How To Get Rid Of Painful Lumps In The Armpit October 3, 2016

Have you ever experienced pain under your armpit and found a lump? These lumps are generally caused due to swollen lymph nodes. A swollen lymph node usually indicates that your body is fighting an infection. However, in a few cases, it could also mean or indicate cancer. And if the lump refuses to go away, it is important for you to consult the doctor.

But, all lumps are not cancerous. It is more likely that a benign infection has led to the painful lump in your armpit. You can easily treat these lumps with some home remedies. We bring to you easy-to-do home remedies that you can follow or do at home to treat painful lumps in the armpit without any additional expense or having to worry about side effects.

What Is An Armpit Lump?

When you notice a swelling under your armpit that almost feels like a bump, it is called an armpit lump (1).

Causes & Symptoms Of Armpit Lumps

The most common cause of painful lumps under your armpit is swollen lymph nodes. The lymph nodes are part of the lymph system that moves the lymph in and out of the bloodstream from the body tissues. These nodes filter the lymph fluid and can swell up due to the following reasons:

  • A bacterial, fungal, or viral infection in the arm or breast
  • An infection in the entire body like AIDS or herpes
  • Cancer (usually breast cancer or lymphoma)

Lumps in the armpits can also form due to:

  • Allergic reactions
  • Benign fat tissue growths known as lipomas
  • Cysts

With the most serious cause for these lumps being cancer, it is always advisable to consult a specialist if they do not subside (1, 2).

The symptoms of armpit lumps are as follows:

  • Swollen lump in the armpit
  • Inflamed and tender skin over the swollen lump
  • Pain when the lump is touched
  • Pain in the arm or chest area
  • Discomfort while moving the arm (1, 2)

As in most cases, the lump due to an infected lymph node or a simple fatty growth can be easily treated at home. Here is the list of home remedies for armpit lumps.

Home Remedies To Get Rid Of Painful Armpit Lumps

  1. Warm Water Treatment
  2. Massage
  3. Vitamin E
  4. Watermelon
  5. Lemon Juice
  6. Nutmeg
  7. Onion
  8. Turmeric
  9. Vitamin A
  10. Charcoal Compress
  11. Garlic
  12. Contrast Baths
  13. Apple Cider Vinegar

Get Rid Of Armpit Lumps With Ease With These Remedies

1. Warm Water Treatment

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Image: Shutterstock

You Will Need
  • A small towel
  • Hot water
What You Have To Do

1. Soak the towel in hot water and wring out the excess.
2. Place this on the affected armpit for 10 to 15 minutes.

How Often You Should Do This

Repeat the warm water treatment twice or thrice in a day.

Why This Works

An age-old and simple home remedy to treat lumps is to apply heat to the swollen area. This will reduce the swelling and pain due to the lump in no time (3).

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2. Massage

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Image: Shutterstock

You Will Need

Olive oil or coconut oil

What You Have To Do

1. Take a drop or two of the oil on your fingertips and gently massage the armpit area.
2. Use circular motions and upward and downward strokes.
3. Massage for a few minutes.

How Often You Should Do This

Do this twice a day using any massage oil that is available.

Why This Works

Gently massaging your armpit will improve the blood circulation and reduce the swelling. A good massage can do wonders to a painful lump that is often the reason for both discomfort and uneasiness (4).

[ Read: Home Remedies To Treat Foot Lumps ]

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3. Vitamin E

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Image: Shutterstock

You Will Need

Vitamin E capsules

What You Have To Do

Take a vitamin E capsule with water.

How Often You Should Do This

Have one capsule every day.

Why This Works

Skin problems occur mostly due to the lack of certain proteins and vitamins in the body. Vitamin E is one of the most vital vitamins for the human skin. Make sure you consume milk, fruits, and vegetables, all of which contain substantial amounts of vitamin E. If your daily diet does not give you the required dosage of vitamin E, you can use supplements. Vitamin E also possesses anti-inflammatory properties and will reduce the swelling in the lump (5).

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4. Watermelon

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Image: Shutterstock

You Will Need

Watermelon juice

What You Have To Do

Have a glass of chilled watermelon juice with breakfast.

How Often You Should Do This

Drink watermelon juice every morning.

Why This Works

Watermelon has antioxidant properties that help detoxify the blood and eliminate the lump-causing bacteria. It also reduces the swelling in the affected area (6, 7). This fruit will not just keep you hydrated, but will also cleanse your body and keep the lumps at bay.

