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Dr. Andrew Rynne

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Have a small lump under armpit. Painful to touch. What is it?

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Practicing since : 2003
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I have a small lump under my armpit. It is very small and only can be felt if touched and pains slightly when touched. It can be felt only when touched and is very small. Actually it came couple of months back and went away on its own. Recently I noticed again it came. I just want to know what is it?
Mon, 24 Dec 2012 in Skin Hair and Nails
Answered by Dr. Jonas Sundarakumar 2 hours later
Hello and welcome to Healthcare Magic. Thanks for your query.

The most likely possibility for the small lump in your armpit, which keeps recurring is a sebaceous cyst, which is caused due to blockage of a hair follicle or an ingrown hair or blockage of a sebaceous gland in that area. Sebaceous cysts are the most common swellings in the armpit area or areas which are prone for sweat accumulation. The other possibility could be an axillary lymph node, which keeps coming up in response to some local irritation or inflamation.

I would suggest the following measures:

- Firstly, never pinch or sqeeze the swelling, as it can result in superimposed infection
- Secondly, wash the area with soap or a mild anti-septic solution frequently
- Keep the area dry and free of sweat as far as possible
- You can apply a topical antiseptic cream over the swelling
- You can take a mild anti-inflamatory medication for reducing the swelling.
- If you have a habit of shaving that area regularly, then take care by using clean, new razors and apply some aftershave lotion after shaving.

Your swelling should subside on its own within a few days. However, if you develop any redness, tenderness, increase in size or pus discharge from the swelling, then it means that the lump has got infected, in which case, you have to see a doctor for further management.

Wish you all the best.

- Dr. Jonas Sundarakumar
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