Lump in Armpit causes, Meaning, Painful, Small, Hard, Large Lump in Armpit Male, Female Treatment

Why do I have a painful lump in my armpit? What is the cause of small, hard, sore lump in armpit male and female? Does cancer, infection, ingrown hair, shaving, lymphoma or STDs the cause of underarm lump? In this post, we have covered the details giving the insight on lumps under the arm of male and female.

A lump takes the shape of a bump, zit or pimple like. Underarm lump can be described as bump or an enlargement raised above the skin surface of the armpit. Depending on the cause, lumps in the arm can be hard, soft, painful and sore. There are instances where the lump under the arm is painful and sometimes comes and goes away. Both genders, the male and female can end up having lumps in their arms. What causes lump in armpit?

Small Lump in Armpit

Small Lump in Armpit

Lump in armpit Meaning

What does it mean if you have a lump under your armpit? A lump under your arm could mean a lot. The armpits both in male and female have lymph nodes located under the arm. A lump under your armpit is worrying. The lumps can be caused by bacterial or viral infections, allergies, lymphoma and also worrying symptoms of cancerous growths. For instance, breast cancer in female can manifest itself as a lump.

The lump may feel sore and small. In other scenarios, you may notice a large hard lump. It could be a cyst, infection or irritation after shaving or using deodorants. Whatever the cause, visit your doctor for medical examination and treatment if necessary.

Lump in armpit causes, why do I have a lump under my arm?

What causes lumps underarm? Most lumps under the armpits are harmless and will resolve on their own. Lumps under the arm can arise from abnormal tissue growth, irritation due to shaving, infections, ingrown hair cyst etc. However, if the lump is abnormal, visit your doctor for physical examination. A biopsy can be done to determine the cause of the lump. Some of the possible cause of lumps in armpits include:

1. Swollen Lymph nodes

One of the reason you have a lump under your armpit is swollen lymph nodes. Lymph nodes are located under the armpit. Swelling or lumps in the armpits can be due to bacterial or viral infections. The body immune system responds by building a defense underarm inform of a bump. The lump arises from multiplication of white cells around the armpit. This is done by the body to fight off the infections.

2. Underarm bacterial infections

Lumps under the arm can be due to bacterial infections. The lumps appear are due to swollen lymph nodes under the arm. Bacterial infections trigger increase in production of white blood cells usually presented as swollen lymph glands. Bacterial infections tend to cause small painful lumps underarm.

3. Lump in armpit ingrown hair

The lump under your arm can be due to ingrown hair. If the ingrown in the armpit is infected, you are likely to get small painful bump in armpits. Infection that causes ingrown hair can arise due to poor shaving techniques. Ingrown hair that causes a lump in armpit can be identified by a red bump. Infection in the ingrown hair can cause discharge of pus, it can be painful.

4. Armpit cyst

Another possible cause for lump in your armpit is cyst or abscesses. Armpit cyst tend to affect both male and female, usually they are painless but can be painful if they get infected. According to, skin cysts are non- cancerous, closed pockets of tissues that can be filled with fluid, pus or other material.

Painful Lump in Armpit Cyst

Painful Lump in Armpit Cyst

Armpit cysts are common and feel like large peas under the surface of your armpit skin. Infection, clogged sebaceous among other reasons are responsible for skin cyst underarm. The symptoms of armpit cyst include: feels smooth when touched, painless and slow growing. Underarm cysts do not cause pain unless they become inflamed. Cyst under the arm will not disappear on its own unless treated.

Lumps in armpit due to cyst can be treated with injection of cortisone medication to help shrink it. Armpit cyst can that comes and goes or do not respond to treatment can be surgically removed.

5. Armpit lump leukemia

Leukemia is a disease of blood cells, usually cancerous to the body’s blood forming tissues affecting the lymphatic system and the bone marrow. People with leukemia tend to have a high levels of white blood cells. The cells are abnormal and are unable to fight off infection. During initial stages of leukemia, there are no symptoms. Symptoms of leukemia depends on where leukemia are collected in the body.

The common symptoms include feeling tired, weight loss, pain in the bones or joints. Other symptoms of leukemia included swelling, enlarged spleen, swelling of lymph nodes especially in armpits or in the neck. If you have acute leukemia, the symptoms includes loss of muscle control, seizures, vomiting and confusion.

