Armpit Cyst, Causes, Painful, Symptoms, Removal & Treatment

What are the possible causes of a cyst under your armpit? The cause of the cyst vary from person to person. The symptoms will all vary depending the cause of the armpit cyst. In this article, we cover the causes, the symptoms and the best available treatment option on how to get rid of the cyst.

Under arm cyst is common in both men and women, the common cause of the lumps is the blocking and clogging of the sebaceous glands. Which secret the sebum that oils the skin and the hair follicles. Other cause will include yeast infection caused by poor hygiene and the moist environment in the armpits. Others causes will include poor shaving methods which damages the sebaceous glands, excessive sweating, auto-immune disorder and drug allergy.

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  1. Itchy Armpits, Causes and How to get rid


The symptoms accompanied by cyst mostly depends on what the underlying cause of the cyst. Many people will experience different symptom. For those with a weak immune system, the symptoms might be more severe than those whose immune system is stronger. People with weak immune system are those with cancer, those on cancer medication and treatment, those with diabetes and those with different types of auto-immune disorder.

The following are the common symptoms of cyst in armpit:

  • Skin sores may appear
  • Redness of the skin
  • Foul smell as cheesy material develop on the cyst
  • A painful or painless bump develop[ beneath the skin
  • An itchy bump
  • Lymph nodes may start to swell and enlarge

Cyst under Armpit Pictures

Provided below are some images to help you know how the cyst look like. The appearance will vary in terms of size and color. Some cyst might also be painful and itchy unlike others. Seek medical attention for effective medication and treatment.

Armpit Cyst Causes

Armpit cyst are lumps that develop underneath the skin. Most are painless and clears up on their own without any medication. The common cause of the lumps is the blockage of the sebaceous glands by a protein known as keratin. As the cyst continue to accumulate more sebum and dead skin cell, they may cause the armpit to emit a foul smell. They are also known as keratin cyst, sebaceous cyst or epidermoid cyst.

The other causes of the cyst include the following:

1. Yeast infection in armpits

The moist environment in the armpit forms a good environment for breeding and overgrowth of fungus. It is this overgrowth that cause inflammation, irritation, itching and swelling bumps in the armpits. A common example is a yeast species of candida which is likely to cause an infection. This overgrowth will in most cases be triggered by the following:

  • Excessive use of antibiotics and corticosteroids
  • Hormonal changes during pregnancy
  • Weak immune system
  • Uncontrolled diabetes
  • Excess secretion of oil by the sebaceous glands

Even though there is no assured way to prevent cyst caused by yeast infection, you can minimize the chance of this attack by maintaining high levels of hygiene, avoid too tight fitting cloth that might irritate the skin exercise regularly.

2. Poor hygiene

Poor body hygiene causes blocking of the skin pores. When this happens, the sebaceous glands may trap in sebum, dead skin cells and other fluids. As the pore continue to accumulate the sebum, an itchy bump is formed. This is a sebaceous cyst. The cyst may get infected with bacteria thus become painful.

3. Poor armpits shaving and waxing

Keeping your armpit clean will involve removing the underarm hair. The common methods of hair removal are shaving and waxing. If not done properly, it cause the damaging of the hair follicles, it may thus result in an ingrown hair which blocks the pore.

The clogged pores may trap in sebum and other particles forming a bump. This bump filled with blood, pus, keratin and dead cell is sebaceous or epidermoid cyst. With proper hygiene and a warm compress twice a day, the cyst will shrink and heal on its own.

4. Lipoma in armpits

Lipoma is benign tumor of fatty tissues. It refers to the growth of fat cells in thin, fibrous capsule found just below the skin. The bumps can move slightly when felt with the finger. The bumps are more common among the middle aged. It is also common for one to have more than one lipoma.

These bumps are not cancerous. Therefor most do not require treatment, however, if the bumps become bothersome, or painful or are too enlarged you can plan to have them removed. You can also seek medication when the bumps start appearing in other parts of the body.

