Inflammation of the lymph nodes under the arm

, medical expert
Last reviewed: 16.06.2019

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In our body the lymph nodes are the basis of the immune system. With their help, cleansing from viruses, bacteria, abnormal cells (for example, cancer) occurs. More than a hundred lymph nodes are scattered throughout the body, but the lymph nodes under the armpits, in the groin and on the neck are most affected.

Inflammation of the lymph nodes under the armpit usually occurs against the background of an infection in the body. Usually the lymph nodes return to normal after some time, when the source of infection is eliminated. Fungal infections and cancer cells can provoke inflammation. Especially carefully to the enlarged lymph nodes under the arm should be treated women, in case of swelling, you should immediately consult a doctor for advice. The inflammatory process may indicate breast cancer, in which case it is better to identify the disease at an earlier stage.

Shaving may also contribute to inflammation, since in this case the infection enters through the damaged skin. The use of deodorants for poor hygiene is one of the common causes of inflammation of the lymph nodes in the armpits today. Deodorants tend to clog pores in which bacteria remain. The multiplication of bacteria leads to an inflammatory process, in which the lymph nodes under the armpit react first.

The task of axillary lymph nodes is to cleanse the body of inflammation and infection. The inflammatory process in the axillary lymph nodes may indicate a disease of nearby organs. It is necessary to carefully treat the inflammation of the lymph nodes, since this is the first signal that notifies that the body is not all right.

The composition of the axillary lymph nodes includes connective tissue, due to which bacteria and viruses enter the lymph. If the inflammatory process has begun in the lymph nodes, then the number of bacteria and viruses attacking the body has increased significantly. In this case, the lymph nodes begin to work more actively, while they can grow quite large in size, inflammation begins. With pressure, sudden movements axillary lymph nodes react painfully.

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Causes of inflammation of the lymph nodes under the arm

The main reasons include: 

  • Colds.
  • Oncology.
  • Infectious diseases.
  • Breast diseases in women.

If the body is completely healthy, then the person does not feel the lymph nodes. The sensitivity of the lymph nodes increases with the inflammatory process that goes on in the body, it can be anything from an abscess to a cancer. Often inflammation of the lymph nodes under the armpits occurs against the background of boils, erysipelas, trophic ulcers, thrombophlebitis. Various diseases of the oral cavity (caries, periodontitis), as well as tonsillitis, tonsillitis contribute to the increase in lymph nodes.

The location of the lymph nodes is determined easily, it can be done independently: when you feel under the armpits, you can feel the small moving balls - this is the lymph nodes. When the infection spreads through the body, the lymph nodes increase in size and become painful when pressed.

With colds, sore throat, inflammation of the axillary lymph nodes may occur. The reason for this is the intense struggle of our immune system against viruses attacking the body. An active process of leukocyte production begins, thanks to which bacteria that are deposited in the lymph nodes are destroyed. The lymph nodes, with inflammation and tenderness, signal the fight against infection.

Frequent causes are folliculitis (inflammation of the hair follicle). When inflammation may occur pain, redness, fever, joint pain, fatigue, nausea, etc.

An enlarged lymph node, which appeared later or simultaneously with a lump in the chest, may indicate inflammation in the mammary gland. In this case, it is not necessary to delay with a trip to the doctor, in order to exclude a possible cancer tumor as soon as possible.

The inflammatory process can be associated not only with infections in the body. Allergic reactions are also capable of causing an an increase in lymph nodes. Injuries, bruises, cysts, lipomas - all this leads to changes in the lymph nodes.

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Symptoms of inflammation of the lymph nodes in the armpits

Initially, the lymph nodes increase in size, painful sensitivity appears when pressed, which should not be normal at all. Gradually, the skin over the inflamed area becomes reddish. This stage of the disease can last for quite a long time and eventually pass without any treatment, provided that the inflammatory process that led to an increase in the lymph nodes (infectious disease, allergies) is eliminated in time.

If the inflammation continues, the patient feels worse over time, the soreness of the lymph nodes increases, weakness, nausea appear, and the temperature rises.