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5. Lemon Juice

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Image: Shutterstock

You Will Need
  • Fresh lemon juice
  • Water
  • Cotton ball
What You Have To Do

1. Mix equal parts of lemon juice and water.
2. Dip the cotton ball in this juice and apply it to the lump.
3. Let it air dry.
4. You can also drink a teaspoon or two of lemon juice added to a glass of lukewarm water in the mornings.

How Often You Should Do This

Reapply lemon juice three to four times on the painful armpit lump.

Why This Works

Lemon juice is a rich source of vitamin C and has many anti-inflammatory substances (8, 9). This will help reduce the painful swelling in the lump and heal it.

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6. Nutmeg

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Image: Shutterstock

You Will Need
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg powder
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • A cup of hot water
What You Have To Do

1. Add the honey and nutmeg powder to the water and mix thoroughly.
2. Drink this water while it is still warm.

How Often You Should Do This

Repeat this once every day to get rid of armpit lumps.

Why This Works

Nutmeg, which belongs to the nut family, has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties that help reduce the pain. It helps the body to fight any infection and swelling caused due to bacterial infections (10, 11).

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7. Onion

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Image: Shutterstock

You Will Need

An onion

What You Have To Do

Extract the juice of an onion and gulp it down. You can add your favorite veggies to make the onion juice taste better.

How Often You Should Do This

Drink a glass of the healthy onion (and vegetables) juice every day.

Why This Works

The ever popular onion can also be used to treat the lumps in the armpit. Onion is an antimicrobial and antiseptic agent. Its juice, though not really palatable, can work wonders in treating the infection that is causing these painful armpit lumps (12).

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8. Turmeric

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Image: Shutterstock

You Will Need
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • A cup of hot milk
What You Have To Do

1. Mix the turmeric powder well in the milk so that no lumps remain.
2. Drink this hot turmeric-infused milk.
3. You can also make a paste with turmeric powder and water and apply it on the lump. Let it dry for 10-15 minutes and then rinse with water.

How Often You Should Do This

Drink a glass of turmeric milk every day, preferably before going to bed. Repeat the topical application of turmeric twice a day for quick results.

Why This Works

This little wonder spice used in Indian cooking is known for its antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial properties. It can help ease painful lumps and reduce swelling. The topical application will reduce the urge to itch and also fasten the healing process (13).

[ Read: Simple Ways To Remove Pimples On The Nose ]

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9. Vitamin A

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Image: Shutterstock

Vitamin A plays a direct role in the immune system of the body. It helps in T-cell and B-cell migrations and activity. It also aids the lymphocyte function. When the body does not receive enough amount of vitamin A from the diet, its immune response falters, and this increases chances of an infection developing in the lymph nodes (14). Hence, increase the sources of vitamin A in your diet to reduce armpit lumps quickly.
Carrots and papayas are great sources of this vitamin. Add carrots to your salads and munch on papayas as a mid-day snack to quicken the healing of that painful lump.

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10. Charcoal Compress

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Image: Shutterstock

You Will Need
  • 1 teaspoon activated charcoal
  • 1/2 teaspoon flaxseed powder
  • Water
  • Paper towel
What You Have To Do

1. Mix both the powders and add enough water to make a thick paste.
2. Put this paste on a paper towel and place it on the affected area.
3. Leave it on for 10-15 minutes.

How Often You Should Do This

Do this every couple of hours every day until the lump goes away.

Why This Works

Activated charcoal that is available in the market can be just the solution you have been looking for to banish that lump for good. This simple remedy will help reduce the pain and inflammation in just a few days. It absorbs toxins, reduces swelling and pain, and treats the infection (15, 16).

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11. Garlic

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Image: Shutterstock

You Will Need
  • 2-3 garlic cloves
  • A glass of lukewarm water
What You Have To Do

1. Either crush the garlic or chop it finely.
2. Ingest this with a glass of water first thing in the morning.

Alternatively, you can also include garlic in your daily diet by adding it to the dishes you make.

How Often You Should Do This

Do this every morning for an infection-free and healthy body.

Why This Works

Garlic is known for its antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. The infection that is causing your lymph nodes to swell up will be eliminated along with the pain and the swelling. Garlic is also an excellent detoxification agent (17).

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12. Contrast Baths

You Will Need
  • Warm water
  • Cold water
  • 2 buckets or tubs
What You Have To Do

1. Submerge your armpit in warm water for three to four minutes.
2. Then, submerge it in the cold water for two minutes.
3. Repeat this four to five times.

If it is difficult to submerge the affected area in the tub, use two different cloth pieces soaked in the two tubs and place them on the armpit for the same time duration as mentioned above.

How Often You Should Do This

Use contrast bath therapy twice a day.

