Is a lump under the armpit dangerous? Unfortunately, it could be cancer. See what a painful lump under the armpit means and what tests need to be done

An underarm lump is a change that should be cause for concern. Although thickening is often the result of skin changes or an enlarged lymph node, it can also indicate more serious illnesses, such as infection with dangerous bacteria or cancer. Therefore, an armpit lump should not be ignored even if it is not painful. Find out what tests need to be done to diagnose the causes of armpit nodules so they can be treated as soon as possible.


The appearance of a perceptible thickening in the armpits can have several causes. This type of thickening may indicate the development of cancer, but the sources of this problem are usually very easy to eliminate.

One of the most common causes of swelling in the armpits is: Inflammation of the hair follicles. This is a very common cause of lumps under the armpits. And at the same time it is easy to eliminate them. During armpit hygiene, incorrect actions often occur. If the armpit hair is shaved a lot, and dull razors are used, it can easily lead to infection. This is when a painful lump appears under the armpit. The inflammation may spread to the surrounding hair follicles, making the armpit lump much larger. This is why it is very important that you seek help from your doctor.

Folliculitis treatment It consists in taking antibiotics or ointments with mupirocin, fusidic acid and neomycin. When using them, it is worth stopping hair removal so as not to irritate the sore spot. It is also important to follow the rules of hygiene, that is, to disinfect the infected place.

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Other possible causes of an armpit lump include:

  • lipoma A small, painless, soft bump. It occurs not only under the armpits, but also, for example, on the torso. It consists, as the name implies, of adipose tissue. As long as it doesn’t interfere with normal functioning, you don’t have to worry about it. However, if it affects hand movements, it should be removed.
  • Arteriosclerosis A cyst located inside the sebaceous glands and hair follicles. It can be found in the armpits, but also on the face. It could be a few millimeters or even a few centimeters. This is not a serious change, but you need to see a doctor to remove it. There is a yellow secretion inside, which can leak out and lead to infection if you try to remove the polyp yourself.
  • Lymph node enlargement – Its enlargement can be caused by a common infection, runny nose or pharyngitis. Then a painful lump appears under the armpit that can move when touched. When the infection is over, the nodule shrinks back to normal size.
  • sweat glands inflammation – Inflammation occurs when using cosmetics that do not suit the needs of the underarm skin or when removing armpit hair a lot. Hygiene is essential to reduce risk.

To prevent the growth of tumors and fistula formation;, any combination of tumors and skin, you need to consult a doctor. Usually in these cases, the mass is incised to drain the pus.

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Lumps in the armpits can be a consequence of the development of certain diseases:

  • Cat scratch disease – if the skin of the armpits touches the cat’s paws, the lymph nodes swell. In this case, fever and malaise will occur.
  • Toxoplasmosis, a zoonotic parasitic disease.
  • Bubu – infection appears relatively rarely. It is caused by diseases such as the plague or syphilis (imported from exotic countries).
  • cancer – such as breast (breast) cancer, Lymphoma. Nodules caused by neoplasms do not hurt, they are difficult to move. Usually several of them appear, increasing in size.

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Especially if the nodules appear suddenly or have grown significantly, it is advisable to consult a dermatologist. When you visit your doctor, the following will likely be ordered the exams:

  • examination of the other armpit – if there is a hard lump in the armpit, changes may cover both sides of the body,
  • examination of the lymph nodes in the neck, nape, collarbone and groin,
  • Breast test.

See also: What are the first symptoms of breast cancer?

in addition to The doctor may also order:

  • Blood testsAnd
  • CRP and ESR (if the doctor suspects inflammation),
  • ultrasound of the lymph nodes in the armpit,
  • Lymph node biopsy.

Lumps under the armpits are often the cause of many nerves. To confirm or deny suspicions, it is necessary to see a doctor. After testing, it will be possible to identify the cause and begin treatment.

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