Home Skin Underarm Cyst Causes, Removal Treatment and Remedies for Small Painful Armpit Cysts

Underarm Cyst Causes, Removal Treatment and Remedies for Small Painful Armpit Cysts

by Dr. Joe Morales

An armpit cyst or underarm cyst is a lump that can appear in males and females alike. These cysts and bumps can be painful, small or big. When infected, underarm lumps can ooze, bleed, get irritated and cause a lot of discomfort. Here are the causes, treatments, home remedies and how to remove cysts in the armpit.


Here are pictures of cysts in the armpit to help you with self diagnosis and identification.




Underarm cyst causes

1. Sebaceous cysts in armpits


The area under arms has small bean shaped glands known as the lymph nodes, also found on neck as well as the groin region. If the glands are infected they normally swell. The good news is that the axillary lymph node swelling is rarely brought about by breast cancer or lymphoma.

Swollen lymph nodes are considered to be armpit lumps. But, if they are infected by the bacteria or even fungus, then the lymph nodes will enlarge. Any infected nodes of the lymphatic system are able to develop leading to a cyst-like lumps over time.

Excessive sweating

If the armpits sweat abnormally because of a genetic disorder or even after going through a surgery to control sweating, you might be at risk of developing the small armpit cysts.

Underarm cyst cancer

Unless it is an indication of breast cancer symbolic of large painless lumps that are near or even under the armpits, cysts are normally noncancerous.

However, studies have indicated that cancer cells might grow to affect the lymphatic system leading to the lymphoma. When and only if the system’s lymph nodes are fully damaged, the situation then creates a very much favorable internal environment for the cysts to appear inclusive of the armpits.

Hidradenitis Suppurativa or Acne Inversa

Hidradenitis suppurativa is another cause of armpit cyst and abscess that form clusters of cysts which might be large.

2. Razor bumps after shaving underarms

While shaving is quick way to get rid of unwanted hair, it might have a drawback: razor burn. A razor burn is defined as a skin irritation that occurs soon after a skin area has been shaved. It leads to a burning sensation and may look like a red rash. Sometimes, it can be very much itchy and swollen.

Razor burn is associated with men who normally shave their faces much frequently. Women may also have a razor burn after shaving the legs as well as the armpits.

There are many causes of razor burn including:

  • Use of a dull blade
  • Use of a hard soap
  • Unconditioned skin
  • Sensitive skin reaction.

Razor burn may lead to a lot of discomfort. But, you can do away with it quickly by use of natural home treatments

3. Breast cancer in women

An armpit lump normally refers to enlargement of the lymph nodes under the arm. Lymph nodes are small glands that are located throughout the body and have an important role in the body’s immune system.

The lump might feel small. In other cases, it might be very much noticeable. Armpit lumps might be brought about by cysts, or even the irritation because of shaving or even use of antiperspirants. But, these lumps might also indicate a very serious health condition.

The most common causes of armpit cyst are:

  • harmless fat tissue growths (lipomas)
  • adverse reactions to vaccinations
  • noncancerous fibrous tissue growth
  • breast cancer response
  • cancer of the lymphatic system
  • blood cancer in the bone marrow

4. Armpit pimples

Pimple-like bumps that are under the arms are normally brought about by a few problems. Most commonly, they’re brought about by ingrown hairs, which happen when a hair’s sharp point goes back into the skin, leading to an irritated bump.

If you shave under the arms, then the ingrown hairs are the likely cause of armpit cyst. If you don’t shave the underarms and the bumps are hard just like a marble, the bumps may be brought about by sebaceous cysts.

5. Swollen lymph nodes

Lymph nodes are the pea-sized lumps of tissue that have the white blood cells. These assist in fighting of the bacteria, viruses as well as anything else that leads to an infection. They are a very vital part of the immune system and are throughout the body.

The glands are able to swell in response to infection or even the disease. Swollen glands, known medically as the lymphadenopathy, may be under the chin or even in the neck, armpits, where they can be found in large clumps.

6. Armpit boils and abscesses

Hidradenitis suppurativa is a chronic skin condition. The cause is not established. Inflammation of the apocrine sweat gland-bearing areas causes painful and also the recurrent boils as well as the abscesses. Suppuration implies formation or even discharge of the pus.

These particular areas (commonly the armpits and also the groin) leak pus and are very much difficult to heal. Thus, scarring happens. Treatments include the use of the following:

  • Antibiotic medicines
  • Surgical drainage
  • Surgical removal of the affected skin areas

7. Lipoma

A lipoma is a growth of fat cells in a fibrous capsule below the skin. Lipoma is not cancer. They are mostly found on the torso, upper thighs, and armpits, but they can happen almost anywhere in the body.

Lipomas are the common noncancerous soft tissue skin growth.

8. Pilonidal cyst

Pilonidal cysts are normally painful, and usually happen between the ages of 20 and 35. Although normally found near the coccyx, the skin condition might also affect the armpit or genital region though the locations are much rarer.

