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Armpit Lumps: What Yours Could Mean and Natural Treatments

Lumps and bumps can occur essentially anywhere on the body, and one common place they form is in the armpit area. Both men and women develop armpit lumps at various stages of life, and they can be caused by a variety of things that are both serious or can be no need for concern. These are some of the most common causes of armpit lumps in adults and treatment strategies to reduce armpit lumps naturally.

Photo credit: Stefan Schmitz via Flickr

Causes of Armpit Lumps

In both men and women, armpit lumps are often caused by a viral or bacterial infection, such as a staph infection. These lumps can also be noncancerous cysts, lipomas, or caused by an ingrown hair that becomes irritated. Some people have allergies to certain types of deodorants and lotions used in the underarm area or experience irritation after shaving, which can cause an armpit lump to form.

Women should be especially mindful about armpit lumps because these lumps could be an early warning sign of breast cancer. Immune system disorders like lupus, lymphoma, fibroadenoma, and reactions to vaccinations can also cause armpit lumps in some people.

Accompanying Symptoms of Armpit Lumps

In addition to the lump itself, some people who notice a lump here experience additional symptoms as well. Since internal bodily infections are a very common cause of armpit lumps, you may also have a fever, night sweats, and swollen lymph nodes in other parts of your body. Armpit lumps can vary greatly in size, and only some types of them go away on their own without treatment.

Photo credit: Matthew Hurst via Flickr

When to See a Doctor for an Armpit Lump

Armpits can be both painful and non-painful, but the level of pain shouldn’t be the only determining factor in whether to seek medical attention for a lump. In fact, an armpit lump that doesn’t cause pain is often a more serious cause for concern. It’s also likely time to see a doctor if your armpit lump gradually gets larger or doesn’t go away with natural at-home remedies. Take a moment to feel your armpit lump and assess its characteristics. Lumps caused by an infected lymph node will usually be soft and movable, while cancerous lumps are usually hard and fixed in place.

How Armpit Lumps Are Treated

To diagnose the cause of an armpit lump, doctors may conduct an allergy tests, take a complete blood count, perform a biopsy to test a small portion of the lump, or perform a mammogram procedure. Oftentimes, armpit lumps can be treated at home with natural remedies and over-the-counter medications and topics creams. Heat packs, anti-fungal topical creams, and pain-relieving medications and foods are often recommended to people who have armpit lumps.

However, armpit lumps caused by cysts may require a minimally invasive procedure to drain the fluid, while cancerous lumps may require surgery or additional therapy. Since an armpit lump could be a sign of cancer, it’s a good idea to get a persistent or unexplained one checked out right away. In general, vitamin E is a good home remedy for armpit lumps if you massage vitamin E oil into the lump or eat vitamin-E rich foods like olive oil, asparagus, and avocado. Apple cider vinegar, echinacea, honey, lemon juice, aloe vera, and garlic are other healthy foods and herbs that support overall wellness for people who are prone to developing armpit lumps.

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