What Are the Causes of Armpit Pain?


If you have experienced painful, red, swollen lumps under your armpit, you may have immediately been concerned and tried to find the cause. In fact, these painful bumps are quite common and can appear for a variety of reasons, some more serious than others, and it is important to understand them so you know when to call your doctor.


The most obvious reason for armpit pain is that you have injured it in some way. This can include cuts, bruises or other injuries. The armpit can become irritated, but usually, the pain should be gone within a few days. Home treatment should include keeping the injury clean as much as possible and applying ice to lower swelling and reduce pain. An over-the-counter pain medication can also help with pain management.


An infection in the armpit is another common reason for armpit pain. Women who shave their armpits are especially prone to this. An infection occurs when a cut in the armpit is not kept clean. Bacteria enter the cut, causing swelling, pain and discoloration. A heat compress applied to the armpit will cause the fluid from the lump to drain, allowing the infection to heal and the swelling to decrease.


It is possible to have an allergic reaction to your deodorant, resulting in painful red lumps. If this is the case, then changing deodorant brands is the only solution. It is important to make sure your new deodorant does not have the same active ingredients as the old one. In addition, it might be best to use a deodorant that is made specifically for sensitive skin or doesn’t contain any added perfumes to prevent further allergic reactions.


The glands in your armpit can swell if your body is fighting off some kind of illness. The glands may show up as red lumps under the skin in your armpit. This can often be painful and uncomfortable. This is most likely the cause if the armpit pain is accompanied by other symptoms. The best way to treat this kind of pain is to treat the illness that is causing the glands to swell.

When to Call Your Doctor

If your pain persists for more than two weeks, you should visit your doctor. If it is an injury, there could be more serious damage. Some infections in the armpit may require antibiotics if your body cannot fight it on its own. In addition, if you believe your pain is caused by swollen glands, you should see your doctor to try to find out what illness is causing this so it can be treated.

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  • Web MD
  • Dr. Stanley Ng, M.D.; Victorville, California
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