A lump in armpit should be taken seriously. Some of the symptoms are similar to common disease like flu. It is important to go for early checkups to determine the cause of lumps in your armpit.

6. Underarm Lumps Viral infections, HIV

The common cause of lumps underarm is infection. A viral infection can be localized in your armpit or it can be widespread throughout your body. It is easier to get an infection from shaving, usually when you cut your skin. Open cuts can be an entry point of infection thus causing swelling in your armpit.

Viral infections such as shingles, chickenpox, infectious mononucleosis and HIV are the possible causes for underarm lumps. If you have a lump in the armpits that feels painful and sometimes the skin around turns red, and it happens to be growing, it is due to an infection. You should see a doctor for antiviral drugs. Usually antibiotics are the available treatments for viral, fungal and bacterial infections.

7. Lump underarm breast cancer

Armpit lumps affecting both male and female can be early symptoms of breast cancer. Detecting breast cancer as early as possible gives you a better chance of successful treatment. A lump or mass in the breast can be the most common symptom of detecting cancer of the breast. Not all lumps under the arm are cancerous. Cysts are benign breast conditions in the armpit that do not indicate cancer.

Some of the symptoms of breast cancer to look out for include:

  • A lump in your breast
  • Swelling in or around your breast, collarbone or armpit. Any form of swelling or lumps in your armpits can be caused by breast cancer.
  • Skin thickening or redness around the breast
  • Breast warmth and itching
  • Nipple changes. If the nipples turns inward, or the skin around the breast thickens or probably
  • Nipple discharge. If you notice a discharge other than milk, it is alarming. Although in most cases, this can be caused by either an injury, infection or a tumor. You shouldn’t rule out the possibility of breast cancer. If the fluid is bloody, make an attempt to visit your doctor.
  • Pain. Most breast cancer are painless. However, if there is pain in your breast associated with some discomfort related to menstrual cycle, go for checkups. The pain tend to appear in the week or so before the onset of periods and disappears once menstruation begins.

It is important for you visit your doctor for checkups once you notice any new lump or mass underarm.

8. Hidradenitis suppurativa

Lumps under your arm can due to a condition called hidradenitis suppurativa. Although is rare, it is a long term skin condition that typically features small painful lumps under the skin surface. It develops where the skin rubs together such as the armpit, groin, under the breast and between buttocks. The lumps may end up breaking opening and smells. The affected skin in these areas will be like tunnels.

Painful Lump in Armpit Hidradenitis Suppurativa

Painful Lump in Armpit Hidradenitis Suppurativa

This conditions affects both gender usually at puberty and can persist for years worsening over time. Visit your health care provider for early diagnosis and treatment to help manage symptoms. If left untreated, new lumps tend to form causing complications such as scarring and depression. Although rare, patients with advanced hidradenitis suppurativa can develop squamous cells carcinoma in the affected areas including armpits, breast etc.

9. Lump in armpit after vaccination, allergy reaction

Allergic reaction can result just after vaccination and this could be the reason for lump underarm. This tends to happen if one is allergic to penicillin or iodine. Armpit lumps can be a side effect of vaccination and allergy. If you receive a vaccine for measles, mumps, rubella, small pox and typhoid, although rare the reaction can lead to swelling in your armpits.

10. Small, Pea Sized lump in armpit Lymphoma

Another possible reason for swelling in armpits is lymphoma. The common symptom of this condition is a swelling in the neck, armpit or groin. Typically, the swelling is painless, although some people will find it aching.

Lymphoma in armpit is caused by excess of the affected white blood cells (lymphocytes) collecting in the lymph nodes as small lumps or pea sized.

Painful lumps under armpit

What causes a painful lump in armpit? A sore lump underarm can be uncomfortable minimizing movements of your arm. A painful lump can be an indication of infection either, bacterial, fungal or viral. A sore lump can also be an infected cysts, abscesses or ingrown hair. Infection can result to a red small lump underarm. Antibacterial, antifungal or antiviral drugs can be used to treat the infections.

Large Lump under armpit female painful

A large lump under female armpit can be worrying. It could be caused by any of the reasons discussed above. Infections, lymphoma, Hidradenitis suppurativa, cysts, leukemia can be the cause. A lump that seems to be growing within few days is probably an infection. It could present symptoms such as redness or soreness around the affected skin in female.

