What are possible causes of a small lump under my armpit?

Doctor's Answers (2)

Dr Stephanie Ho

"Skin specialist with over 20 years of experience"

Thank you for your question. There can be multiple causes of a lump affecting the armpit. The common causes would be an ingrown hair, infection of a hair follicle, cysts or lipomas. The more worrying causes like an enlarged lymph node due to breast cancer must also be excluded.

It is most important for you to see a doctor to ascertain the cause of your lump.

Most of these lumps can be easily treated with antibiotics or simple surgery to remove the lump, depending on the cause. I would encourage you to seek help from a doctor or dermatologist as soon as possible, so they can check you over and you no longer have to worry alone.

Hope this is helpful!

Best regards

Dr Stephanie Ho, Dermatologist

This is a really broad question! 

To answer this question thoroughly: any structure from every layer of the armpit can give rise to a lump. I state a list below, and there may be even rarer ones which I have missed out!
Skin: Pimple, sebaceous cyst, oil cyst, ingrown hair, fibroma, sweat gland tumour (rare), skin cancer (rare)
Fat: Lipoma, liposarcoma (rare cancer)
Muscle: Rhabdomyoma, rhabdomyosarcomas (both very rare)
Blood vessel: Haemangioma, aneurysm, fistula
Lymphatics: Lymphocele, enlarged lymph node (which may be due to reactive swelling from infection, tuberculosis, parasitic infections, lymphoma, metastasis - cancer spread from somewhere else)
Nerve: neuroma, nerve sheath tumours
If you are bothered by it, please go see a doctor for an examination. 
Google will not give you a good answer, as there are too many possibilities!
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