Everything You Need to Know About Armpit Lumps

Updated on December 20th, 2019
lump in armpit

Lumps evoke extreme reactions. You either don’t take them seriously at all, or you end up rushing to the doctor for a tiny painless lump. Lumps have been known to be associated with cancer, which is the reason for extreme caution. Many lumps are also very harmless. Here, we will consider lumps in armpit.

Lumps in the armpit may occur due to various reasons. It can be a swollen lymph node, infection, cyst, cancer, lupus, or tissue growth. Both men and women can develop these lumps. While they are pretty harmless, and most of them can be treated with home remedies and better nutrition, some do require medical treatment and even surgery.

Did You Know?

There are around 20 lymph nodes in each armpit. You only feel them when they turn into swollen lumps.

How to Get Rid of Cyst Under Armpit Using Natural Remedies

Once you get your lump examined by a doctor and it is confirmed that the lump is harmless, you can use home remedies to treat them and get relief for the lump in armpit.

CURE 1: Alternative Treatments

1. Cold Compress

Heat or Cold Compress

Why Does it Work?

A cold compress will numb the area and reduce the pain. It will also bring down the swelling(1) and, therefore, reduce the size of the lump. The application of cold reduces the metabolic rate and circulation in the area of application.

It impedes fluid accumulation, thereby leading to less swelling. The nerve endings become less active as the temperature lowers, leading to a reduction in pain.

How to Use it?

You can create your own cold compress at home by wrapping some ice cubes in a towel or using a packet of frozen peas or buy a cold compress. Ensure that your skin is not coming in direct contact with extreme cold as it can lead to ice burns.

How Often to Use it?

Apply the compress to the lump in the armpit for at least 15 minutes. You can repeat this treatment every two to three hours.

[ Read: Hot or Cold Compresses for Swelling  ]

2. Warm Compress

Why Does it Work?

Heat and cold work in opposing ways; heat increases the circulation to the area, which helps in draining the swollen lymph node. A warm compress is also useful in numbing the area and reducing the pain. If an infection caused the lump, the heat from armpit lump treatment would kill the microorganisms causing the infection.

How to Use it?

You can either use a heating pad or create a warm compress at home by using hot water and a towel. Take a towel, dip it in hot water, wring out the excess, and place it over the lump in the armpit.

How Often to Use it?

You can apply heat to the lump for at least 15 minutes. Repeat it around three times a day.

[Read: Get Rid of Lipomas at Home]

3. Massage

Arm Self Massage

Why Does it Work?

Various muscles around your armpit get activated when you lift something heavy or perform certain strength-training moves. Massaging can help relieve the tension on these muscles and reduce the pain as well as swelling in the armpit.

How to Use it?

Take a few drops of oil in your fingers and massage the area using circular strokes and gently move up and down and cover the whole area under the armpit. Continue massaging for 10 to 15 minutes.

How Often to Use it?

You can massage the area under the armpit at least twice a day.

[ Read: Benefits of Lymphatic Massage ]

CURE 2: Foods

Certain food items improve the body’s ability to fight the underlying causes of painful lumps in armpits.

1. Lemon

Why Does it Work?

Infection and low immunity are the leading causes of armpit lumps. Consuming lemon juice will amp up the body’s ability to heal itself(2) and fight the underlying cause of the lump in the armpit. Lemon’s ability to boost immunity comes from its abundance of vitamin C.

How to Use it?

You can consume the juice of one lemon every day by mixing it with a glass of water. You can also drink a glass of water with some honey and lemon juice first thing in the morning.

How Often to Use it?

You should consume one glass of lemon water every day, preferably first thing in the morning on an empty stomach.

2. Turmeric


Why Does it Work?

Turmeric is known as a magical herb and is a cure for many ailments. Curcumin(3), which is one of the significant components in turmeric, is an anti-inflammatory agent.

It also increases the antioxidant levels in the body and the body’s ability to fight infections. Consuming turmeric will stave off infections that may be causing the sore lump in the armpit.

How to Use it?

Incorporating turmeric into your diet is surprisingly easy to do. You can add turmeric to spice your curries and also while cooking poultry, meat, and fish. You can also consume a glass of turmeric milk twice a day to gain maximum benefits from it.

How Often to Use it?

While adding turmeric to your curries and meals, you can use as much as you are comfortable with. If you are making turmeric milk, you will need at least half a teaspoon of turmeric for a glass of milk. You can increase this amount if required.

[ Read: Turmeric for Glowing Skin ]

3. Onion

Why Does it Work?

Lumps in the armpit due to cancer is among the most dangerous ones. Onions have been proven to be effective in the fight against cancer. Sulfur compounds present in onions reduce the activity of carcinogenic cells. In addition to this, onion is also anti-microbial.

How to Use it?

Adding onion to your diet is one of the easiest things to do since it is such a versatile ingredient. It can be added to salads, sandwiches, curries, pizzas, and even burgers. You can add onion to anything apart from a dessert.

How Often to Use it?

You can have as many onions as you wish. There is no downside to having too many onions.

A lump in the armpit is very normal, and its causes are often ones that can be addressed via home remedies and foods. Breastfeeding may also lead to a painful lump in the armpit for females. Shaving and improper hygiene can lead to a painful lump in the armpit for males.

While the causes vary, there is no denying that it is an irritating condition that causes discomfort. You can try the home remedies and foods mentioned above to get some relief. However, if the situation keeps getting worse, it may be wise to consult a physician.


1. Why do I have a lump in my armpit?

The lump in the armpit may be caused by some infection, abnormal tissue growth, fat deposit, a cancerous growth, skin irritation, clogged milk duct, psoriasis, etc.

2. Will the painful lump in armpit heal?

The condition is treatable and will disappear with home remedies, foods, or mild medication unless there is a more serious underlying cause.

3. When should I visit a doctor for a lump in the armpit?

If the lump grows in size or becomes inflamed or continues to hurt, then you should visit a doctor for examination.

4. Are home remedies useful for treating hard lumps in the armpit?

Home remedies are very effective in treating lumps caused by infection, fat deposits, etc. However, it is always better to get it checked by a doctor to ensure the underlying cause of the lumps.

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