There are many reasons why you might experience pain under your right armpit, or in the general area of your underarm. Structures that lay close to your armpit may lead to some pain or discomfort. You may have experienced a traumatic injury, another type of medical condition, or you may be developing a disorder of the nervous system.
Some of these cases require attention from a physician, so it’s a good idea to call your doctor if you have armpit pain that is beyond minor. This pain may be a feeling of numbness, or a burning or pinching sensation. It may be brought on by a strain in your muscles, or it could be more serious. It’s best to look into the pain and find out what causes it, in order to treat it properly.
What Could Cause Pain under the Right Armpit?
- Pain from Waxing
Shaving and waxing your underarm may cause the armpit to become sore. If you experience pain under your right armpit just after you shave, take an OTC painkiller. Try not to touch the area until the skin has healed. In order to avoid future pain from the same reason, clean the armpit thoroughly before you wax, and don’t wax or shave until the hair in your underarms has grown long enough.
- Peripheral Artery Disease
The arteries in your arms and legs may become narrower with this medical condition. This causes the blood flow to those areas to be reduced. That may lead to sharp, shooting pains or other tissue injury.
- Muscle Strain
One of the major muscles in your chest is the pectoralis. It can be strained or injured when you exercise intensely without a properly warmup first. Pulled muscles under your right armpit could cause some pain, but it isn’t usually serious.
- Anxiety Pain
Anxiety and stress may cause pain under right armpit due to skin irritation, sweating, a higher heart rate and shaking. If you experience a rapid heartbeat and associated shaking, this can strain the muscles in the armpits. Sweating excessively will make the skin more irritated and painful, which can add to armpit pain.
- Inflammation of your Hair Follicles
Some body parts like your armpits have denser hair follicles, and these can become prone to infection. When these hair follicles become inflamed, the sweat glands surrounding them may be invaded by bacteria. This may also occur if your pores become clogged with excess oil, dead skin cells and bacteria.
These problems result in infected cysts, which may cause pus formation, itching, pain and scarring. You will experience the pain under your right armpit if that is the area affected. Antibiotic therapy and cyst removal may be needed if yours is a severe case of inflammation and infection.
Diabetes is often characterized by increases in the sugar levels in the blood. If this isn’t treated, you may develop complications like peripheral neuropathy or nerve damage. This usually affects the feet and legs more, when the overage of sugar damages tiny blood vessels near the nerves. Sharp pains under your right armpit may result if those nerves are the ones being affected.
- Swollen Lymph Nodes
Lymph nodes are small, oval tissues that are located everywhere on the body. They exist quite densely in the groin, neck and armpits. Lymph nodes may swell when you have an infection of some sort, caused by parasites, viruses or bacteria. Other health conditions that may cause lymph node swelling include the autoimmune disorder rheumatoid arthritis or even cancer.
- Shingles (Herpes Zoster)
Shingles, also known as herpes zoster, is a very painful medical condition. It begins when a virus attacks the nerves. It also includes skin rashes that can be quite uncomfortable, usually on one side of the body, on the arms, back, chest or face. If you have shingles, your underarm area may experience serious pain.
- Breast Cancer
Pain under the right armpit can be symptomatic of breast cancer, a common health problem for many women. Breast cancer itself is usually painless. If you note a lump in your breast or your armpit, consult your physician right away, so that you can be properly diagnosed and treated.
Breast cancer may include other symptoms, like thickening of the tissues in the breast or armpit area, changes in the shape or size of your breasts, dimpling on the breast skin, appearance changes in the nipples, a discharge tinged with blood emanating from the nipples or skin rashes in the nipple area.
When you should see a Doctor
Most armpit pain isn’t serious. It can be symptomatic of something more sinister, though, so see your physician if any of these symptoms occur:
- Inability to normally move your fingers or arms
- Firm lumps under the surface of your skin
- A tingling sensation or numbness in the arms
- Unusual inflammation of underarm skin, severe burning sensations or muscle weakness in the arm
- Pain under right armpit which radiates toward the chest – This may be a symptom of heart disease.
How you can Relieve Pain under Right Armpit
Treating your underarm pain largely depends on its precise cause. If you have only mild symptoms, the pain may disappear on its own, with time. If your armpit pain was caused by a strain in the muscle, you may be able to relieve pain with simple DIY remedies. However, if there are other causes, you may sometimes need additional treatment, including surgery, prescription medications or physical therapy.
If your condition is not in any way serious, here are some home remedies that you can apply before you call your physician for additional help:
- Good hygiene – To avoid skin irritation and infection, keep your skin clean. If you have lumps in the armpits that are painful, they tend to heal more quickly if kept clean and dry.
- Massage – Gently massage the armpit area to improve blood circulation and reduce swelling.
- Take a warm bath. Add a tablespoon of baking soda to your bath and relax in the warmth, to reduce inflammation, itchiness and pain.
- Apply cold compresses. Use a cold washcloth or ice pack on your armpit to relieve pain and reduce inflammation.
Avoid spicy, oily foods. These foods may cause you to sweat more, particularly in your underarm area. This makes it more likely that bacterial growth will occur there. That may worsen your problem, so it’s easiest to simply avoid foods like these.