Lump in Armpit Causes, Painful, Small, in Male and Female

Why do I have a lump in my armpit or what is this painful lump in armpit? Does breast cancer, ingrown hair, bacterial infections, allergic reactions, lymphomas, etc. responsible for my under arm lumps? Get more insight on lumps under armpit. Unfortunately, we are not going to cover armpit pain no lump and hard lumps on armpit in this discussion.

An armpit lump usually refers to the enlargement of at least one of the lymph nodes under your arm. Men and women tend to have lump under armpit that could be small, big, soft, hard (hard lump in armpit), painful and painless ones. Let us look at the causes of lump in armpit before we go ahead to see a few treatments and home remedies.

lump in armpit picture

lump in armpit picture

What causes lumps under armpit?

If you have lump under armpit, you deserve to know they can be cause by a number of things. Some of the common causes of lumps in armpits include the following:

Enlarged lymph gland

The most common cause of lump in armpit is enlarged lymph glands. This happens as these lymph nodes try to fight any infections such as bacterial, fungal or viral infections i.e. “they are part of the body’s immune system, so may increase in size to fight infection (from a cut on the arm, for example) or indicate infection (cat scratch fever” []

Bacterial Infections

First, the most common known cause of lumps in the armpit is bacterial infection. After armpit shaving, bacteria easily enter the area through the pores. How will you know that? Evidently, there are small painful lump in armpit. You can also have sore armpit lump “when infected fluid (pus) collects in the armpit.” [].

Hidradenitis suppurativa – painful armpit lump in men

Another possible cause of painful lump in armpit in mostly men but can also affect women is hidradenitis suppurativa “which is “an inflammatory skin disease that affects apocrine gland-bearing skin in the axillae, in the groin, and under the breasts. It is characterised by recurrent boil-like nodules and abscesses that culminate in pus-like discharge, difficult-to-heal open wounds (sinuses) and scarring” []. It is caused by bacterial infection.

This problem can be treated with various antibiotics both topical and oral taken as advised by a doctor.  Other treatments include antiadrogens, immunomodulatory treatments when severe, surgical management, among treatments.

Lump in armpit due to abscesses or cysts

Going on with causes of lumps in armpit, armpit abscess is the next culprit.  In fact armpit abscesses produce large painful lumps in the armpit. These may be caused by shaving or use of antiperspirants (not deodorants). This situation is very common and is experienced by youths in-the-teens who need to remove hairs under the armpits.

Ingrown hair armpit lump

Another possible reason for your lumpy armpits is ingrown hair. Ingrown hair armpit lump of a single infected follicle hair could be a cause – identified with a painful red lump symptom.

Can Leukaemia (blood cancer) cause lump in armpit

This is a disease of the blood cells. Acute leukemia causes its victims to be extremely tired, lose weight, develop nausea, look confused and lose their muscle control. Other common symptoms include swollen lymph nodes, especially in the neck or armpit as shown in these lump in armpit pictures.

armpit lump due to leukemia

armpit lump due to leukemia

armpit lump due to leukemia

armpit lump due to leukemia

Armpit lumps due to Viral Infections/HIV-AIDS

Studies have shown that when you capture smallpox, chickenpox and HIV there is a high probability you develop lump in armpit not painful “Chickenpox is a Varicella-Zoster virus infection, which spreads by means of respiratory droplets and contact with the blisters.” []

Allergy reactions to vaccination

If you receive a vaccine to build your body immunity system, you shouldn’t be worried seeing swollen lumps under your armpits.  Even at times proved to be such a rare case, some individuals may be allergic to penicillin or iodine.

Armpit lumps from fungal infection

A good example of a fungus that can cause lumps in your armpits is the Sporotrichosis sp. found in vegetation can penetrate through a broken sin such as a bruise, a cut, or an injury.

Breast cancer armpit lump – armpit lump female

Breast cancer as well as cancer of lymphatic can cause lumps in your armpits. Breast cancer females may lead to formation of armpit lumps. In response, the infection spreads to the lymph nodes under your armpits.

Does lymphatic system/lymphoma cause lump in armpit?

Patients who have lymphatic system cancer or lymphoma when it affects the lymphatic systems in your armpits can result to lumps. You will have other symptoms such as chills and temperature swings, persistent coughing, enlarge tonsils, headache, fever common at night, constant itch without cause, general fatigue, unexplained weight loss, breathlessness and low appetite.

In advanced stage, expect to have symptoms such as “enlarged lymph node sometimes causes other symptoms by pressing against a vein (causing swelling of an arm or leg), or against a nerve (causing pain, numbness, or tingling in an arm or leg)” [], pain in lymph nodes especially after taking alcohol, etc.

Breast tissue extension to armpit

Big Armpit lump pregnancy

Big Armpit lump pregnancy

The list of causes of armpit lumps is endless.  Breast tissue extending into the armpit (hypreradenia) – big hard lump during pregnancy. “Characteristically they will be less apparent when your breasts are empty of obvious milk at the end of a breast-feeding session.” [] Have a look at it besides.

Fats (Lipomas) and non-cancerous tissue growths

Allergy to certain fats lead to a harmless fibrous tissue growing into a condition known as (fibro-adenoma). This will feel like a lump in underarm.

Lupus or SLE

Lupus or SLE. A disease of joints and organs yet can be responsible for the lumps you have in your underarms.

