Home Immune systemLymphatic system diseases Swollen glands in the armpit: causes and treatment

Swollen glands in the armpit: causes and treatment

by Alivia Nyhan
Published: Last Updated on

Lymph nodes act primarily as filters or defenses responsible for trapping all possible causes of diseases in our body, so they are located in the form of a network and distributed throughout our body, making up the lymphatic system.

The inflammation of the lymph nodes responds in most cases to a picture of viral or bacterial infection and, to a lesser extent, to the presence of cancer in some part of the body, a situation that would lead the white blood cells to try to defend the body. Medically this is known as lymphadenitis or adenopathy, and the treatment will depend on the cause to be treated. Those located in the armpits are easy to palpate or touch since they generally maintain a stable size, except when faced with infectious pictures, in which they increase in size. If you want to know more about this topic, we invite you to continue reading this article by FastlyHealabout swollen lymph nodes in the armpit: causes and treatment.

Swollen glands in the armpits: causes

Lymph nodes are a bean-shaped cell group of lymphocytes and macrophages (cells that filter out the invading agent and destroy them). As we have explained in the introduction, these are distributed throughout the body, the most notable after their inflammation being those located in the neck, groin, under the chin, and armpits, so it is also likely to suffer from swollen glands in the groin or swollen glands in the neck.

Most lymph node swelling is self-limited as it is a benign condition; in a few cases, these are serious causes. The number of nodes in the armpits varies individually but ranges from 20 to 40 nodes.

Swollen glands in the armpit: leading causes

The inflammatory process of the axillary ganglia revolves around infectious processes of any kind, this includes:

  • Viral diseases: such as mumps, chickenpox, measles, rubella, or mononucleosis, also known as the kissing disease caused by the Epstein Barr virus.
  • Bacterial infections: such as Lyme disease, caused by ticks.
  • Adverse drug effects: especially after the administration of anticonvulsants.
  • Side effects of vaccines: mainly against rubella, mumps, and measles.
  • Sexually transmitted diseases: such as syphilis or HPV (Human Papillomavirus).
  • Otitis: it is an infectious-inflammatory process of the outer, middle, or inner ear whose clinical manifestation begins with pain and tenderness in the ear, fever, and inflammation of the cervical, submental and axillary lymph nodes.
  • Pharyngitis is a viral or bacterial infection in the throat that causes inflammation and pain, even when swallowing or swallowing. In addition, it may manifest dryness, headache, and swollen cervical and axillary lymph nodes.
  • Sinusitis: it is an infectious-inflammatory process of the paranasal sinuses caused by bacteria, viruses, fungi, or allergic processes.

Swollen lymph nodes in the armpit: other causes

Other less common but just as plausible causes of having an armpit lump include:

  • Minor causesUnderarm inflammation can also be caused by a common cold, dengue fever, Zika, pneumonia, or bronchitis.
  • Skin causes: among the causes associated with axillary lymph node inflammation, we can include those that are caused by inflammatory processes inherent to the skin, either after an injury after shaving, by inflammation of hair follicles, cellulitis, lipoma, sebaceous cysts, skin accesses, dental abscesses or adverse reactions to foreign material due to breast implants.
  • Serious problems: In severe cases, the presence of swollen nodes in the armpits can be related to the existence of Hooking or non-Hodking lymphoma, as well as breast cancer, leukemia, or acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS).

Swollen axillary glands: severe symptoms

In addition to the inflammation of the lymph nodes located in the axillary region, each of the causes is usually accompanied by a series of associated symptoms. However, what we should pay attention to the most is the warning signs that tell us that we should go to the doctor immediately :

  • Fever does not stop with antipyretics.
  • Intense sweating
  • Weight loss with no other apparent cause.
  • Lymph nodes that do not decrease in size over the days.
  • Increased temperature in the ganglion region.
  • Intense pain.
  • Irregular ganglion outline.
  • Hard palpable ganglion.
  • Reddish or erythematous skin.

Here we leave you more information about inflamed armpits: causes and treatment.

Swollen glands in the armpits: frequent doubts

Next, we leave a series of frequent doubts on this subject.

What happens when a node becomes swollen and painful?

Swollen glands in the armpits need not be a severe problem. However, sometimes it can lead to a more significant problem, such as abscesses’ formation and pus accumulation inside the lymph node area with bacterial content.

How long does it take for swollen glands to go away?

The answer to this question will depend on the initial cause, and the treatment followed. They will probably remain visible and palpable for about two weeks or one month.

Is the size of the axillary node important?

In the case of the axillary region, the ganglion size will be relevant if it exceeds 1 cm in diameter, unlike in the groin, where the size can be even 2 centimeters and does not represent any health condition.

Is a painful armpit lump serious?

There is not always a relationship between the pain of the swollen node and the condition to be treated, so that alone cannot be considered a criterion of severity.

Is it serious that the armpit node is complex?

Yes, generally, a soft node is associated with a mild infection. However, if the node is complex, we could be facing cancer.

The older, the greater the malignancy?

It is not a discrepant method, but there is a slight relationship between the older and the higher the prevalence of serious diseases.

Are all symptoms significant?

Yes, that’s right, the manifestation of all symptoms is essential when diagnosing any malignancy.

Treatment for swollen glands in the armpits

There is no defined treatment for swollen axillary nodes. What must be treated is the cause of the adenopathy. However, in the case of a viral infection, the inflammation will go away. In more severe cases, the doctor will order us to carry out the necessary tests to diagnose the problem and, thus, proceed with the appropriate treatment. In general, the treatment for lumps in the armpits will be:

  • Physical rest: it is essential to try not to make significant physical efforts and not to wear very tight clothes to avoid pain in the swollen armpits.
  • Great hydration: correct hydration will help improve the lymphatic system.
  • Antibiotics: only in case of a bacterial infection, in which case the doctor will prescribe the necessary antibiotics.
  • Analgesics : in case of pain.
  • Anti-inflammatories: only if the doctor recommends them to alleviate local sensitivity.
  • Natural remedies: some home remedies, such as eucalyptus tea, are helpful to reduce inflammation of the lymph nodes.

It will always be necessary to look for the origin or cause of the swollen node, regardless of the location. The doctor will be the one to decide the treatment depending on the diagnosis he has given after the proper evaluation.

This article is merely informative. At FastlyHeal .com, we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor if you present any condition or discomfort.

If you want to read more articles similar to Swollen lymph nodes in the armpit: causes and treatment, we recommend entering our Immune system category.

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