A Hard Knot Under the Arm

Updated on April 30, 2010
S.G. asks from Douglas, AL
13 answers

my 9 yr old has a hard cyst like knot under in her armpit. I took her to the doctor and they mashed on it and got alot of nasty stuff out and put her on antibiotics for 10 days and said that if it didn't go away to bring her back and they would refer me to a surgeon. Has anyone had anything like this happen? They ask if anyone in the family had staff and nobody has so i'm not sure what it could be.

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So What Happened?

After taking the antibiotics the knot has gone down tremendously. I am keeping an eye on it and hopefully it will be gone soon. Thanks for all your advice and input.

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answers from Washington DC on

When I was that age I was lying in bed one night and found a very hard small lump in my arm pit as well. It was about 3mm and round. I expressed it my self and it left a large hole and bled a little. I never told my parents and it did not happen again. I just thought it was a cyst. I hope doesn't come back as well.

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answers from Jacksonville on

It could be the start of her hormones kicking in and a blocked gland/hair follicle. Did she shave with dirty razor? Limit deodorant, use some diluted hydrogen peroxide to clean/prevent infection. Did the doctor check for it being an abscess. My sis had one grow on her neck (odd place) so it's a possibility.

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answers from Las Vegas on

Is it possible that it may have something to do with her lymph nodes? Sometimes lymph nodes can become blocked up when it is clearing out an infection and toxins from the blood stream.

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answers from Killeen on

Well I will tell you and I know people will find this gross but I have gotten these alot in my life time...in my pit and we call them Boils...they are filled with a little blood and yellow puss type...good she is on antibiotics but also get a warm-hot compress (washcloth) and as warm or hot as she can stand it apply it to her boil or cyst type thing and this will help bring the head out kinda like a pimple...they come from ingrown hairs and just sweat and dirt...they will go away but it is painful when popped but the hot compress helps it be not so painful...my mom used to put this she called it horse medicine on us and I kid you not gone the nest day...you heat it up and put it on cover it and vanish...if I can get my mom to tell me I will write again later...my mom has als so he can no longer speak but she is always willing to help another mamma out!

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answers from Birmingham on

It sounds like something my husband has. He's had several large sebaceous cyst removed from his back. He hasn't had them all removed he has them on his chest, neck etc. They can be removed they don't go away and you can empty like your dr's office did. They don't hurt or at least his don't and antibiotics won't make them go away. The description sounds similar to what your child is exhibiting; you may want to see a dermatologist to be sure.

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answers from Saginaw on

I have something like that on the back of my arm. My dr said its a cyst/infected sweat gland. He told me not to worry about it unless it hurt. One day it started to hurt so I went to the dr and they numbed the area, made a small slit and "popped" it like a zit! He said it would come back. This might sound gross but when it did I didnt have insurance so my husband sterilized a new razor blade and "popped" it for me! I have a tiny black spot where it is and I can feel it, it looks like a really big black head! I know gross right! If they wanna refer her to a surgeon its proly just to make sure all the junk is out.....maybe if I ever get insurance they can do that to me so I dont have to deal with it anymore!

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answers from New Orleans on

Staph - short for staphyloccus is a very common type of bacteria. She could have picked it up any where; a toy, door knob, the grocery store- it is literally every where, then scratched her under arm and transfered the bacteria.

The good news is a cyst is the body's way of containing the infection to a localized area. I know many people who get cysts a lot. Most of the time they are cleared up with drainage and antibiotics. The surgeon is a rare nessecity, but depending on how big the area involved is not a difficult recovery.

It will be o.k. :)

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answers from Tulsa on

Sounds like a boil from staph. I had recurring staph infections in my armpits, too, but mine were more like several ingrown hairs. My Dr. had me use spray deoderant, not shave for a few weeks (may not matter for a 9-year-old) and to use a new towel every time I showered. He later gave me Bacitracin ointment to put in my nostrils where staph lives naturally in case it was somehow getting transferred. No one in my family had it either. Seems to have gone away for now... but if it's a knot, you probably want to take her in if it comes back. Sometimes they are resistant, mine was resistant to Clindamycin. Just some ideas, hope this helps.

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answers from New York on

I found the same thing on myself over a year ago. Of course, I'm thinking of something horrible. My doctor said it looks like I knicked myself shaving and irritated a cyst that was there. She said if it was bothersome I should contact a surgeon, but it really wasn't something to worry about unless it becomes infected. It's been a year and it kind of comes and goes, ocassionally there's a slight bit of drainage. I'd just keep a close eye on it.

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answers from Indianapolis on

If it's hard, it's very likely a lymph node that will require a biopsy. Normal lymph nodes are soft and palpable.

As a lymphoma survivor (Hodgkins lymphoma diagnosed 6/2008), I'd highly recommend following your instincts and being diligent.

It's possible it's nothing - 95% of lymph node enlargements are harmless, 5% are concerning. There were no symptoms in my case, just a few small, lymph nodes in my collar bone area which are never a good sign. All other bloodwork, etc. was normal.

Does your daughter have any other symptoms: nausea, fever, night sweats, weight loss? If so, I'd mention them to the pediatrician ASAP.
If you do biopsy, do not get a fine needle aspiration. They're much less accurate than a complete biopsy which isn't a whole lot of fun.

If you want more information on my experiences and my knowledge about the lymphatic system, I'll be happy to share it.

MY BEST ADVICE: Stay off the internet! I pretty much had already diagnosed myself with cancer before I actually was which gave me 4 weeks of extreme anxiety.

Good luck! Hoping it's her body's means of dealing with a rather stubborn infection.

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answers from Little Rock on

everybody has staph on their skin. sometimes a hair follicle can get infected and staph settle in and cause infection. some people call them boyles. they are more commen then you think. the antibiotics should take care of it, but if not, they would probably have to do and i &d (incision and drainage) to get all the infection out. good luck, hope this helped.

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answers from Oklahoma City on

Has she been in a hot tub quite a bit? I knew some young girls that got lumps in their armpits and their mom took them to the dr. Turned out they got infections from too much time in the hot tub.

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answers from Dallas on

Hmm, is it like inside the skin? or on the outside like a zit/or ingrown hair? How big is it?