Painful lump in armpit – lump in armpit that hurts and is red

If you have painful lump under armpit , the probable cause could be bacterial infections, fungal infection, and ingrown hair, skin abscess in armpit, hidradenitis suppurativa or lymphoma. These are some of the common sore lump in armpit.

Lump under armpit male or lumps under armpits in men

Most of the above causes of underarm lump can affect men except those which are associated with breast especially the breast cancer armpit lumps. Bacterial infection, abscesses or cysts, ingrown hair, lymphoma, etc. could be responsible for underarm lumps.

One common cause of a painful armpit lump in men is hidradenitis suppurativa which can affect women but more common in men.

Small lump in armpit

Small is a description of the size of lump in armpit one will have. It is possible for most of the above causes to result into a small to pea sized lump to a big under arm lump. Infections, swollen lymph nodes, ingrown hair, among others.

Although abscess and cysts can also have small lump in armpit, in most cases, they tend to be bigger in size especially if they are found deep beneath your armpit skin.

Lump in armpit Treatment

In deciding the treatment for your underarm lumps, you must consider what causes it. We are going to look at various treatments bearing in mind what could be behind each case.

Antibiotics for bacterial cause

Use of antibiotics on lumps in armpits caused by bacteria reduces build-up of germs. Prescribed drugs such as clindamycin 1% (twice daily) and Oral antibiotics named below cure and relieve pain in armpit lump. Doxycycline, clindamycin, erythromycin, tetracycline are some of the recommended antibiotics

Antifungal treatment for fungal causes of lump in armpit

Bumps under your armpits due to a fungal infection have an answer. You can get topical creams and ointments sold over the counter or your doctor may prescribe for you oral anti-fungal drugs. In case of antifungal topical ointments, cream, gel or serums, use them externally.

For cancer – Lymphoma, breast and blood cancer

Once it has been confirmed cancer is the cause of your underarm lump, there are a number of treatments which can be used that include:

Surgical treatment

Surgical cancer treatment involves removal of lymph nodes or Mastectomy and/or Lumpectomy for breast cancer. In lymphoma, usually a number of armpit lymph nodes are removed through dissection. That is how to best cure armpit lump effectively, because it determines its spread and limits further growth, simultaneously.


Since cancer causes these small armpit lumps, as we saw earlier, it is therefore a point of justification that if cancer is timely treated and controlled, cases of armpit lump cancer symptoms will go down especially amongst women. Chemotherapist recommend before any diagnosis and subsequent treatments patients be aware of the possible outcomes, and results (side-effects) such as:

  • Diarrhoea,
    • Loss of appetite,
    • Fatigue,
    • Nausea,
    • Vomiting

The various means of administering chemotherapy are as follows:

  • Orally – drugs in the forms of pills/capsule or liquids are ingested and swallowed.
  • IV infusion: This takes few hours.
  • Continuous infusions:an electronic device known as IV pump is used to administers the drugs for a certain short period of time.

Other cancer treatments such as radiation therapy and hormonal therapy might also be recommended by your professional health care.

Underarm lumps due to Lipomas

Surgical excision is needed in the case of Lipomas’ removal or else radiation therapy to kill cancer cells.

Home Remedies lump under armpit especially sore armpit lumps

Is it possible to take care of your armpit lumps at home? The answer is, yes!  (DIY) Do it yourself the natural way! While you can find armpit lump pain unbearable to walk all the way to seek medication, here are home simple procedures to ease your painful armpit lump:

Raw honey

Apply honey to any itchy armpit lump that denies you sweet nights. Repeat the action while gently rinsing with warm water by help of a clean disinfected piece of cloth. (Do this 3 -4 times a day).

Lemon juice

Alternatively, the same case way replace honey with lemon juice. Extract fresh lemon juice and put into a clean bowl. Roll a piece of cotton wool/soft towel into a ball-like. Dip into it and apply to the armpit area while holding for about 15 -20 mins. (3 -4 times for up to 1 week)

Apple Cider Vinegar

Measure take 2 cups of unfiltered apple cider vinegar and water (in equal amounts) Soak a cotton cloth in the solution and apply it on the affected area. Leave it on for 5 minutes, then rinse it off with warm water and pat dry. Repeat the process a few times daily until the lump disappears. Note: raw vinegar should be used in the above description.

To enhance quicker healing, add 1 teaspoonful each of apple cider vinegar and honey to a glass of water and drink. (At least twice each day up to 3 – 4 weeks)

Ice cubes +Brewed Green Tea

To get rid of the painful armpit bumps (causing burning sensation) try this twice daily

  • Brew green tree tea. Prepared small ice cubes.
  • Dip your ice cube in brewed tea and apply on the lump until the ice cube melts. That is it.

Avoid allergens, drug abuse

Besides the DIYs, opt for self-defend mechanisms by avoiding allergens, halt drug abuse when receiving therapy.

Go for balanced diet and supplements

Also, take vitamin food supplements. After consulting a doctor eat a diet rich in foods with vitamin E. Some fruits, vegetables, sunflower seeds, spinach, avocado, olive oil heighten internal body system.


There are no perceptions, beliefs, or opinions of whatsoever kind if you wake up and feel a lump in left armpit. Quickly, see your healthcare provider to put to end tender, warm and red lymph nodes from damage. Do not wait until complex hardened lymph nodes emerge that may be growing into an extent that causes more problems.

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