Hard Armpit Lump

Hard Armpit Lump

If the lymph nodes are infected, the white cells tend to multiply to fight off the infection. You shouldn’t rule out the possibility of breast cancer. According to Dr. Hatmaker, MD, of Baptist Surgical Associates, who is board certified In general surgery and fellowship trained in breast surgery, “it could be a sign of breast cancer.

He adds, the breast tissues sometimes can extend up into the armpit region. This could be the reason of a big armpit lump. You should see a doctor if the lump doesn’t disappear on its own within a couple of weeks.

Hard sore lump in armpit in male

What causes a hard lump in armpit male? A number of reasons can cause the armpit in male to have a hard lump. Most of which we have discussed above. Ingrown hair, infections, armpit cysts, lymphoma etc. could be the reason for lumps underarm in men. Hard lumps in male armpits can also be caused by fats (lipoma) growing under the surface of the skin of the armpit.

Lump in Armpit Male

Lump in Armpit Male

A hard sore lump could be an indication of an infection in the lump. Occasionally, infection feel sore. The lump could also turn red and painful. A pus plus other fluids can be seen leaking from the infected lump under the arm.

Lump in armpit treatment

Treatment for lumps underarm will entirely depend on the underlying cause. For less severe cause, home remedies can help get rid of the lump. If the cause is cancer, there are available options to treat. Here are some of the treatment

Antibacterial, anti-fungal and antiviral drugs for infections

Lumps under arm due to bacterial, fungal or viral infections, your doctor will prescribe antibiotics to treat the infection causing the lumps underarm. Drugs such as clindamycin 1% taken twice daily can help heal lumps underarm. Oral antibiotics such as doxycycline, clindamycin, erythromycin, and tetracycline are the best drugs to get rid of infection thus healing lumps underarm.

Topical creams and ointments sold over the counter are used for getting rid of fungal infections. Your doctor can prescribe oral anti-fungal drugs to help fight infection in the armpit.

If the cause of armpit lump is associated with cancer, the following are available treatments.


Early detection of cancer can lead to successful treatment. After your doctor determine the cause of underarm lump is cancer, then one of the available options is chemotherapy. This is to get rid of cancerous cells underarm. Chemotherapy will depend on the type of cancer and what stage you’re in.


This involves removal of the swollen lymph nodes. It is widely done in women with breast cancer. A number of lymph nodes are removed through dissection. The essence is stop cancer from spreading to other organs.

Lump in armpit home remedy

Less severe cases of underarm lump can be treated effectively with simple home remedies.  Here are home remedies to cure lump under the armpit.

1. Warm water compress

This is one of the simplest but effective home remedy to treat armpit lump. The warm water helps to increased blood flow reducing the size of the lump and easing pain.

  • Dip a piece of towel in hot water
  • Drain out excess water
  • Place the towel under your arm for about 5 minutes
  • Do this at least 3 to 4 times a daily for a week
2. Apple Cider Vinegar

Applying apple cider vinegar on armpit helps dry and shrinks the lump healing it fast. It has antiseptic and antibacterial properties to fight infection.

  • Mix equal volume of water and unfiltered apple cider vinegar
  • Soak a cotton cloth in the mixture
  • Apply it on the affected area and leave it for 5 minutes
  • Repeat the procedure a few times for a week until the lump disappears.
3. Honey

Honey is a natural home remedy that helps to cure armpit lump. It helps in reducing the soreness, swelling and irritation on infected lump in armpit. It is a natural antibiotic for curing infections on underarm lumps.

  • Apply raw honey on the affected area
  • Leave it for 5 to 10 minutes
  • Rinse with warm water
  • Do this 2 to 3 times daily for a week.
4. Lemon Juice

Lemon is rich in vitamin C, and anti- inflammatory substances that is useful to reduces the swelling and minimize pain in lump underarm.

  • Soak a cotton ball in fresh lemon juice
  • Apply on the affected lump
  • Leave it for 10 minutes
  • Repeat the procedure 2 or 3 times daily for a week
5. Echinacea

Echinacea is another effective home remedy for lumps underarm. This natural herb helps to heal and boost the lymphatic system. It is also a strong antibiotic that helps alleviate infection through blood purification.

  • Apply Echinacea cream on the armpit lump
  • Do this 2 or 3 times a day for a week
  • Alternatively, drink 1 to 2 cups of Echinacea tea for a week

Lump in armpit video