Pain Under Left Armpit Female

Contact dermatitis will typically subside if you stop using products that trigger your allergic response. Anti-itch treatments like hydrocortisone cream, as well as antihistamines, may help reduce the initial inflammation.

What’s Causing My Armpit Pain?

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Pain in one or both of your armpits can be caused by many things, including muscle strain, contact dermatitis, shingles, or, in some cases, cancer. Finding the cause can be crucial to avoid complications.

Keep reading to learn more about the possible causes and treatments for your pain.

Armpit pain can occur for many different reasons. Causes of armpit pain can range from minor issues, like skin irritation from shaving and muscle pulls, to serious conditions like breast cancer.

Your armpit pain could be the result of something temporary, or it could be a warning sign for a more serious condition.

These are some of the common causes for armpit pain:

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Muscle strain

There are several muscles of the chest and arms that could cause armpit pain from overuse or injury.

The pectoralis major is a large chest muscle that runs up into the shoulder. It can be injured by playing sports or lifting weights.

The coracobrachialis is a muscle in the upper arm that you can also strain during sports, like baseball or tennis.

If you sprain any of these or other muscles of the chest or upper arm, you could feel the pain in the armpit.

Swollen lymph nodes

Your lymphatic system is a network of nodes or glands found throughout the body. These nodes produce a fluid that helps fight infections.

There’s a concentration of lymph nodes near the armpit on both sides of the body, and if these swell, they may cause pain in your armpits.

Causes of swollen lymph nodes include:

  • Cold or flu: Your lymph nodes may become swollen and tender if you have a cold or the flu.
  • Lymphedema:Lymphedema occurs when there’s a blockage in a lymph node, and the fluid inside builds up. This swelling can be very painful.
  • Lymphadenopathy. This also causes the lymph nodes to enlarge. It’s the result of an infection of the lymphatic system called lymphadenitis.

Breast cancer

Breast cancer is often painless in its early stages, but it may cause swelling in your armpit, breast, or collarbone. If you notice pain or feel a lump at these sites, make an appointment with your doctor.

The cause of the discomfort may be a benign growth and not something to worry about, but it’s always safest to check with a medical professional.

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Contact dermatitis

Certain deodorants or laundry detergents can trigger an allergic reaction in your armpits. That can cause contact dermatitis, a type of rash.

Contact dermatitis will typically subside if you stop using products that trigger your allergic response. Anti-itch treatments like hydrocortisone cream, as well as antihistamines, may help reduce the initial inflammation.

Hidradenitis suppurativa

Hidradenitis suppurativa looks like acne under your arms. But this is a more serious problem that can cause scarring. This condition typically affects places where the skin rubs together, like the armpits.

Hidradenitis suppurativa can cause boil-like lumps on the skin, which may secrete blood or pus. Doctors will typically recommend antibiotics and anti-inflammatories to treat the condition.


Shingles is another skin-related condition that can cause armpit pain.

It’s an infection spread by the varicella-zoster virus. Shingles causes a scaly, uncomfortable rash that usually appears on your back, chest, or under your arms. The virus can also cause a burning or tingling sensation.

Peripheral artery disease (PAD)

PAD is a narrowing of the smaller arteries in the arms and legs. That causes less oxygenated blood to reach the muscles and tissue of your limbs.

Oxygen-starved muscles hurt. If you have PAD in one or both arms, you might feel that pain in your armpit.

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Alex Koliada, PhD

Alex Koliada, PhD

Alex Koliada, PhD, is a well-known doctor. He is famous for his studies of ageing, genetics and other medical conditions. He works at the Institute of Food Biotechnology and Genomics NAS of Ukraine. His scientific researches are printed by the most reputable international magazines. Some of his works are: Differences in the gut Firmicutes to Bacteroidetes ratio across age groups in healthy Ukrainian population []; Mating status affects Drosophila lifespan, metabolism and antioxidant system [Science Direct]; Anise Hyssop Agastache foeniculum Increases Lifespan, Stress Resistance, and Metabolism by Affecting Free Radical Processes in Drosophila [Frontiersin].
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