Underarm Swelling

7 Common Causes for Underarm Swelling

Underarm swelling can be an unusual problem that varies in the level of severity and how serious it might be. Most of the causes of underarm swelling are not serious or life threatening, but swollen armpits can be a symptom of certain types of cancer, so it is not something that can be completely ignored.

Depending on the cause of the underarm swelling, a doctor visit may or may not be necessary. In most cases, the problem goes away within a few days and no medical attention is needed, but the true cause of swollen underarms is usually best determined by a doctor or medical professional.

Swollen Underarms Cause #1 - Shaving
Shaving the armpits can cause rashes or redness and sometimes result in little bumps that can cause swelling if they are irritated. Ingrown hairs may also come about after shaving the underarm, and this can become swollen, irritated and even painful.

Swollen Underarms Cause #2 - Stress
Stress can cause all kinds of problems, including swollen and irritated underarms. This is because too much stress affects a number of different health issues so the symptoms can be quite varied.

Swollen Underarms Cause #3 – Lack of Sleep
Like stress, not getting enough sleep can creep up on the body in different ways. There are lymph nodes located in the underarms that can become enlarged whenever things are not properly functioning or completely healthy.

Swollen Underarms Cause #4 – Allergies, colds or Illness
The lymph nodes located under the arms can also be irritated and inflamed when we are sick with an ordinary cold or allergies. Certain sicknesses can also cause swelling of the underarms along with other discomforts, like nausea, fever and fatigue. If other symptoms appear along with swelling of the underarms, it may be a good idea to get medical attention. If for nothing else, the doctor can prescribe medicine that should help alleviate the symptoms and get you healthy again faster.

Swollen Underarms Cause #5 – Hormones
Hormones have a number of different functions in the body, and they can also cause a variety of problems. Hormonal issues can be closely related with the lymph nodes in the armpits, and it is not uncommon for fluctuations or changes in hormone levels to lead to swelling or irritation in the underarms. Hormonal problems are best diagnosed by a medical professional, since specialized testing will likely be required.

Swollen Underarms Cause #6 – Infection
Infection in the area of the underarms is similar to what an ingrown hair would be like, but on a larger and more painful scale. Sometimes a lymph node will become infected, which will cause it to swell up, become irritated, painful and very uncomfortable. When there is pain in the underarm, it is difficult to manage day-to-day activities because the underarm area is affected by most any kind of bodily movement. Infections in the armpit will usually require medical attention, both for diagnosis and treatment. Most of the time, infection can be treated with an antibiotic. For swollen armpits, this may be something topical administered to reduce the irritation and pain.


Swollen Underarms Cause #7 – Cancer
In the most serious cases, swelling in the underarms can be an indication that cancer is present. Swollen underarms are a symptom of a few different types of cancer, including breast cancer and lymphoma. Swelling and irritation are sometimes the first symptoms noticed, and this is why problems with underarm swelling should not be ignored if they continue for any length of time.