Lump under Armpit

image001A lump under armpits usually means that a lymph node under arms has swollen or enlarged. As part of lymphatic system Lymph nodes are responsible for fighting off infections and bacteria, but also abnormal growths such as cancer. This is why a swollen lymph node commonly means that an illness is coming, or that cancer has already shown up. Pay much attention to this symptom.

Causes and Remedies of Lump under Armpit

There are a variety of causes for a lump under armpit, some of which are relatively harmless. Although recognizing the causes is important, you should also keep in mind the symptoms to know if you have diagnosed it properly. Narrow down the possible causes with these tips:

Bacterial Infections

The first of the problematic causes that we will look at is a bacterial infection. This is the least dangerous of the remaining, but it is also the most common. Clogged pores are usually to blame. If left unchecked, this will lead to a painful infection that can cause abscesses. Bacterial infections are treated with antibiotics that will be prescribed by your doctor. In some cases a small procedure will be necessary for the other symptoms of the infection, but not normally.

Viral Infections

Things like AIDS, shingles, or chickenpox can also cause lumps like this. These lymph nodes filter out infectious cells to stop them from reaching other parts of the body. For a viral infection, there is no real treatment. Management of side effects can be necessary, but a virus must simply run its course and the lymph node will soon return to normal.


Shaving can cause ingrown hairs, which can sometimes show themselves as harmless lumps under your armpits. This is most common in young girls, though, since they not as experienced with shaving the area.


Antiperspirants are another harmless thing that can cause lumps under your armpits. Commonly, this is simply due to a reaction with one of the chemicals that is in the brand. If you think this might be to blame, you simply have to switch to a different kind until you find one that your body agrees with.

Allergy Reactions

Iodine, penicillin, and sulfa drugs can all result in allergy reaction. Typhoid and Smallpox vaccines are known to cause lymph node reactions that show themselves in this way as well. It might be hard to figure out what is the actual allergen. Starting with recent additions to your daily routine or diet can help narrow it down quickly. After that, it might require medical help to find the culprit.


Most commonly this is found in older adults. Essentially, this is a fat deposit that stays between your skin and muscles. These aren’t painful, but are strange in that they can actually be moved with a bit of pressure. Lipomas are not usually removed, but they can sometimes become problematic and require medical attention. If your growth is causing trouble, things like liposuction, surgery, or steroid injections can resolve it. This will depend largely on the size of your lump, but your doctor can help you make the decision.


In both men and women, breast cancer is a very serious problem. If you have a lump under your armpit, and have a family history of breast cancer, it is important to see your doctor immediately. If left untreated, there is a very real risk of death. Breast cancer affects millions every year and should not be taken lightly. If you suspect this is possible, never hesitate to seek medical attention.

Associated Symptoms of Lump under Armpit

  • Side effects of the common cold like runny nose, fever, coughing, aches and pains, fatigue
  • The sudden appearance of a rash
  • Similar swelling in the other lymph nodes
  • Bruising and other signs of unexplained bleeding
  • Sudden appetite loss
  • Vomiting or intense nausea throughout the day

When to See a Doctor

In serious cases, a lump under armpit can be a sign of breast cancer or a breast related infection. If you have any of the following symptoms, you will need to talk to your doctor immediately!

  • Episodes of confusion or other changes in consciousness
  • Hard, growing lymph nodes
  • Fever of above 101 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Seizures
  • Tender, warm lymph nodes that have turned red
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
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