Did you know that the armpit is a very sensitive part of your body? There are a ton of blood vessels and nerves that run through your armpit. People don’t normally think of the armpit as a place where they would feel a lot of pain, but pain can be felt there from a variety of causes. Because it is so close to the breasts, many people immediately think armpit pain must mean they have breast cancer. The good news is, most often the pain in your armpit is minor and will clear up on its own.
Pain in the armpit has many causes; these include:
- Cosmetic Products: The skin in the armpit area is sensitive and can easily be irritated with harsh chemicals that are often found in soaps, antiperspirants and deodorants. This can lead to redness, swelling and pain in the armpit involved.
- Lymphoma: Pain felt under the left arm that is not due to an infection may be pointing to non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. In this type of cancer, the pain may radiate down the arm, sometimes it goes down to the tips of the fingers.
- Muscle Pain: Muscle strains from repetitive activities is also another possible reason for pain in the armpit. Over stretching can also cause pain in the armpit. Tenderness may also be present in a strain. A dislocated shoulder will also cause pain in the armpit.
- Infections: Any infection, fungal, viral or bacterial, may cause pain in the armpit. Viral infections like chickenpox, shingles, mumps, measles, AIDS and typhoid may all cause pain in the armpit area. Sporotrichosis, a fungal infection, often causes painful lumps to form in the armpit.
- Improper Hair Removal: Using a dull blade to shave the armpits can cause bumps to appear. This often leads to a condition called folliculitis, which is an inflammation of the hair follicles. Improperly removing armpit hair can also lead to ingrown hairs.
- Cysts and Boils: Any cut in your skin is an open door for bacteria to enter your body. The Staphlococcus bacterium is responsible for these infections under your armpits.
- Lymphadenitis: The main job of the lymph node is to filter toxins from the body. Therefore, they contain a lot of white blood cells – which are needed to help fight infection. Ironically, the lymph nodes and glands themselves can develop a bacterial infection, which causes pain under the arms.
- Hidradenitis Suppurativa: An inflammatory skin disorder that affects both the groin and the armpits. The main characteristic is tender bumps that grow and filled with pus.
Most underarm pain will go away all by itself, if given time. Depending on the cause, home remedies can be tried. Over-the-counter medicines can be taken for pain and swelling. Pain in the armpit could also be a sign of a more serious condition. Because of this risk, you should always discuss any armpit pains with your doctor, and let him tell you if you have something minor, or something major. Failing to seek treatment could leave you permanently damaged.