Why This Works

Contrast bath therapy involves using warm and cold water treatment for painful lumps. The cold treatment will help ease the pain while the warm treatment will improve blood and lymph circulation. All stagnant fluid is removed from the affected area (18, 19). When used alternately, these work as an effective home remedy to treat painful lumps.

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13. Apple Cider Vinegar

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Image: Shutterstock

You Will Need
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Water
  • Cotton cloth
What You Have To Do

1. Mix equal amounts of apple cider vinegar and water in a bowl.
2. Soak the cotton cloth in this mixture and place it on the affected area for five to seven minutes.
3. Remove the cloth and rinse the area with warm water.
4. Pat the area dry.

For added benefits and faster recovery, drink a teaspoon of ACV and honey added to a glass of water in the mornings.

How Often You Should Do This

Repeat this a few times in the day until you get relief from the painful lump.

Why This Works

Apple cider vinegar reduces the pain and swelling. It also has antiseptic properties that will fight the infection (20, 21).

It is important to understand that all lumps in and around your breast are not a sign of cancer. Hormonal changes often lead to the formation of these lumps. If your lump does not subside in a week with these remedies, please consult a doctor.

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A Few Tips For Healthy Armpits

Here are a few pointers to bear in mind when you have an armpit lump to deal with.

  • Stay Hydrated – Most problems in the human body arise due to improper regulation of body fluids and blood. It is important to drink plenty of water to keep your body hydrated and also to ensure proper blood circulation. Doing so will help reduce the painful lumps to an extent since it provides the necessary nutrition and antibodies.
  • Reduce Caffeine Intake – Coffee and tea are rich sources of caffeine and can cause the lump to grow. Though not many people see a link between the two, it is best to avoid them to heal the lumps faster. Colas contain caffeine, so steer clear of aerated drinks. Instead, consume fresh fruit juices!
  • Avoid Foods That Cause Pain – It is important to make a note of the foods that elevate the pain and swelling in the lumps. It is a good start to avoid such foods to fasten the healing process. Maintain a food diary and note down any food items that tend to trigger the pain or increase inflammation. You will soon know what to consume and what not to when you have a lump in armpit. As they say, prevention is better than cure.
  • Say No To Oily And Spicy Foods – These foods cause you to sweat more and also lead to more underarm sweating, which could cause more bacterial growth. The need is to keep the growth in check. Hence, avoiding these foods will help in getting the lumps to heal faster.
  • Stay Clean – Any infection, disease, or swelling will subside if you take proper care and keep the area clean and dry. Armpits are one of the most active body parts that sweat due to excessive activity of the glands. Keep the underarms dry and clean to heal the lump faster. If the lump is caused due to a bacterial infection as a result of clogged pores, it will go away soon with proper hygiene.

Some other tips to keep in mind are:

  • Do not share towels with someone who may have lumps. Bacterial infections are bound to spread.
  • Also, avoid using another person’s toiletries.
  • Do not use a harsh soap on the lump.
  • Use lukewarm water to clean the area several times a day and also during your bath.
  • Do not pick on the lump or itch/scratch it as the infection can spread, leaving you with more painful lumps to deal with.
  • Do not shave your underarms when you have a lump as it can further aggravate the condition.
  • Do not use any luxury talcs or deodorants till the lump abates.

Visit a doctor if the lump does not subside in a week. He/she will prescribe antibiotics to control the infection.

[ Read: Home Remedies on How to Get Rid of Boils on the Inner Thighs ]

When To See A Doctor?

Sometimes, armpit lumps come and go without any pain or discomfort. Using the home remedies will fasten this healing process and not let them aggravate, especially in the case of infections. If the lump doesn’t heal even after a couple of weeks or seems to be worsening, please consult your doctor as you might need an antibiotic prescription. In the case of hard and painless lumps that are hardly growing by the day, and also feel like they might be attached to more lumps, visit a specialist to rule out cancer.

Dangers Of Armpit Lumps

There are plenty of causes that can be responsible for that painful lump in your armpit. However, it is important to closely monitor it and not self-diagnose. Lumps in the armpits have been associated with breast cancer and lymphoma, making cancer the most dangerous complication that can arise. If there is no tenderness, redness, or pain, it is always safe to consult a doctor and get the lump checked.

When it comes to a lump in the armpit, it can become a rather painful experience, leaving you in discomfort. Do not go from pillar to post to find a solution that actually works. These were the best home remedies for a painful lump in the armpit that refuses to bid adieu. Not only have these remedies helped a lot of people, but they are also easy to employ. Try them today!

Have you ever suffered from armpit lumps? How did you treat them? Share with us in the comments section below.

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