Noticed a new underarm lump and want to know swollen lymph nodes in armpit causes? If you’ve recently noticed that you have swollen lymph nodes in your armpit, you shouldn’t necessarily panic. There are many causes of swollen lymph nodes that aren’t as serious as you would imagine. Keep reading to learn about what causes swollen lymph nodes in your armpits.
- Bacterial infection. One of the most common and least worrisome causes of swollen lymph nodes in the armpit is a bacterial infection. Bacterial infections are the common result of shaving and/or antiperspirant use. If the pores in the armpit become clogged, a lump or abscess in the armpit may form. Although painful, a bacterial infection or abscess of the underarm is easily treated by your physician.
- Lipomas. Typically detected in older adults, a lipoma is a fatty lump located between your skin and muscle layer. Lipomas found in the armpit usually do not cause pain and are easily “moved” under the skin’s surface with gentle pressure. You don’t need to have a lipoma removed unless it rubs against your clothing or is otherwise bothersome.
- Cancer. Swollen lymph nodes in the armpit are usually an immediate cause for concern for women, but should also be a concern for men. Men and women, who notice new or unexplained lumps in their breast or underarm tissue should see a medical professional to rule out breast cancer. Although breast cancer is more common in women, it is also deadly for men who often ignore symptoms and do not seek treatment.
- Allergic reactions. Some individuals may develop swollen lymph nodes as an allergic reaction to sulfa drugs, iodine and penicillin found in vaccinations. Both the Smallpox and Typhoid vaccinations are known to have caused allergic reactions in some individuals that presented as swollen lymph nodes in the armpit area.
- Viral Infection. AIDS, chickenpox and shingles (herpes zoster) are all viral infections that compromise the immune system. Because the lymph nodes in the armpit act as filters, they effectively “catch” infectious organisms and store them in the lymph nodes to prevent them from moving throughout the body. If you have swollen lymph nodes in your armpit and suspect that you might have a viral infection, you should see your doctor for treatment right away.