Symptoms are;

  • Pain or swelling that occurs above the anus or even near the tailbone that comes and disappears
  • Opaque yellow or bloody discharge emanating from the tailbone area
  • Unexpected moisture occurring in the tailbone region
  • Discomfort on sitting on tailbone, riding a bike

9. Hidradenitis suppurativa

Hidradenitis suppurativa tends to begin a moment after puberty. It is able to persist for several years and even worsen over time, with very serious effects on the daily life as well as the emotional well-being.

Early diagnosis and also treatment can assist to manage the symptoms, to keep new lumps from forming and thus prevent complications, like the scarring or even depression.

Armpit cyst symptoms

  • Blackheads. Small pitted skin areas that have blackheads — sometimes appearing in the pairs or double-barreled pattern.
  • Red, tender bumps. These bumps normally enlarge, and then drain pus. The drainage might have an odor. Itching as well as burning might accompany the bumps. They normally appear in areas where the skin rubs against skin.
  • Painful, pea-sized lumps. These lumps that develop under the skin, might persist for the years, enlarge as well as become inflamed.
  • Tunnels. Over time, tracts that are connecting the lumps might form on the skin. These particular wounds heal very much slowly and can leak pus.

Painful armpit cyst

Lymph nodes act as filters that can catch germs or cancerous tumor cells. When they do, lymph nodes increase in size and are easily felt. Reasons that make the lymph nodes that are in the armpit area may be enlarged include:

  • Arm infection
  • Some body wide infections, like mono or herpes
  • Cancers, like lymphomas or even breast cancer

Cysts that are under the skin might also produce large, painful lumps that are in the armpit. These might be brought about by shaving or using antiperspirants. This is often observed in teens just starting to shave.

Lump or armpit cyst in males and females

A lump that is under the arm imply a lot. The armpits that are both in male as well as the female have lymph nodes that is located under the arm. A lump under the armpit is much worrying.

The lumps can be brought about by bacterial or even the viral infections, lymphoma and worrying symptoms of cancerous growths. For instance, breast cancer that is in female may manifest itself as a lump.

The lump might feel small. You might notice a very large hard lump. It might be a cyst, infection or even irritation after using deodorants. Whatever the cause, ensure that you visit the doctor for medical examination and also the treatment if required.

Armpit cyst also tend to affect both male and also the female, normally they are painless but can be much painful if they are infected. According to doctors, skin cysts are much non- cancerous, closed tissues that may be filled with a lot of fluid, pus or any other material.

Armpit cyst treatment

  • If the cyst is large enough and has pus, the doctor might drain the pus by use of a needle
  • If the cyst grows too large, causes a lot of discomfort and obstructs the daily activities, then the doctor can get rid of it surgically. If the doctor suspects that the cyst is cancerous, then he will do a biopsy and get rid of it surgically
  • Laser treatment is also another technique that is utilized for treatment of the cysts. If the cyst is on a sensitive area, then the laser is utilized so as to vaporize the lump. This particular technique assists in reducing the scarring
  • If the cyst is inflamed, then the doctor can inject the lump by use of a corticosteroid so as to lessen the swelling
  • Anti-inflammatory medication– this is normally recommended for symptoms brought by the cyst, like the pain and also the inflammation.
  • Antibiotics are prescribed in a bacterial infection. These are able to be administered topical, as antibiotic ointment or even orally, in case of a serious infection.
  • Antifungal medication is normally recommended in fungal infection. The antifungal treatment is topical or oral. The choice between topical and also oral treatment depends much on the severity of the infection. Sometimes the doctor can decide to use both so as to get rid of the infection faster.
  • Surgical removal of cysts is indicated in severe cases. This ensures that the cyst is well drained and that the infection is removed from the body, before it leads to life-threatening symptoms.

Home remedies for cysts under armpit

An armpit lump appears when a lymph node under the arm has swollen or enlarged, particularly when you are ill with some kind of infection. The swelling can be as small as the size of a pea or more than a few centimeters.

There are many causes of an armpit lump, which includes:

  • Bacterial or viral infections
  • Use of antiperspirants
  • Harmless fat tissue growths
  • Allergic reactions.

Symptoms of an armpit lump might differ much depending on the cause. But, some common symptoms are:

  • Swollen arm
  • Body aches
  • Swelling of other lymph nodes
  • Loss of appetite
  • Flu-like symptoms

Armpit lumps may happen in men and also the women of all ages. In most of the cases, they do not need any treatment and begin to go away as the body fights the underlying cause.

However, if a woman sees an armpit lump, she should ensure to consult a doctor as it might imply breast cancer. Also, opt for a medical checkup if an underarm lump has been on the skin for more than 2 weeks and indicates signs of redness and irregularity in shape.

At the same time, you may also use home remedies to assist speed up recovery and also prevent the lump from reappearing.

Here are home remedies for armpit lumps.

1.    Warm water compresses

An age-old home remedy that is used to treat an armpit cyst is warm compresses. The hot temperature assists to increase blood circulation, reduce the size of lump and also ease pain.