5. Cancer

Cancer is a malignant growth result from the division of abnormal cells.  The cells have the potential to invade the healthy tissue cause this kind of overgrowth. This is a chronic condition that calls for immediate medication and treatment. Early diagnosis is best for treatment.

Depending on the stage and type of the cancer, treatment will include surgery radiation therapy where a control ultraviolet ray s used to kill the cancerous cells and chemotherapy which uses strong chemical medicine to treat the cancer.

6. Excessive sweating

Medically known as Hyperhidrosis, excesses sweating can really be bothersome. With poor hygiene the condition can cause irritation and itching in the armpit. It can also cause heat rash, which in many cases will be accompanied by itchy and painful bumps.

The condition is neurological but metabolic and other systemic diseases can sometime cause this condition. The condition can happen to healthy people, heart and emotions can trigger the condition. Antiperspirants can be used for the condition.

7. Auto-immune disorder

An auto immune disorder happens when the immune system mounts an attack on healthy body cells. This is through the secretion of a chemical compound histamine. When this secretion triggers the secretion of excess sebum by the sebaceous gland, it may lead to the blocking of the glands causing the formation of sebaceous cyst.

The condition is common in those with weak immunes system. It can be triggered by an allergic reaction such as gluten rush. Bacteria, chemical irritants and environmental irritants can all cause this kind of disorder.

8. Swollen hair follicle in armpit

An epidermoid cyst can also be caused by damage of hair follicles. This can be during shaving or irritation with tight fitting clothes. Skin trauma and injuries can also cause this damage. Avoiding this irritant can help speed the healing of these kind of armpit cyst.

9. Acne cyst

Those with history if acne are more likely to get sebaceous cyst. These bumps appear as red, large and painful pimple. They are common in teenagers. The cyst can be treated using topical ointment or at home by applying raw organic honey.

10. Increased sebum production

Hormonal imbalance in both men and females is the man cause of abnormal section of sebum in the body. Some of the sebum may be trapped in the sebaceous gland forming armpit cyst.

11. Drug and food allergy

Armpits cyst can also be formed as a result of food and drug allergy. This is due to abnormal secretion of sebum by the sebaceous glands or inflammation and swelling of the skin.

12. Hidradenitis suppurativa

HS also known as acne inverse, is a chronic condition of the skin characterized by cluster of abscesses and boil like bumps. The condition is most common in armpits, under the breasts, inner thigh, groin and buttocks crack.

The condition is common on sweat glands and parts where the skin rubs together. Topical ointments and skin emollients can be used to relieve the skin of the itching, inflammation and irritation caused by the condition

Painful cyst under Armpit 

A cyst is an itchy lump formed when the sebaceous glands get clogged with keratin, dead skin cells and blood. Cyst may are may not be painful depending on what is causing it. The main reason a cyst may be painful is when it gets infected. Continued scratching might cause the cyst to be irritating.

Using boy lotion and deodorant might also cause the cyst to irritate and become itchy. It is advised no to pop a cyst as this opens your skin for possible bacterial and viral attracts. As the cyst continues to accumulate fluids and other tissues, the lump grows bigger, it stretches the skin and might cause it to itch.

The friction caused by the rubbing inside armpit might also cause the irritation. O avoid this, you can apply mild lotion or aloe Vera gel- A very strong anti-itching, antifungal and antibacterial agent. This will be able to reduce the friction by keeping the armpits oily. Ensure you wash your armpits, to avoid accumulation of bacteria and fungus which will cause the cyst to get infected.


Cyst are harmless. Though they may be painful at times, most are not contagious and cannot be transmitted from one person to the other. They are not chronic. Mild cases will usually heal on their own with no medical attention given.

For cyst caused by viral or bacterial infection, antibiotics and antifungal creams maybe used. Steroid injection may also be used to reduce the inflammation and swelling caused by the cyst. For enlarge and more painful cysts, surgery may be used to remove the contents of the lumps. The other option would be to drain the contents using a sterilized needle and syringe. For cancerous cyst, a laser therapy may be used to destroy the malignant tissues.

