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Child has lump in groin, hard, non-movable, random fever, dark circles, Zyrtec ineffective. What could this be?

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Pediatrician, Infectious Diseases
Practicing since : 2005
Answered : 1528 Questions
My son just turned 13 months old and about 2 weeks ago I noticed he had a lump in his groin on the right side. Its about the size of a marble and hard. When I first seen it it was soft and would move and now its hard and barely moves. I am concerned and made an appt for the doctor but its just driving me nuts not knowing. Also, the past few months he will have a random fever for days but no other symptoms of being sick. Under his eyes have always had dark circles, which I was told was just allergies but even with taking Zyrtec everyday isnt helping this problem. What could this be?
Posted Fri, 13 Apr 2012 in Child Health
Answered by Dr. Hema Yadav 10 hours later
Hello ,
Thanks for posting your query.
The description of symptoms provided by you most likely resemble a lymph node swelling in the inguinal region.The possible causes could be
1recurrent or persistent genitourinary infection,
2.chronic systemic infection like tuberculosis or a viral infection
3.A skin infection or allergy.
Whatever the cause, the immune system of body fights back causing inflammatory reaction i.e accumulation of immune cells in the lymph nodes ( store house of immune cells) thereby causing swelling tenderness which later on are replaced by fibrosis.Hence it's soft to begin and turns hard.
It should resolve if the cause is treated.
It is commonly seen in children for eg neck lymph nodes swell during dental or oral or ear infection.
There is a remote possibility of such mass being a hernia /hydrocele( due to the site )or a neoplasm but it is highly unlikely according to the history provided.
Since you are going to the pediatrician, the diagnosis can be confirmed by him by a complete physical examination.If required occasionally he might order some tests like blood counts, esr, urine test, and fine needle aspiration biopsy of the mass.
Such investigations can confirm the cause and rule out the possibility of any neoplasm.
Please do not worry as it most likely is a benign lymph node due to infection and wil resolve once the child is treated with antibiotics and antiinflammatory drugs commonly prescribed for children.
Hope I have answered your query.
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