Home SkinSweat Bumps Sweat Lump in Groin, Back, Causes, Treatment

Sweat Lump in Groin, Back, Causes, Treatment

by Dr. Joe Morales

Your skin is the initial line of defense against all the adverse environment from the outside. It protects the body from infections, chemical exposures and harmful ultraviolet light. It also regulates the temperature inside your body by production of sweat. Sweat on your skin comes from sweat glands located all over the body. Here’s treatment, pictures, causes and various characteristics.

What is a sweat lump?

This condition is that is presented by the presence of enlarged, swollen glands that come from excessive sweating. This condition can be spotted on various parts of the body that include the groin, back, chest among other areas.Sweat lumps in armpit

When you exercise or carry out any strenuous exercise, it is very likely that you will sweat. The sweat can cause dead skin, excess oil and even bacteria get stuck and trapped in the pores of your skin. The small glands on the skin are regulated by the brain and produce sweat that comes to the surface via ducts on your skin, which evaporates and helps to cool down.

Bacteria in the clogged pores multiply fast and this triggers inflammatory mediators to bring about tissue inflammation within the walls of your follicles, prompting the formation of sweat pimple. This pimple is the family of acne vulgaris.

The lumps are not very dangerous to your health although they can be a source of annoyance. This is mainly because the red bumps that form around your neck, groin, armpits and abdomen occur when excessive sweating damages the cell surface and traps liquid beneath the skin

In adults, the lumps are usually spotted in areas where clothing rubs very hard on the skin. In that regard, there are two types of sweat lumps and these are miliaria rubra and miliaria profunda. Both have very stinging symptoms like itching.


Miliaria profunda is the commonest bump and originates from the most serious kind of heat rash. It presents with goose bump like lesions that form on your skin. A lot of care should hence be taken into consideration to avoid more damaging effects.

Heat lumps looks similar to a medical condition that is known as Hydradenitis suppurativa. It is very painful and causes abscesses and also scarring on the skin. It presents with various symptoms that need careful examination in order to treat.

  • The lumps may be filled with pus. The lesions have sterile pus which at times forces you to constantly scratch hence likely to lead to secondary pyogenic infection
  • The lesions are very prickly and irritating. They swell and burst releasing irritating sweat which can cause a lot of itching
  • The lumps starts with a firm sized lesion which develops in one place at a time. It will either disappear or even rupture and release pus after a few days.
  • Newer lumps develop in an area nearby. If the growth is not controlled using medications, larger lumps may grow.
  • Abscesses may also spread to the nape of the neck, waistband and even the inner thighs. The condition may spread to other isolate areas like the back and even the face.
  • Some lumps can be infected with bacteria and this leads to secondary infections that will call for the use of antibiotics.
  • Itching, burning sensation and tingling are aggravated by the excessive sweating

This condition affects about 1 in every 100 people in Europe and this therefore indicates that it is very common. It affects people between puberty and middle age. It is three times more common in women than in men. This however does not rule out the fact that it cannot affect children. It is also very evident in children around the in-folding of the body.

Sweat lumps in babies

Sweat lumps are more pronounced in babies than in adults. The reason behind this is that babies have underdeveloped sweat ducts. Babies get the lumps around the neck, shoulders and chest. This is known as miliaria crystalline. The prevalence in children is commonest for the babies under the age of one year because the sweat glands are smaller and still developing. [Jennifer Trachtenberg, MD, a pediatrician at the Icahn School of Medicine Mount Sinai, New York City]

Sweat rash on back of babies

Sweat rash on back of babies

There are several other types’ rashes that can lead to your baby developing sweat lumps on the skin in the long run. They include:

  • Miliaria rubra which occurs a bit deeper in the skin and the bumps are red and often itchy.
  • The other is miliaria profunda which is the most severe. It involves the sweat glands even deeper and can cause firm, flesh colored lesions that look like goose bumps.

The presentation is still due to obstruction of sweat glands and hence accumulation of sweat beneath the skin. In this this regard, folliculitis could occur in the skin folds of the body especially in the areas where there is a lot of friction between the body and the clothing.