  1. Soak a thin towel in hot water.
  2. Wring out any excess water.
  3. Place the clean towel under the armpit for 10 minutes.
  4. Repeat the process 4 times daily for a week.

2.    Vitamin E

Vitamin E is a very powerful antioxidant that is able to assist treat an armpit lump within very few days. In addition, it also reduces swelling and also prevents fluid buildup that is experienced in the lymph nodes. It also assists to retain moisture and thus facilitate skin repair.

  • Massage the lump using the vitamin E oil for about 10 minutes, 3 times daily for a week.
  • Also, ensure to take vitamin E supplements only after consulting a doctor or eat a diet that is rich in foods with vitamin E. Some of the foods that are rich in vitamin E are the almonds, spinach, extra-virgin olive oil, asparagus, turnip greens and others.

3.    Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is an effective home remedy for the armpit cyst. It assists to dry out the lump and also reduce the symptoms such as pain and also swelling. Also, its antiseptic as well as the antibiotic properties assists to fight infection and promotion of the healing.

  • Mix together equal amounts of raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar and enough amount of water. Soak a cotton cloth in the solution and then apply it on the affected skin area. Leave it on for about 5 minutes, then rinse it off using warm water and then pat dry. Repeat the process a few times until the lump completely disappears.
  • You can also add 1 teaspoon of raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar and the honey to a glass full of water and drink it at least twice a day for three weeks.

4.    Echinacea

Echinacea is also another home remedy for armpit cyst. This herb assists to heal and strengthen the lymph system, which helps the lump go away. Also, the herb is a very strong antibiotic that helps eliminate infection by purification of blood.

  • Use echinacea cream or even an ointment on the skin to the lump, 3 times a day. Continue to use until you do away with the lump.
  • To fight infection that causes armpit lumps, drink 2 cups of echinacea tea daily for 1 week.

5.    Honey

Honey is a natural remedy that assists to get rid of the armpit cyst. It assists to clear up the lump and equally ease pain and irritation. In addition, honey is one of the best natural antibiotics and assists to fight infection on various levels.

  • Use raw honey on the affected area, wait for about 10 minutes and then rinse it off using warm water. Do the process for about 3 times a day.
  • Also, you can mix 1 teaspoon of honey in a cup of that is full of warm water or even green tea and then drink it 3 times daily for 2 weeks.

Follow the remedies daily for about 2 week.

6.    Lemon Juice

Lemon juice has a lot of vitamin C and various anti-inflammatory substances that assists to bring down the swelling and also the pain of an armpit cyst. In addition, it is a natural astringent.

  • Dip a cotton ball in fresh lemon juice and use it on the armpit cyst. Leave it on for about 30 minutes, then wash it off using lukewarm water. Repeat the process for about 3 times daily for a week.
  • Also, you can also add the lemon and some honey to a glass that is full of water and drink it at least twice daily for a few weeks so as to accelerate healing.

7.    Turmeric

Turmeric has antibiotic, antibacterial as well as anti-inflammatory properties that assists to treat armpit lumps. It is able to bring down the swelling, reduce pain as well as facilitate healing.

  • Mix 1 tablespoon of the powder with honey so as to make a paste. Use it on the affected skin area, wait for about 15 minutes and then rinse it off using warm water. Do this the process 3 times daily for a week.
  • Also, drink a glass that has warm turmeric milk daily for about 2 weeks.

8.    Garlic

You can also use this strong antibiotic food so as to treat armpit lumps. It assists to cleanse the system, ease symptoms as well as accelerate healing.

  • Make a paste of a garlic cloves and use it on the affected skin area. Allow it to sit for about 10 minutes, then wash it off using warm water. Do the process once or even twice daily for 1 week.
  • You can also eat 3 raw garlic cloves on an empty stomach daily. Include garlic in your cooking also.

9.    Aloe Vera

The moisturizing as well as anti-inflammatory properties that are contained in aloe vera are able to stimulate healing of the painful armpit cyst. It also assists to reduce pain and also the swelling.

  1. Extract the fresh gel from an aloe vera.
  2. Use it to the affected skin area, rubbing gently in a circular motion.
  3. Leave it on for about 20 minutes, then wash it off using cold water.
  4. Apply the use of the remedy 3 times daily for about 1 week.

Further references

  1. What is an armpit lump: http://www.healthline.com/health/armpit-lump#Overview1
  2. What Are the Pimple-Like Things Under the Arm: http://www.livestrong.com/article/326460-what-are-the-pimple-like-things-under-the-arm/
  3. Swollen glands: http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/swollen-glands/Pages/Introduction.aspx
  4. Hidradenitis Suppurativa: http://patient.info/health/hidradenitis-suppurativa-leaflet
  5. Lipoma – Topic Overview: http://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/tc/lipoma-topic-overview
  6. Cysts, Lumps, Bumps, and Your Skin: http://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/guide/cysts-lumps-bumps#1

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