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Causes of inflammation in the armpits

by Alivia Nyhan
Published: Last Updated on

The appearance of swelling or a lump in the armpit usually scares us. However, the underlying causes, often related to the lymph nodes under the arm, are not always worrisome. 80% of the reasons the armpit can become inflamed are not severe, but it is true that before its appearance, it is essential to consult a doctor to rule out possible complications.

The causes of this issue are very diverse, ranging from bacterial infection or a viral disease to cancer. In this FastlyHealarticle, we tell you about inflammation caused in the armpits.

Swelling of the lymph nodes

It is one of the most common causes. Lymph nodes are present in various parts of the body, including the armpits, and their role is to help the body fight infections, germs, and other substances. When they do, they increase in size and can be easily palpated.

The lymph nodes in the armpit can become swollen for several reasons, including the following:

  • Mild infectious diseases, such as colds or tonsillitis.
  • Bacterial infections such as syphilis, tuberculosis, and salmonellosis.
  • Viral infections such as mononucleosis, rubella, or HIV.
  • Rheumatic or autoimmune diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, and sarcoidosis.

Given the swollen glands, the doctor will have to analyze the lymphatic fluid to determine the origin using a puncture in the lump in the armpit.


A boil is a deep skin infection originating in hair follicles or sebaceous glands. The cause is often cystic hair that does not allow sweat to escape; when this occurs, the infected area is reddened, and a nodule or lump can be painful. Over the days, the pus can accumulate inside so that the swelling takes a whitish color.

Despite being nothing serious, it can be not very pleasant. Sometimes the boil goes away on its own, but in others, it can become more intensely encyst and require treatment, usually with antibiotics.

In general, people are usually more or less prone to this condition, so it is likely to recur if it has appeared on any occasion. There are a series of antiseptic creams that keep the skin cleaner from bacteria, but it is best to ensure a good cleaning of the armpits with exfoliants and not very aggressive deodorants.


However, cancer is also a possibility. A lymph node can become swollen due to the development of malignant lymphoma, as in Hodgkin’s diseasenon-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, or lymphocytic leukemia. A series of cancers have their origin mainly in a type of white blood cell called B lymphocytes, which are responsible for protecting the body from germs through the production of antibodies.

It must be taken into account that, usually, lymphomas also cause a few tenths of fever, sleep problems, weight loss, and a lot of sweating, especially at night; however, these symptoms do not always appear. Cancer is treatable and generally very effective: survival for this type of lymphoma is between 70 and 90%.

Again, we recommend that you consult your doctor if you detect a lump in your armpit, but try to remain calm and not be alarmed; the chances of a lymphoma developing are low.

This article is merely informative, at FastlyHeal .com we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any type of condition or discomfort.

If you want to read more articles similar to Causes of inflammation in the armpits, we recommend that you enter our Immune system category .

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