The lesions appear in the around the necks groins and the axillae but can also appear on the face and anywhere else. The only exception is that the lumps do not occur around the hair follicles. The lumps may appear red especially on light skin. Children of all ages are likely to get this but it is more common in babies.

Hot humid weather could be reason your baby develops sweat bump but it is likely that during the winter time, you are likely to see the bumps. It is an indication that your baby is wearing too much layers of clothing and hence you ought to reduce.

Is the sweat lump serous? The answer is no.  This is just a sign that your baby is too warm and overheating could lead to a more serious condition like heat exhaustion and heat stroke. The lump is not usually painful although it might be itchy at times. Some lumps may be tender and soft to touch.

There are a number of symptoms that could tell you that your baby has sweat lumps. First, it appears like tiny, often moist red bumps similar to pimple or blisters. It appears on the face and in the skin folds of the neck, neck, arms, legs, upper legs and the diaper area.

The other symptom is that it might produce some itchiness and tingling pain although your baby cannot tell you about the bother. You will however notice that she acts extra cranky and restless. She may also pose more trouble when sleeping then the usual times.

The condition is likely to clear up within no time and may not require treatment. This however holds only when the conditions leading to the appearance of the lumps are withdrawn. Proper bay care should therefore be taken up.

What causes sweat lump?

There are various attributes that can make you to have sweat bumps. However, one cause might be the basis for another cause. The outline below gives some of the causes of this condition:Sweat lump on nose

  • Hot humid weather: this provokes a lot of sweating and at times excessive sweating. A lot of sweat ends up clogging the pores and this lays the background to the formation of heat lumps.
  • Physical activity: anything that makes you sweat like jogging or gardening puts you at the risk of developing sweat bumps
  • Certain fabrics; this in particular refers to those that are able keep sweat trapped close to the skin, clogging the pores and hence sweat lumps
  • Heavy lotions and creams: they clog the pores and in the long run, you get an accumulation of sweat underneath your skin and hence lumps
  • It has also been shown that attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or acne medications are also factors that can make you have bumps on the skin.
  • Scratching bumps on the skin lead to colonization by bacteria and this leads to lumps getting even worse.
  • Not only do hot weather lead to the formation of heat lumps, but cold weather as well. For example, sleeping in an electric blanket or a heavy comforter aggravates sweat ducts. This leads to formation of lumps.
  • The other very interesting thing is that it is common in the obese and those with hyperthyroidism. The reason is that if you have this condition, you are likely to sweat a lot and in return, the pores might end up blocked.
  • Another condition called Parkinsonism can lead to sweat lumps. This is because the disease the nervous system that controls sweating is tampered with. This in the long run leads to excessive sweating and as a result, the pores could get blocked and thereby sweat lumps. In the event you have this condition, you should ensure you control sweating.

Sweat lump on groin, face, breast, back and chest

Sweating from hot and humid climate or from exercise and working your body hard can cause the type of sweat acne that is called pityrosporum folliculitis. It is a tough and stubborn form of acne treat because some types of skin are prone to it.

In the regard of the acne or lump, the skin yeast that grows on your skin (malassezia) starts to overgrow in the pores. The pores do not fight the yeast very well and hence it takes over. A little heat or sweat causes the pimples.

The lumps have the following symptoms:

  • They are located along the hairline and the jawline of the face covering the entire forehead
  • The lumps run down the sides and back of the neck
  • They appear on the upper part of the chest, back and sometimes going back to the waistline

Regarding the breast, the lumps occurring could be normal or at times be an indication of heat rash. When caused by heat, the lumps occur in clusters or as a rush under your breast. Small sweat pimple or lumps are most common in women with bigger breasts which are coupled with lack of adequate aeration which leads to excess sweating and blockage of the sweat pores. This leads to lumps under the breasts.

Treatment for sweat lump

Are there cream medications for sweat lumps?

The truth is that these medications are available, dispensable upon request or on prescription. They come in the form of antibiotics, corticosteroids and other types. The creams can be in the form of various drugs that can treat the lumps. Creams are usually carrier forms of the various drugs.

Creams that have antibiotics are used to treat the lump in case it shows some signs of infection coming up in the long run.

