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What causes cervical lymph nodes and is it a serious condition??

Jan 2014
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Practicing since : 2002
Answered : 7303 Questions
Hello Dr. Kakkar, a few weeks ago I noticed an enlarged lymph node in my neck which was worrying enough for me to get checked out by my GP. He agreed to refer me to a haematologist but I may have to wait until after Christmas for the appointment depending on the waiting list. I would like your opinion on whether my lymph node could be caused by acne? I have always had acne (on and off) around my neck for the last 15 years. Could this be the cause of my enlarged lymph node and could it have caused my lymph node to remain enlarged indefinitely? And is there any risk to this? It is in the right side (cervical) and my best guess is that it is about 1cm in length (and less than half of that in width). There is another palpable lymph node in my left side which is almost exactly symmetrical in position although it is much smaller (maybe 5mm or less). I first noticed them two weeks ago (although they may have been there for years and may not have noticed them as I have never checked). They are definitely not reducing in size although they don't seem to be getting any larger either. They are movable in the sense that if I push them, they will move under my finger (almost jumping to the other side of my finger). They are definitely not what I would describe as 'hard' or 'stony' - I'm not sure how to distinguish between 'rubbery' or 'soft' but they are either rubbery or soft depending on the definition. There is no tenderness and absolutely no pain. If someone else fells it I cannot tell. I have no other palpable lymph nodes in my groin or armpits. I have had no noticeable infections or viruses although I occasionally get acne specifically around the neck area and always have done since I was young. I would really like to know the likelihood of the lumps being anything serious? Thank you.
Posted Fri, 27 Dec 2013 in Skin Hair and Nails
Answered by Dr. Kakkar S. 16 hours later
Brief Answer: 3-4 weeks observation+treat for neck eruptions Detailed Answer: Hi. Thanks for your query at XXXXXXX In adults, healthy lymph nodes are not normally palpable unless they enlarge over 1 cm in size. Although the finding of lymphadenopathy sometimes raises fears about serious illness, it is usually a result of benign infectious causes specially in young people < 40 years of age. Localized cervical adenopathy should prompt a search for an adjacent precipitating lesion like sore throat, infection etc (adjacent skin lesions e.g Neck eruptions in your case) and an examination of other nodal areas to rule out generalized lymphadenopathy (which is of course negative in your case) Generally, patients with a benign clinical history, an unremarkable physical examination and no constitutional symptoms (fever, weight loss, fatigue etc) should be reexamined in three to four weeks to see if the lymph nodes have regressed or disappeared. Therefore, a 3-4 week period of observation is prudent in your case along with correction of possible underlying cause of localised cervical lymphadenopathy i.e recurrent eruptions on the neck. I would advice that you visit a dermatologist and get a prescription (oral and topical antibiotics) for recurrent neck eruption since that seems to be likely underlying cause of lymphadenopathy in your case. I guess with proper treatment of recurrent neck eruptions, cervical lymphadenopathy should resolve in another 3 weeks or so. Take care regards
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