Armpit Swelling

 

The Causes of Armpit Swelling

Armpit swelling can be painful, but most of the time it is not life-threatening.  The usual cause of armpit swelling is swollen lymph nodes that are found under the armpit and on the underside of the arm.  Another reason for armpit swelling is the presence of lumps in the armpit.  A person with diabetes can also experience armpit pain because diabetes can cause nerve damage when the person suffers from diabetes neuropathies.

Since swollen lymph nodes are usually the cause of armpit swelling, it is important to understand the potential causes of that swelling.  The lymph glands under the armpit cannot usually be felt.  They are known as auxiliary lymph nodes and they are part of the lymphatic system, which is a system that runs throughout the body and is a crucial part of the immune system.  The lymphatic system is responsible for removing bacteria, viruses, and other foreign matter from the body so when the lymph nodes are swollen it is a sign there is something wrong.

So what are the causes of swollen lymph nodes in the armpits?  The first potential cause is injury to the armpit or the arm or hand.  Another common cause is a localized infection in the armpit, arm, hand, or breast, all of which are areas that drain into the auxiliary lymph nodes.  An infection in the body can also be caused by the bite or scratch of a cat if the cat is a carrier of the bacteria Bartonella henselae.

Other causes of swollen lymph nodes include silicone breast implants, which can leak or can simply cause swelling because they are a foreign object in the body; Brucellosis, which is a bacterial infection; and perfumes and deodorants, most of which have harmful chemicals in them that may cause a reaction in the lymph nodes, particularly when they are able to enter the body through small nicks and cuts in the skin caused by shaving the armpit hair.

Unfortunately, another cause of swollen lymph nodes in the armpit is cancer.  This can be lymphoma, which is cancer in the lymph nodes and the lymph system, breast cancer, or melanoma, which is the most dangerous form of skin cancer.

Since armpit swelling can be caused by minor infections all the way through to more serious infections and diseases, it is important to keep a close eye on the problem.  Since this condition is usually caused by a bacterial infection, antibiotics are generally prescribed.  However, if the swelling and pain have not improved within 2-3 weeks or if it becomes worse, then it is important to seek medical attention right away.  After all, with so many serious conditions can cause armpit swelling, you just shouldn’t take any chances.