If purulent foci appear in the inflamed lymph nodes, the symptoms become more pronounced. The temperature can rise to a critical one, the patient is in a fever, the state worsens literally every hour. In the affected lymph node, throbbing pain is felt, if the infection has spread throughout the body, the source of inflammation often loses its significance.

Inflammation of the lymph nodes under the arm is acute and chronic and is divided into a specific and non-specific type.

Most often these are staphylococcal bacteria, but streptococcus and other pyogenic bacteria provoke inflammation very rarely. Also, the source of inflammation can be decay products in the purulent focus: (festering wounds, erysipelas, boils, carbuncles, bone marrow inflammation, thrombophlebitis, trophic ulcers).

Bacteria and their decay products from the blood flow to the lymph nodes, causing an inflammatory process.

A specific type usually develops against the background of quite serious diseases, such as tuberculosis, syphilis, trichomoniasis, etc. In this case, the symptoms of inflammation in the lymph nodes are closely related to the symptoms of the underlying disease.


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Diagnosis of inflammation of the lymph nodes under the arm

Diagnostic measures depend on several factors: 

  • The nature of the disease (acute, chronic).
  • Prevalence (lesion local or generalized).
  • Other symptoms of a pathological nature in the lymph nodes (adhesions with surrounding tissues, changes in consistency, etc.).
  • The presence of specific signs that indicate a specific disease (rash with measles, intoxication with tuberculosis, chancre with syphilis, etc.).

There is a general program for testing for inflamed lymph nodes. It includes a standard blood test, urine. An increased level of white blood cells (white blood cells) suggests that the body is struggling with infection. In this case, additional tests may be assigned. If you suspect that tuberculosis is prescribed, an X-ray, a Mantoux test, sputum examination, syphilis or HIV infection are given for serological tests. If a malignant tumor is suspected, a puncture of the lymph node is taken and a histological examination is performed. An important stage of the survey is an ultrasound, in which you can assess the condition of the surface groups of lymph nodes.

Inflammation of the lymph nodes in the armpit with a superficial acute form is determined visually, as well as by palpation (palpation). In most cases, the diagnosis is exactly that. It is difficult to diagnose infections that come from the oral cavity (caries, gum disease, etc.).

Treatment of lymph node inflammation under the arm

Treatment is primarily aimed at eliminating the source of the infection. In the early stages of development, rest is necessary for the affected lymph nodes. Well contribute to the resorption of physiotherapy (medicinal electrophoresis, ultrasound therapy, etc.), as well as the imposition of anti-inflammatory ointments and compresses. Good effect shows topical use of chloroethyl. Minute spraying of the affected lymph node leads to numbness of the skin. As a rule, after several sessions the inflammatory processes cease. In combination with this method, the application of boron vaseline, heparin ointment or troxavazin to areas of inflammation is used.

It is better to take antibiotics at an early stage of the disease in order to slow down the inflammatory process. In case of infectious non-specific inflammation, penicillin antibiotics are effective. Antibiotic therapy lasts 10-14 days, as a rule, the lymph nodes gradually decrease in size and the inflammation subsides. Antibiotic treatment speeds up the healing process. If the inflammatory process is caused by specific diseases, for example, tuberculosis, the treatment is carried out in the hospital with special anti-tuberculosis drugs.

If the inflammatory process has acquired a purulent form, promptly, surgery is carried out, in which the affected lymph node is opened and cleaned of accumulated pus.

If the malignancy is confirmed, a course of chemotherapy is prescribed.

Effective treatment consists, first of all, in competent influence on the cause of inflammation, if the source of infection is destroyed, then the lymph nodes will gradually return to normal.

The use of alternative medicine gives good results, especially in the early stages of the disease. It is best to use alternative methods in conjunction with traditional treatment in order not only to speed up the healing process, but also to prevent the development of complications.

Echinacea is a good antiseptic. The easiest and most effective way to help relieve inflammation is to take Echinacea tincture (sold in a pharmacy). Half a teaspoon of tincture per ¼ glass of water, taken four times a day.

