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Noticed lump in the neck. Have fatigue and ache. Got tattoo in the same area. Is it due to tattoo?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2001
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Hi doc, I have a concern regarding the lymph nodes. I got a tattoo on the upper back region which covered an older and smaller tat, that was about four days ago. Healing is fine, a little scabbing, no redness, no streaks, no fever, just tender as it should be it feels like a sunburn. Yesterday I was feeling a little tense in the neck shoulder area closer to the collar bone, when I started rubbing the area I noticed a lump, the supraclavicular node is the size of a large grape, no movement, firm and visible in the mirror. I have never seen this node swollen, didn't even know it existed till yesterday. I have generized fatigue, and ache all the time which I have related to Fibromyalgia undiagnosed officially. I also don't sleep well, wake up every night soaking wet with sweat, yet stay fairly chilled throughout the day. Haven't lost nor gained any weight, yet appetite isn't like it used to be, I don't have an appetite to the point where I feel as though I should eat, I get cravings instead and then get full rather quickly. No real family history of cancers, other than my mother is on watch and wait for multiple myeloma "undetermined significance" . I have no health insurance currently. My husband tells me the nodes can swell when you get a tattoo, that also it can get ink in it. I'm not sure that it has anything to do with the tat, however would like a Dr's opinion. With no signs of infection, and no recent illness, should I go and have this checked out? Should I watch and wait till my tattoo completely heals, is this normall after a recent tattoo or does this mean something else?
Posted Thu, 30 May 2013 in Medicines and Side Effects
Answered by Dr. Michelle Gibson James 1 hour later
HI, thanks for using healthcare magic

Lymph nodes exist in different parts of the body, they are responsible for drainage and fighting infections in their particular region.

A lymph node can enlarge as result of an inflammation or infection.In some cases the lymph nodes themselves can become infected, in that case they are usually red, painful.
In general , in the absence of any alarming symptoms such as loss of appetite, weight loss the lymph nodes are monitored for 4 to 6 weeks.
You should not the size and check every 2 to 3 days. It should decrease by 4 to 6 weeks, if it does not then investigations would be needed .
The use of an anti inflammatory agent such as ibuprofen would be helpful

This would initially be a full blood count which would look at your hemoglobin, white cell count or platelets.

I hope this helps, please feel free to ask any other questions
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