According to Medical News Today – The armpit is one part of the body that sometimes goes unnoticed, let alone checked regularly. If a lump grows, you may not even realise it. There are various causes of armpit lumps, both dangerous and harmless.
Women are generally more prone to this condition when compared to men. To treat armpit lumps, you need to know the causative factors first.
Causes of underarm lumps
Underarm lumps can be small or large. While some lumps may indicate a serious problem, others may not.
From lymphadenitis to lupus, here are the various causes of armpit lumps.
Lumps in the armpit usually appear due to swollen lymph nodes in the armpit. Keep in mind, there are more than 20 lymph nodes present in the armpit.
Swollen lymph nodes in this part of the body can be a sign that your body is fighting a bacterial or viral infection.
2. Insect bites
Insect bites, especially mosquitoes, can cause red bumps to appear in the armpit. This condition is also usually accompanied by annoying itching.
3. Bacterial infection
Bumps on the left or right armpit may be caused by a bacterial infection, such as Staphylococcus or Streptococcus.
When you pluck or shave armpit hair, bacteria can enter the armpit hair follicles and accumulate with dead skin.
As a result, small bumps in the armpit in the form of boils may grow and may contain pus.
4. Viral infection
Viral infections, such as shingles, chickenpox, mononucleosis and HIV, can cause a lump in the right or left armpit.
This condition can also be accompanied by other symptoms, such as fever, weakness, muscle pain, and decreased appetite.
5. Fungal infection
Fungal infection can trigger the growth of lumps in the armpit. Fungus can grow well on warm and moist skin so that senan occupies the armpit.
Lumps caused by Candida fungal infection can occur when the underarm skin is irritated. This condition is also sometimes accompanied by itching, rashes, changes in skin texture, and a disturbing sensation of heat.
6. Sweat gland inflammation
Does the lump in the armpit hurt when pressed? It could be due to inflammation of the sweat glands.
This inflammation can lead to large or small lumps that are painful and red under the skin.
Underarm sweat gland inflammation can be triggered by infected hair follicles, ingrown hairs or insect bites.
Underarm bumps can also be caused by lipomas. A lipoma is a growth of fatty tissue that develops under the skin.
These fatty lumps in the armpit are usually benign. All people can experience lipomas in the armpit. However, the cause is not known for sure.
Fibroadenoma is a benign breast tumour that is usually non-cancerous. It can cause a lump to appear in the breast or around the armpit.
Fibroadenoma lumps vary in size, are painless and can move easily.
9. Hidradenitis suppurativa
Hidradenitis suppurativa can cause reddish bumps to appear in the armpit.
You are at risk of developing this condition if there is prolonged blockage of underarm hair follicles.
Over time, hidradenitis suppurativa can turn into abscesses (pus pockets) and scarring.
10. Allergic reaction
An allergic reaction to penicillin or iodine can also cause underarm bumps.
If you are at risk of allergies to certain medications or foods, it is best to visit your doctor before taking them to avoid allergies.
In addition, contact allergies to deodorants, soaps, or perfumes can also cause one or more lumps.
11.Reaction to vaccination
Furthermore, reaction to certain vaccines is one of the reasons why there is a lump in the armpit.
These vaccinations include smallpox, typhoid, and MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella) vaccines.
If you have an unusual reaction after vaccination, get yourself or your child checked by a doctor immediately.
12. Hormone problem
The next possible cause of underarm lumps in women or men is hormonal problems.
In some people, underarm swelling is triggered by hyperthyroidism or excessive production of thyroid hormones.
Cysts are small pockets of fluid, pus or other substances that can form anywhere in the body.
This condition can also cause underarm bumps triggered by some form of irritation or trauma, such as shaving, ingrown hairs, or the use of antiperspirant that can clog underarm pores.
14. Breast cancer
Underarm lumps can be caused by breast cancer that has spread to the lymph nodes around the armpit. This condition is usually accompanied by swelling and severe pain.
Breast cancer is a very serious condition that requires immediate medical treatment.
Lymphoma is cancer of the lymphatic system or lymph. Lymph fluid contains white blood cells that play an important role in the immune system.
Lymphoma usually affects a type of white blood cell called lymphocytes. These blood cells help fight disease in the body.
Not only in the armpit, lymphoma can also trigger lumps in other parts of the body. The characteristics of a lump in the armpit due to cancer require further examination.
Leukaemia sometimes causes swelling and triggers the appearance of lumps in the lymph nodes, especially the armpits and neck. In general, leukaemia refers to cancer of the white blood cells.
White blood cells protect the body from bacteria, viruses, fungi, abnormal cells and other foreign substances. Most white blood cells are produced in the bone marrow, but can also be in the lymph nodes.
Lupus is an autoimmune disease in which the immune system becomes hyperactive and attacks normal tissues.
Lupus can cause inflammation, swelling, and damage to the skin, kidneys, blood, heart, and lungs.
Armpit lumps can also be caused by swollen lymph nodes due to lupus.
Characteristics of harmless armpit lumps
So, is an underarm lump dangerous? The answer depends on the condition of the lump.
If the lump in the armpit is the same size (does not get bigger) and stays in the same place, the lump is usually harmless.
Other characteristics of a harmless armpit lump are that it feels soft and is easy to move.
Dangerous lumps, on the other hand, grow in size or produce other lumps. Cancer-like lumps also usually feel hard.
However, to confirm whether or not a lump in the armpit is dangerous, you should still have it checked by a doctor.
The doctor will perform a diagnosis to determine the cause and treatment that can be done to remove the lump.
How to remove armpit lumps
If the armpit lump does not require any special treatment, the doctor will monitor it and ask you to report any changes that occur.
In addition, the doctor will recommend home remedies that you can do, including compressing the lump with warm water regularly, using an ointment for underarm lumps, and taking painkillers such as ibuprofen.
Antibiotics may also be required as a way of treating underarm bumps caused by bacterial infection.
The lump will usually shrink and disappear. However, these underarm lump medications must be used as prescribed by a doctor.
If the above methods of treating armpit lumps do not work or the condition worsens, a surgical procedure may be required to remove it.
For cancer cases, specialised treatments are required in its treatment, such as chemotherapy or radiation therapy.