The other one is use of creams that have steroid medication. These help you by simply relieving the swelling and the pain that comes about. They can also clear up the bumps or even stop the formation of new lumps. These medication can however cause some side effects like weight gain, constipation and mood changes.

The other one is the use of creams that have metformin. It is a medication for the diabetics. It has been to found to have helped women with blocked sweat pores but no evidence of safety or being effective for everyone with the condition.

Acne creams are also available to serve this purpose. If the over the counter cream fails to provide the results needed, you may have to use stronger medications to treat the sweat pimples. Retinols are the standard course of care but you dermatologist will recommend the best treatment for you. Acne medications can lead to side effects like redness, stinging or burning along the application sites.


On the other hand, there are several home remedies and solutions that can help you to prevent the appearance of lumps or bumps in the nose. Most of them have to do with how you handle your body temperature or sweating. They include:


The first thing to always culture is shower after exercise. This helps clean the pores of any dead skin, oil or bacteria that may have become trapped from sweat and therefore, this sorts you out best from the sweat lumps.

Also, you should wash problematic areas twice a day. Any areas of the skin that are prone to developing sweat pimples should be washed twice a day. Use a gentle, non-drying cleanser to avoid irritating the skin.

Then, you ought to clean exercise apparel after each use. Bands, cuffs and collars of gym clothes tend to trap sweat, oil and other particles more than other articles of clothing. By wearing soiled garments, you’ll compound the problem and worsen the condition of your skin.

Regularly, you should assess your exercise apparel. Workout attire that fits tightly can aggravate the skin and potentially causing pimples. Opt for loosely fitted clothing whenever possible. This guarantees the skin proper aeration and hence no sweat accumulation.

It is also good practice that you keep your hair off of your face and neck for the duration of your workout. Hair can help trap excess oil, dead skin and bacteria within your pores hence predisposing you to a lot of sweat lumps.

Start using an over-the-counter acne cream on problematic areas. Daily application of an acne cream can help to dry excess oil, kill bacteria and prompt some peeling. Peeling essentially exfoliates the skin, removing the dead cells and dirt that may become trapped in the pores.

There are other times where the lumps call for a surgery. This is mainly when the lumps don’t seem to respond to any medication or home remedy and common practices. You should consult with your dermatologist for what is the best for your condition. There are several approaches to the surgeries for this condition.

The first one is when the doctor cuts open and drains a few of the lumps at a time. This procedure helps although it is likely that the pores can get blocked yet again.

Another surgery aims at removing the lump as well as the skin around them. This however may leave a big wound on the skin and hence call for skin transplant. The lumps will not come back at the same spot but likely to relocate to other places.

Laser therapy and cryosurgery are also promising types of surgeries. The beam of light and cold gases are used to destroy the follicles that get infected and then removes the lumps.

The de-roofing surgery is yet another type which is used if you have painful lumps that come back over and over.

Ensure therefore that you get the best assessment from a dermatologist to know what the best approach is and remedy for your underlying skin condition.

Pictures of sweat lump

Added to this article are pictures and testimonials that will give a clear insight into the outlook of sweat lumps. Note however that the pictures are generated from internet sources and may not depict the vivid and true picture of sweat lumps.

It therefore calls for proper intervention in terms of medical diagnosis by a dermatologist to tell you of the exact skin condition. Feel free to share your condition with a dermatologist who will give you the best advice and prescribe the right medication.

References and sources

  1. http://symptoms.webmd.com/default.htm?condition=091e9c5e808e81e0&bpid%5b0%5d=16&sid%5b0%5d=92&bpid%5b1%5d=16&sid%5b1%5d=228&bpid%5b2%5d=14&sid%5b2%5d=148&bpid%5b3%5d=16&sid%5b3%5d=148
  2. http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/hidradenitis-suppurativa/Pages/Introduction.aspx
  3. http://www.uofmhealth.org/health-library/lumps
  4. http://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/tc/blocked-sweat-glands-topic-overview
  5. https://patient.info/health/hidradenitis-suppurativa-leaflet
  6. https://www.drbaileyskincare.com/info/blog/can-sweat-cause-pimples-and-acne

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