Armpit Cyst Removal

Armpit cyst are in most cases painless unless infected. What then do you need to do before you consider getting rid of them? As stated earlier, a cyst is formed when sebum and other dead skin cells get trapped inside clogged skin pores. It is the accumulation of these particles that cause the cyst o grow into a lump.

A cyst maybe malignant or not. For malignant lumps, they are painless and in most cases will start to spread to other body parts. You should not pop to remove a cyst. This can be painful and most people fail to drain the content of the cyst completely leading to the formation of wounds which leaves the skin at risk of viral and fungal infection.

To get rid of a cyst, visit a health care provider who will diagnose the cause of the cyst and prescribe the best available treatment option. For malignant cyst, your doctor may prescribe a surgical procedure where an incursion is made on the skin to remove the cyst completely. Antibiotics and other pain medication maybe used to supplement the treatment.

For large and outgrown cyst, your doctor might use a serialized needle and a clean syringe to drain the contents of the cyst. Punctures will be made on the side of the cyst using the needle, then use the syringe to drain the cyst out. This can be painful but when done correctly it reduces the healing duration tremendously. Do not leave the cyst open, that is the reason it is punctured from the sides, the lid of the cyst is left covering the wound that remain after draining.

Treating the underlying cause of the cyst is also done to treat the cyst. This will include treating condition such as lipoma, allergy and cancer. Steroid injection and laser treatment can also be used when treating to get rid of the cyst from your armpits.

Armpit Cyst Removal Surgery

An enlarged, itchy and painful cyst that causes distress and hinder normal body movements can be removed using a surgical procedure. First, your doctor will need to know what the underlying cause of the cyst is. After that, the best surgical operation can be decided on.

For surgery, the skin around your armpit will be injected with a local anesthetic to numb it. A small cut or incision is then made over the cyst. In most cases the cyst can be pulled out, the remaining wound is then stitched up. As the wound heals a small scar will be left behind. Some people have reported a cyst growing on the same spot. This should not worry you because even the new cyst can be removed.

Benign cyst can be left to heal on their own.  Warm compress and keeping your armpit clean and dry will prevent fungal and bacterial infection giving the cyst an ample time to heal on its own. Only cancerous armpit cyst should be removed surgically.

Cyst under Armpit Home Remedy

As started earlier, cyst are harmless and painless. Even though some maybe painful, an underarm cyst is not in any way a threat to your health.  Now what do you need to do to relieve the skin of the itching and irritation caused by the cyst?

The following are some of the available natural home remedy you can apply to relieve the itching and irritation:

  • Castor oil pack, helps relive the itching and inflammation in most sebaceous cysts. To apply the remedy, soak a face towel in a solution of castor oil and place it on the infected pars of the armpits. Warm water will help shrink the cyst and speed healing.
  • Epsom salt wash is good when you need to draw out infection. Bathing with Epsom solution twice a day will help reduce bacterial and fungal infection thus healing the sebaceous cyst.
  • Raw organic honey is a topical wound dresser. Too make an even more effective remedy, blend mixture of plantain and apply the paste on the infected areas.
  • Chamomile tea has gentle sedative effect that helps promote relaxation. It can also help regulate irregular hormonal changes by stimulating blood flow (especially for lady’s during periods)
  • Apple cider vinegar I an excellent remedy for treating an infected cyst at home. When applied on a cyst it can help drain the pus out of the sebaceous armpit cyst.
  • Warm compress can be helpful when draining underarm cyst. The temperature of the water used should be moderate. To hot water will damage the skin and cause bacterial infection.
  • Tea tree oil a strong anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial agent that can be helpful in treating epidermoid cyst in armpit. It can be used for acne bumps and any skin fungal infection.
  • Aloe Vera gel is good choice for pain relieving and reducing inflammation caused by the cyst in armpits.
  • Witch hazel contains a compound tannins which is good for treating sebaceous cyst. The compound help remove excess skin oil thus helps tighten the skin pores.
  • Anti-fungal creams can also be applied to a cyst to help relive the itching and inflammation. The creams will also be useful in preventing fungal infection which cause the cyst to become painful.

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