You can make syrup from Echinacea: boil 300 ml of water, add half a cup of dry Echinacea root (fresh root can be used). The resulting mixture is simmered for 20 minutes, then removed from the heat, add half a glass of fresh peppermint, and allow to brew for about 5 minutes, you can add honey to improve the taste. You can take this syrup both for adults and children, 1 tablespoon three times a day. Syrup is taken until full recovery. Children up to 10 years old take 1 tsp, also 3 times a day. If after receiving such a syrup, pain in the stomach area appears, the treatment should be stopped.

The well-known vitamin C is the surest helper for any cold and infection. It helps to increase the level of leukocytes in the blood, with the help of which the body destroys viruses and bacteria. Take vitamin can, starting with 250mg, 3 times a day. If no positive dynamics in treatment is observed, the dose is increased to 500 mg, 1000 mg. With such serious diseases as sore throat, the dose is increased to 2000 mg, taking also three times a day.

How to prevent inflammation of lymph nodes under the arm?

Inflammation of the lymph nodes under the arm develops, as already mentioned, as a result of infection in the body. Inflammation, swollen lymph nodes - all of this is the reaction of our immune system to the invasion of the virus. Lymph nodes in a healthy body are almost imperceptible. That is why preventive actions should be aimed at maintaining health.

If there is a tendency to colds, then there is a weakened immunity. The common cold is a very common cause of swollen lymph nodes in the armpit, therefore, to increase the body's resistance, the immune system needs to be strengthened.

Enhance the body's defenses contributes to healthy food (vegetables, fruits, boiled or stewed meat), walks in the fresh air, you can also drink drink of dogrose, lemongrass, echinacea, which will help the immune system in difficult times.

In addition to the immune system, special attention should be paid to abrasions, wounds, cuts, etc. Bacteria can penetrate through the damaged skin, therefore it is necessary for the rhinestone to be treated with antiseptic solutions. With a deep cut, you need to put a bandage and change it in a timely manner.

With great caution you need to refer to the appeared acne. When squeezing pimples, an infection can get into the wound (for example, through dirty hands), which will cause inflammation.

A good prevention of the inflammatory process in the lymph nodes will be the timely and complete treatment of all diseases that you have had. 

Lymph nodes are a kind of beacon that warns that an infection has entered the body. Therefore, to prevent inflammation of the lymph nodes in the armpit, it is necessary to carefully monitor the state of your health, observe personal hygiene, consult a doctor in a timely manner and follow all recommendations.

Inflammation of lymph nodes under the arm

In most cases, inflammation of the lymph nodes in the armpit, detected at an early stage of development, as well as timely and effective treatment, has a favorable prognosis. In the early stages, it is enough to stop the spread of infection from the main focus: a course of anti-inflammatory drugs, local treatment will cause the lymph nodes to return to normal.

Over time, the inflammatory process can spread to neighboring tissues, the infection will spread more and more throughout the body, and intoxication may begin. In this case, the prognosis will not be so comforting, since complications are possible (inflammation of the veins, blood infection, impaired lymph flow). In place of a heavily damaged lymph node there is a scar, this process is irreversible. The acute stage is accompanied by a very serious condition of the patient - high fever, fever, severe pain in the inflamed areas. If the acute form was not treated effectively or if the patient interrupted him after improving his health, chronic inflammation may develop. In the chronic form of the disease, the lymph nodes will inflame at the slightest infection of the body (cold, furuncle, etc.).

In the inflamed lymph node, a purulent process can begin, which further endangers the patient’s life. The purulent process can spread to the surrounding tissues, the infection is rapidly spreading throughout the body, in which case it is even fatal. With a purulent form, it is impossible to do without the operation to open the inflamed areas. The treatment process will be long, rather unpleasant, with possible complications that also need to be treated.

Women should have a very cautious approach to inflammation of the lymph nodes in the armpit, as they can signal problems in the mammary gland (cancerous tumors are not excluded). As you know, the earlier the tumor is detected (malignant or benign), the more favorable the prognosis.

Therefore, we must carefully consider the various signals of our body, because we are talking about our health, and it is only in our hands.

Inflammation of the lymph nodes in the armpit is a serious disease that should not be neglected. When a slightly enlarged lymph node is detected and the cause of the inflammatory process is diagnosed in a timely manner, a number of complications can be avoided and more severe diseases (for example, malignant tumors) can be prevented at an early stage.

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