Axillary Pain


Shoulder | Rheumatology | Axillary Pain (Symptom)


Description

The armpit, commonly known as the axilla or axillary cavity, is an inclined area to develop infections such as boils, rashes and skin infections due to the fact that bacteria can easily flourish in the warm and moist skin folds. Moreover, the skin in this area is thinner and is therefore more sensitive. Pain under the armpit may also be accompanied with changes in the color and texture of the skin. Pain in the armpit may even radiate to the shoulder and the arm.

Causes

Usually axillary pain is caused by some trauma such as shoulder injury, long-term pressure on the nerve or pressure on the nerve from nearby body structures. Soreness in the armpit is usually indicative of a pathogenic infection, but underarm pain could even be caused due to other medical conditions. Pain in the armpit could be something simple like a pulled muscle or pinched nerve. However, it could also indicate a more serious medical condition.

Since the skin in this region is more sensitive, it can easily get affected on coming in contact with harsh substances present in deodorants, antiperspirants or hair removal products. Bacteria can enter through cuts or breaks in the skin and give rise to an infection. Boils or cysts could develop if the skin gets irritated. Hidradenitis suppurativa is another condition that may give rise to boils in the armpit region. The development of boils or cysts is often accompanied by other symptoms such as pain, redness, swelling and burning sensation.

Lymphadenitis or inflammation of lymph nodes in the underarm region could also cause armpit pain. An infection in the breast tissue could also cause pain in the armpit. Women suffering from breast cancer may also develop a painful lump in the armpit.

Diagnosis and Treatment

Treatment for underarm pain depends on the exact cause and severity. Mild pain may go away with time. If underarm pain is related to a muscle strain, home remedies, such as cold compresses, and over-the-counter pain medication may help to treat the pain. In more serious cases, underarm pain may require other treatment, such as physical therapy, surgery, or prescription medications.

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