Pain and swelling are the body’s way of signaling injury and tissue damage. Occasional breast swelling and tenderness is common with menses, or monthly uterine bleeding, and during times of hormonal imbalance such as menopause. However, armpit pain and swollen breasts could indicate a serious underlying medical condition and should not be ignored.
What is armpit lump?
An armpit lump is a swelling or bump under the arm. A lump in the armpit can have many causes. These include swollen lymph nodes, infections, or cysts.It is quite natural to feel alarmed when you discover a lump in your armpit or anywhere in your body. Do not panic.
In most cases, this is nothing serious and is usually nothing more than a swollen lymph node. Here are several types of lumps that may form on or under the skin due to various causes. These types of armpit lumps include:
- Ingrown hairs
However, it is still a good idea to consult a doctor if the lump is painful.They will look for underlying causes and help you determine the best treatment option.
Painful Armpit Lump Causes
Following are some of the reasons of painful armpit lumps:
Swollen Lymph Nodes
This is the most common cause of armpit lumps. You have lymph nodes throughout your body that swell when you have an infection. Swollen lymph node in the armpit may indicate an infection in that area or elsewhere in your body. You can get a localized infection due to a nick from shaving or using an antiperspirant.
You will notice these glands become quite tender and painful while they fight infections. Sometimes, there are additional symptoms of an infection, including a sore throat, fever, or cough.
These lymph nodes may swell due to glandular fever, cold, or other types of infections. The swollen nodes will clear up once the infection is no longer there. Just be sure to stay hydrated and take plenty of rest to give your immune system strength to eliminate infections. OTC medicines such as ibuprofen and paracetamol may help with pain, soreness, and fever
Many women report swollen lymph nodes during pregnancy. Commonly as the body goes through its hormonal and physical changes, so do the lymph nodes. Sometimes the lymph node under your arm can become swollen due to milk production in the breasts.
In addition, since infections are common during pregnancy, even the lymph nodes in your neck can become swollen. This just means your body is fighting off a specific infection, usually forming in the upper respiratory system.
But perhaps a more concerning reason for this lymph node change could be due to Toxoplasmosis. Toxoplasmosis is an infection that is caused by parasites found in soil, uncooked meat containing the parasite, cat litter and cat feces.
Though the contraction of toxoplasmosis is relatively rare, it can be passed onto your unborn baby. Research has shown that even though 9 out of 10 pregnant women are susceptible to toxoplasmosis, less than one in a thousand women will get it.
Cysts or Abscesses
That painful lump in armpit may well be a cyst, especially if you notice your skin to become yellowish in color. It is also easy to roll the lump under your skin with gentle pressure.
It is more likely to be an abscess if it is large and painful and form on or under your skin. You will notice your skin become red. Both abscesses and cysts may result from the excessive use of antiperspirants or shaving your armpits the wrong way.
You may have developed an infected ingrown hair in your armpit that can be quite painful, especially when it turns into puss-filled sores. The natural friction around them may cause bruising that will aggravate the whole thing.
You may develop ingrown hair by using poor shaving techniques, especially when you have curly hair. Some deodorants may also cause armpit razor burns and bumps.
If you notice a lump in your armpit, it could be a sign of breast cancer. You have your breast tissue extended up into your armpit, so a lump in that area may indicate breast cancer.
This could be a lymph node swollen while trying to filter out cancer cells and infections. It is therefore a good idea to see your doctor for confirmation, especially if you do not see any improvement in a couple of weeks or so.
Having a painful lump in armpit can always make you feel worried. The major concern is whether it is cancer or something else. It is less likely to be a sign of cancer if you can move the lump with fingers and it is somewhat painful. If your lump in the armpit increases in size in a few days, it usually means you have an infection.Soreness or redness of the skin also indicates an infection rather than cancer.