Lump under Armpit, Causes, Hurts, Painful & Treatment

Could the painful lump under armpit be caused by cancer? Though they might hurt, most bumps under armpit males and female skin are harmless and can be left to clear on their own with little or no medical intervention.

For breastfeeding mothers, these bumps will indicate a possible underlying infection or medical condition. Have a doctor diagnose the bumps for early treatment.

Lumps and bumps under armpit may appear suddenly over time. The main causes of these bumps are external injuries or infections, bacterial or viral. The bumps might also appear due to allergic reaction or auto immune response to some foods and drugs. The bumps is likely to be an infection if the skin around the bump turn red or feels warm.

Lump under armpit male

Lumps under armpit for males can appear due to a number of reasons. The lumps can be painful itchy and very discomforting. Some of the common cause of the bumps will include the following:

Swollen glands

These are pea sized lumps formed as a result of fighting infection on arm and other parts of the body. The node will most cases clear on their own as the infection clears.


Cyst are harmless bumps that can be move when touched. They appear under skin and will in most cases change the skin color to yellow.


This is cancer of the lymph node. The main symptoms is the enlargement of lymph nodes that does not go away. The condition cannot be prevented but treatment increases the rate of survival.

Skin tag

These are small soft skin growths. They are harmless yet very annoying. The bumps are common in armpits, eyelids, neck and under breast.


Boils are deep bacterial infection of the follicles. The infection will result in formation of bumps which are filled with pus. The boils will also cause a swollen painful are on the site of the boil.


Just like boil, an abscess is a swollen area within body tissue containing and accumulation of pus. These bumps are common in moist areas that fold like the armpits and inner thighs.


Shingles is common in older people and is caused by the same virus that causes chicken pox. After you are infected with chicken pox, the virus does not leave the body, it remain dormant and is responsible for causing shingles once activated.

Chicken pox

Chicken pox is a contagious skin rash known to cause mild fever and painful itchy blisters. It is common in children who are afterwards immune to the virus.


Lupus is an auto immune condition where the body immune system become hyperactive and start to attack normal body cells. The result is inflammation, swelling and damage to joint, skin, kidney, blood, heart and lung.

Lump under armpit painful female

Just like in males, painful under arm bump can appear in females to. The lumps are common during pregnancy or when breastfeeding. This can be said to be as a result of hormonal fluctuation in preparedness for the unborn baby.

Other causes for these bumps will include mastitis, an inflammation of the mammary glands in the breast. The bumps can also be caused by fibro adenoma, a tumor formed of mixed fibrous and glandular tissue, this typically occurs as a benign growth in female breast.

Other known cause of the bumps will be skin cyst, lipoma, skin tag, boils, abscess and ingrown hair formed under arm.

Lump under armpit – when to see a doctor

It is always important to seek medical attention when you develop unexplained growth and swelling on your body. Your health care provider will examine it and confirm what the underlying cause of the bumps are for effective treatment.

With these kind of bump, you need to see your doctor when:

  • The bumps keep getting bigger
  • They become too painful and unbearable
  • They start to feel hard or
  • Grows back after they have been removed.

 Lump under arm during pregnancy

Pregnancy is full of surprises, most mothers and pregnant women will agree to this statement. Some changes during pregnancy can be frightening but most are presumed normal and are caused by hormonal fluctuation in preparation for the baby. Could the lump under arm during pregnancy be normal then?

Whereas lump on armpit during pregnancy or breastfeeding can be caused by cancer, this is not the case when they appear on both of you armpit. Breast tissues extend well beyond what we call a breast. The tissues can run all the way to the armpits in two lines. The tissues can grow anywhere between these two lines. As other part of your body enlarges during pregnancy, the breast tissue may also enlarge.

When the tissue enlarges along the armpit that may be the lump growing under arm. These are normal and will reside to their usual size once you deliver.

