of the lump will often determine the symptoms, including pain, single or multiple lumps, soft or firm lumps or alterations in size.
An arm lump may be accompanied by other symptoms depending on what is causing the lump to appear. Checking for other symptoms and monitoring the condition of your lump will help you determine what type of treatment is the most appropriate for your condition and whether or not it is necessary to see a doctor.
A lump in your arm may be accompanied by tenderness, redness, pain, warmth, pus, discharge, bruising or bleeding.
If you note profuse or uncontrollable bleeding, rapid heart rate, fever, chills or red streaks stemming up your arm from the lump contact a medical professional immediately. This is a sign of a possibly life threatening condition.
A lump in the arm can have a variety of causes. Many assume that unidentifiable lumps on the body are cancerous, and this is an option, but it is important to note that there are several benign conditions that could also cause a lump to appear.
Minor or severe injuries as well as initial trauma can cause localized swelling that will cause a lump to appear in the arm. Bug bites or stings, hematoma or broken bones may all cause lumps in the arm.
Infections can cause lumps if they have cause enlarged lymph nodes or a localized abscess. Papilloma virus infections, abscesses or cellulitis are common conditions that can lead to lumps beneath the skin.
Conditions including osteoarthritis, gout, rheumatic fever or rheumatoid arthritis can cause inflammation or lumps in the arms as they progress.
Benign or malignant tumors including nevi, melanoma, fibroma, lymphoma, lipoma or nonmelanoma skin cancers can cause a lump to appear on your arm.
Some serious conditions including the fracture of a bone, joint dislocation, cancer or an abscess with a spreading infection can cause lumps to appear on your arm.
The solutions that are appropriate to treat a lump on your arm will vary based on the situation which caused it. Anything from rest to surgery may be appropriate to alleviate your symptoms.
Most lumps caused by mild trauma will fade on their own. Applying an ice pack to the area can help to take down inflammation. Take anti-inflammatory medication to help reduce the swelling that is causing the lump. Avoid strenuous activity until the arm has had a chance to heal. Talk to your doctor to determine if it may be necessary to wear a brace or restrict your movement during this time.
An infection that is causing a lump should be treated right away to avoid this condition from spreading throughout the body. Antibiotics will often be prescribed to address swollen lymph nodes. An abscess may also need to be drained to prevent widespread infection. Infections such as cancer will need to be treated with radiation, chemotherapy or surgery depending on the location and severity of the growth.
If you have seriously injured yourself and experienced heavy bleeding, bones are out of place or noticed that you are having difficulty moving your arm, it is vital to seek medical attention as quickly as possible. Your doctor will likely recommend surgery or placing your arm in a cast or sling until it can adequately heal.