Home » Article » Hello Swollen Lymph Nodes… Can You Go Away!

Hello Swollen Lymph Nodes… Can You Go Away!

The body’s lymphatic system is essential to fighting off disease and illness.  This system filters bacteria, viruses and cancer cells from the blood stream.  When there is an active illness, your lymph nodes, including the ones under your armpit may swell.

The swollen lymph nodes in your armpit can often be felt through your skin.  It can become painful as it continues to swell.  Once the underlying cause of the swelling is resolved, your node should return to its normal size.

Minor Swelling

If the swelling is minor, associated pain may be reduced by use of hot compresses and over the counter medications, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen.  To prepare the hot compress, wet a washcloth with warm water and place it on your inflamed area.  These two steps can help to reduce swelling and discomfort.

If the swelling continues to get worse or lasts longer than two weeks, you should see a doctor.  The long term complaint could be an indicator of a serious condition.  In addition, if you suffer from difficulty breathing or a sore throat, you should have medical attention.

Severe Swelling

The lymph nodes also are responsible for removing cancer cells from your body.  Swelling that does not go away can indicate such conditions as lymphoma, leukemia or a metastasized cancer.  This makes it essential to see a doctor if the condition does not improve.

Infection In Your Body

A swollen lymph node is often a sign of an infection in your body.  Such infections could be related to:

  • an upper respiratory infection
  • mumps
  • measles
  • infected tooth
  • HIV

If you had recent contact with cats, it could indicate an infection caused by cat scratches, especially if accompanied by fever.  In rare cases, the infection might include TB or syphilis.

Swelling With The Lymph Nodes Under The Armpit

Swollen lymph Nodes under the armpit that do not receive proper care can also become abscessed.  If an abscess occurs, your gland will need to be drained by a doctor and the infection treated using antibiotics.  In rare cases, the infection can spread into the bloodstream resulting in sepsis.  This bacterial infection is very serious and can lead to shutdown of organs or death.  If this happens you are normally hospitalized and require IV antibiotics to overcome such serious infections.


While most swollen lymph nodes are not an indicator of a serious medical condition, those that do not go away within two weeks can indicate a serious condition.  The best action if your lymph nodes remain swollen is to see a doctor.  In cases of minor swelling treatment with warm compresses and OTC medication are all that are needed but don’t ignore the swelling if they seem to never get better.


3 thoughts on “Hello Swollen Lymph Nodes… Can You Go Away!

  1. Pingback: How To Identify Lymph Node Cancer? | Lymph Nodes

  2. Pingback: Can Low Vitamin D Cause Swollen Lymph Nodes? | Lymph Nodes

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