Lump under arm breastfeeding

When breastfeeding, lump may appear under arm. This is caused by hormonal changes that causes enlargement of body tissues like milk duct. The breast also increases in size, this may cause the breast tissue that run under arm to swell and become inflamed.

The swellings are normal but they can hurt and feel painful when touched. For most lactating mothers, the bumps will clear on their own as the levels of hormones causing the changes fluctuates.

The lumps can also be caused by the swelling of the lymph nodes under arms as a result of fighting infection causing pathogens. Please seek a professional medical diagnosis to rule out the possibility of breast cancer being the cause of the lumps.

Painful lump under arm

It is hard to rule out cancer as apposable cause of the painful lumps under arm. However, we cannot run to conclusion and say that he bumps are as a result of breast cancer. Cancer is a chronic disease caused by the uncontrolled division of abnormal cells in part of the body.

It is true to say both men and women can develop armpit boil for a number of reasons. Though common in women, men to can develop breast cancer. Breast cancer starts when cells in the body begins to grow out of control. The cells form a tumor that can be seen on an x-ray or felt as a lump. The tumor is malignant and the cells can invade surrounding tissues or spread to distant areas of the body.

You need to see you doctor as soon as you notice the following symptoms:

  • Blood strained discharge from the nipples
  • Itchy or itchy les rash around nipples
  • Change in appearance and size of one or both breast
  • Change in nipples appearance
  • Lumps and swelling in armpits
  • Lump or areas of thickened tissues that were not there before

Lump under arm cancer symptoms

Bumps on armpits caused by cancer will have the following symptom,

  • Rapid change in size and shape
  • The bumps are hard and immovable
  • The bumps will spread near breast, they are persistent and do not heal or decrease in size
  • More lumps will start to appear and spread to other parts of arm
  • The lumps may be painless and itchy less

Lump under arm that hurts or painful to touch

Chicken pox is known to cause lumps on skin that hurt or are painful to touch. Chicken pox is a common skin condition in children but can also affect adult wo have never been infected with the condition or are not vaccinated against the virus causing chicken pox. Chicken pox appears as a rash that in three stages. That is red raised spots, itchy painful blisters and finally scabs and crusts.

The painful bumps can also be caused by shingles. Just like chicken pox, shingle is caused by varicella zoster virus that remains dormant in the nerves after a chicken pox infection.  Unlike chicken pox, shingle is common in old people. Shingles can be said to an acute, painful inflammation of the nerve ganglia often with a skin eruption.

The painful bumps could also be swollen lymph node in armpits. Lymph node are small pea sized swelling in the lymphatic system where lymph system are filtered and lymphocytes are formed. The nodes may swell as result of fighting infection. These nodes may appear as bumps that hurt and are painful to touch.

Lump under right armpit that moves

Lumps under right arm can be scary and frightening. This is because people will look at the bump and start to think of cancer. Having a painful lump in armpit that moves rules out the possibility of cancer. If the lump increases in size then that could be a sign of infection, either bacterial or viral.

When you notice the lump on your armpit becomes yellowish in color or can easily roll under the skin with a gentle touch, then this could likely be a skin cyst. Cyst are harmless pea sized lump that appears on skin. Since the bumps are harmless no treatment is required. The bumps will clear on their own with time.

While fighting infections, lymph node may swell or get inflamed to form pea sized lumps that moves when touched. He lumps are soft to touch and are mostly located under the skin. The node may swell as a result of breast or arm infection. No treatment is required, as the infection clears, the bumps will disappear.

Lump under armpit treatment

Mild cases of under arm bumps can be left to clear on their own with little or no medication required. However, if the bumps becomes unbearable or causes a lot of discomfort, then the following available treatment option might help relieve the symptoms.

  • Oral or injectable antivirals if the infection causing the bumps is a virus.
  • For bacterial caused lumps, oral or topical antibiotic will be prescribed depending on the extent of the infection.
  • Vaccination can also be given to prevent spread of infection as is the cases with chicken pox and shingles.
  • For psoriasis and other auto immune infection causing the bumps, immune suppressive can be used
  • Corticosteroid injection will be used to shrink large bumps appearing under arm
  • Finally topical ointment can be used to relieve symptoms like itching, pain, swelling and inflammations.

