If you, while taking a shower, have noticed a lump under your arm, this could be nothing or it can mean a symptom to a more serious disease. Usually, it is a swollen lymph node which indicates some infection in the system, where the leukocytes gather foreign substances in the body and try to prevent the bacteria or virus from making the damage to the organism. This leads to lymph swollenness, where the lymph node can be red, painful and enlarged. This is also called lymphadenopathy or lymphadenitis since there is usually an inflammation inside the lymph node. There are a few reasons why you could find this change in your underarm.
Swollen Lymph Node Due To Infection
Since lymph nodes participate in the reaction of the body called immune system, they respond in the secretion of the immune cells called leukocytes which are being synthesised when there is some invader inside the blood, preventing it from causing any change and damage to the body. During this process, lymph nodes do get swollen, red and are painful, but this is nothing to worry about since this is a normal process in the body and it will subside by itself.
Therapy: Usually, it goes away. If you have some kind of discomfort, you can try and use some warm compresses and over-the-counter drugs for pain relief. If the infection is due to bacteria, the doctor may prescribe you antibiotics which will help you in a few days and the lump will go away.
This is also often, especially in younger women, where it can happen when shaving. The hair can grow in, leaving a lump on the surface on the skin and a slightly scratchy feel, and it can also be swollen and red, depending on the size of the affected skin.
Therapy: As for the ingrown hair, usually the best thing to do is to wait for it to pass. It can be uncomfortable when you should leave your hairs as it is, not shave until the bump goes away. You can also use some warm padding to deal with an uncomfortable feeling, and an acne treatment to stop the inflammation. Exfoliate even twice a day to help the hair come through the skin. If it doesn’t go away in a few days, you can go see a dermatologist.
If you use an antiperspirant, you may have an allergic reaction to some ingredient inside the antiperspirant. If you suspect that this is the issue, try avoiding that product and see if it goes away. You can try to use some other brands and see if it happens again. If it does, it can be also an allergic reaction and you should stop using antiperspirants and try maybe with some natural odorless product to find the right fit for you.
Other than antiperspirants, allergic reactions can also happen to some drugs like penicillin, iodine, or some vaccines like a vaccine for smallpox and typhus. These vaccines are known to cause this kind of reactions.
Therapy: If it is a smaller reaction, you can try and eliminate the thing that could cause the allergic reaction and be careful when using this substance again if you don’t know what it is. When you figure it out, don’t use that again. If it is a more severe reaction, you should visit the doctor, for it may require an application of some medications or some other treatment.
Enlargement of the lymph node can also be a consequence of cancer spreading. The most common ones that can spread in lymph nodes in the armpit are breast cancer, lymphoma, fibrous tissue cancer or fibroma, leukemia. This can be a hard bump under the skin, without any pain and it doesn’t move if you try to move it with your hand.
Therapy: Typical therapy for this kind of disease is an operation, chemotherapy and radiation. You should go visit a doctor and see what are the next moves.
Lipoma is a fat tissue deposit that stays between the skin and the muscle. It is more common in elderly. Lipomas are not painful, and can be also moved with a little bit of a pressure. This harmless fatty growths are not severe and sometimes it doesn’t need any therapy.
Therapy: If it’s causing some problems and irritation, it can be solved with some steroid injections, liposuction or surgery. This depends on the size of the lump and depends on your decision how to solve it.
Symptoms When You Should See A Doctor
Symptoms that can happen besides lump enlargement are fever, fatigue, coughing, pain, a rash, swelling in other lymph nodes, appetite loss, unexplained bleeding or bruising, vomiting.
You should see a doctor if anything happens like this. If you feel hard bumps that are not painful and are not moving to the touch, if you have a fever that is above 101 degrees Fahrenheit, if you have consciousness changes and seizures, shortness of breath and other. If this happens, it is probably something more severe and you should see a doctor for further diagnostic and therapy. Probably the most serious one is breast cancer metastasis in women which is often diagnosed with swollen lymph nodes in the armpit. Be informed and do the check ups often to diagnose it on time.