How to Get Rid of Lump under armpit with Home Remedies

Bumps and lump appearing on armpit or other parts of the body are in most cases mild. As said, most will heal and clear on their own eve with no medical intervention. But since the symptoms accompanying the bumps can get painful and discomforting, there exist some remedies that can help relieve the pain by soothing the skin.   Below are some of commonly used home remedies for the bumps under armpit.

Home Remedies for Lump under Armpit

Should the symptoms persist or the bumps start spreading to other parts of the body, you need to have a doctor examine them and prescribe the right medication to help get rid of the bumps.

Warm or cold compress

A gently applied warm compress will help treat and get rid of most lumps on your armpits. The hot temperature help increase blood and nutrient circulation around the affected area of the skin. It thus help reduce the size of the lump, ease the pain ad soothe the skin of itching.

To apply the compress, soak a face towel in hot water and place it over the lump for 2-3 minutes. Repeated this twice or thrice daily for optimal results.

Reduce further irritation

If the lumps are cause by irritation of skin or with clothes, then you need to reduce this irritation. If the friction is between skins, you can apply petroleum jelly to oil the armpits. If the irritation is from wearing tight cloths, then you need to refrain from wearing them till the bumps heal completely.

Aloe Vera gel

Aloe Vera has been used for long now as an effective home remedy for skin bumps. It contain moisturizing and anti-inflammatory properties that can stimulate healing of armpit bumps. Aloe Vera is also effective in reducing inflammation, swelling and itching.

Gently rub a fresh cut aloe Vera leave on you armpit, leave it for 20 minutes before rinsing it off, do this repeatedly for a weak and the bump will be long gone.

Coconut oil

Due to strong antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and antiviral duality of coconut oil, it can be a great remedy for relieving and getting rid of lumps and bumps in armpit. It is also a good moisturizer thus it is able to promote healing of ruptured bumps.

Warm some coconut oil then using clean hand massage it on the elbow for 5 minute to enhance blood circulation. This will help bring down swelling and reduce the inflammation. You can also eat the coconut oil to boost the immunity of your body.


Turmeric is another natural home remedy rich in antibacterial, antibiotic and anti-inflammatory properties. When applied on the armpit bumps, it can help bring down swelling, reduce pain and itching and facilitate faster healing of ruptured bumps.

You can mix turmeric powder with honey to make an even more effective paste. You can also drink a cup of turmeric milk daily.


Strive not to miss garlic in your kitchen. It is a strong antibiotic food that you can use to get rid of armpit bumps and other skin condition like rash. Garlic will help cleanse the system, ease the symptoms and accelerate healing.

Apple cider vinegar

Apple cider vinegar can be an effective remedy for these bumps. When applied on armpits, it will help dry out the lumps especially boils and abscess and also educe symptoms like pain and swelling. Vinegar also contains antiseptic and antibiotic properties that will help fight infections and promote healing.


Echinacea is a group of herbaceous flowering plants in the daisy family. It is also a strong natural home remedy for skin lumps. It helps heal and strengthen the lymph system. It is also a strong antibiotic that help eliminate infection by purifying the blood.

You can apply Echinacea as topical cream or drink it in a cup of tea to fight infections that leads to armpit bumps.


Organic honey has strong antibacterial and antiseptic properties. When applied on armpits, it will help clear he lumps, ease the pain, swelling or irritation. It is also a strong antibiotic that can help fight the infection cause the bumps.

Lemon juice

Lemon juice is rich in vitamin C. it also contain anti-inflammatory substances that can help bring down symptoms such as swelling, pain and itching. To apply the remedy, just dip a cotton cloth in a fresh lemon juice and rub on the affected area. Repeat this daily for a week for optimal result.

Sources and reference



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here