Pain Under Armpit Left Side
Pain under the left armpit may result from muscle damage or swollen lymph nodes due to an infection, but it can also indicate a more serious problem, such as cancer or angina. The armpit is a complex meeting point for muscles and connective tissues, lymph nodes, and blood vessels.
- As such, many issues in this area can lead to pain.
- Causes range from pulled muscles and mild allergic reactions to more severe issues, such as an underlying infection.
- While many of the causes of left armpit pain are not harmful in the long term, anyone experiencing breathing difficulties and pain in their chest, jaw, or neck should see a doctor immediately.
Causes of left armpit pain include: Share on Pinterest A pulled muscle or an allergic reaction are possible causes of pain under the left armpit. Many muscles around the shoulder and armpit can cause pain if a person injures them. People can pull a muscle when reaching for an object, twisting incorrectly, or overstretching.
- People who exercise regularly, especially those who do weight training, may be more likely to experience muscle pulls and strains.
- In these cases, the pain should go away over time, as long as the individual rests the injured muscle and does gentle stretches.
- If the pain does not go away after about a week, it is best to see a doctor.
Armpits are a frequent location for allergic reactions, which could cause pain under the left armpit or both armpits. Most allergic reactions in this area will occur due to chemicals people apply to their bodies or clothes that touch the armpits. Possible allergens include:
detergentfabric softenersoapdeodorantperfumeshaving creammoisturizing creams or lotions
These products may contain chemicals or perfumes that irritate the skin. A rash may also form. Anyone who suspects that their skin is sensitive to a particular allergen should note the products they used that day and report them to a dermatologist. Allergy testing may help find the irritating product.
Avoiding products with any harsh chemicals or other ingredients can also improve symptoms in these cases. Simple cosmetic procedures, such as shaving or waxing, can also be to blame for pain under the armpit. These hair removal techniques may lead to other issues, such as ingrown hairs, cysts, or general irritation and chafing in the armpit.
A skin infection under the armpit may cause itching and pain. Bacteria thrive in warm, damp environments such as the armpits. An overgrowth of bacteria in this area may lead to an infection, which could cause redness, swelling, and pain, among other symptoms.
Other forms of infection, such as fungal infections due to ringworm or yeast, may also cause similar pain and irritation in the area. Mild skin infections should clear up without treatment if a person keeps the area clean and dry. However, a doctor may recommend antibiotic creams or medications to treat more severe cases.
Hidradenitis is a chronic condition that causes similar symptoms to severe acne, Hidradenitis occurs due to clogged hair follicles and glands. It is common in areas such as the armpits, where the skin rubs together. Hidradenitis can lead to multiple cysts or boils developing in the area.
In addition to these breakouts, the person will likely experience pain and tenderness. Doctors can treat hidradenitis with anti-inflammatory medications. Some cases may require surgery. The varicella zoster virus causes chickenpox and shingles, Breakouts of both illnesses are possible under the armpits, although chickenpox usually begins on the face, back, and chest.
A shingles rash usually develops as a single strip on one side of the face or body, left or right. A person with shingles may also experience:
a fever headaches chillsan upset stomach
A person may feel pain and tingling in the area before the visible rash develops. A doctor may prescribe antiviral medications to speed up the healing process, as well as pain medications to help ease symptoms. Lymph nodes are small, bean shaped bundles of tissue that play a vital role in the immune system.
a single or multiple lumpstendernesspain
If the swelling does not go down after an infection, such as the common cold, goes away, or the person is not feeling any other symptoms, they should speak to a doctor. Psoriasis is an autoimmune condition that leads to an overgrowth of skin cells. The buildup of skin cells forms patches called plaques.
- These plaques can cause symptoms such as itching and pain.
- Psoriasis plaques can form anywhere, including the armpit.
- Some forms of psoriasis are more common in this area, including inverse psoriasis,
- Psoriasis treatment typically includes both topical and oral medications to control symptoms.
- Nerve damage may also cause pain under the armpit.
Nerve damage can be the result of a physical injury, such as one from overuse during sports or from an accident or fall. Nerve damage can feel like:
Certain conditions, such as diabetes, may also lead to nerve damage or neuropathy, The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases note that up to half of people with diabetes have peripheral neuropathy, which is nerve damage. While peripheral neuropathy typically affects the feet and legs, it may also affect the arms in some individuals.
Some people may also experience a feeling similar to indigestion, Angina is a symptom of an underlying heart condition, for example, coronary heart disease, which can lead to a heart attack, There are also many other types of angina. Anyone who suspects they have angina should talk to their doctor.
- In rare cases, pain under the left armpit that does not go away may be a sign of a cancerous growth, including breast cancer,
- Cancer can cause the lymph nodes under the armpit to swell painfully.
- An individual may notice a lump under their arm or in their armpit that causes persistent pain or discomfort.
Underarm pain may also be the result of a specific cancer treatment, such as lymph node removal or mastectomy, Anyone noticing texture changes or lumps in their chest or breast tissue should seek medical attention. Treatment options for cancer will depend on its stage, which refers to how much it has spread.
shortness of breathdizzinesspain in the chest, jaw, or shoulder
A doctor can also diagnose and treat pain from other issues, such as infections or swollen lymph nodes. Pain under the left armpit from sources such as a pulled muscle should go away within about a week in most cases. Anyone who experiences symptoms beyond this time frame should see a doctor for a full diagnosis.
- 1 What causes pain under left armpit and breast?
- 2 Is it normal to have pain under your left breast?
- 3 What infection causes armpit pain?
- 4 How do I know if I have a cyst or a lymph node?
What causes pain under left armpit and breast?
Noncyclic breast pain – Noncyclic breast pain does not follow the pattern of your menstrual cycle and can come on at any time. Instead of the generalized pain felt with cyclic breast pain, noncyclic breast pain is typically sharper and affects a specific area.
Below, we’ll explore the different causes of breast and armpit pain. For each cause, we’ll also call attention to any additional symptoms to be aware of and the possible treatment options. At a minimum, a bra that doesn’t fit well can be uncomfortable or irritating. However, wearing a bra that doesn’t fit properly can also cause breast and armpit pain.
This problem is not uncommon. In fact, some research has found that about 80 percent of women wear an incorrectly sized bra. According to this research, around 70 percent wear bras that are too small, and 10 percent wear a bra that’s too large. In order to find a bra that fits you well, consider having a professional bra fitting.
To do this, look for a retailer that offers bra fitting services, focusing on those that specialize in lingerie. A 2011 study illustrates the benefit of professional bra fittings by comparing professional bra fitting criteria with traditional bra fitting criteria in the United Kingdom. The traditional bra fitting criteria was found to be inaccurate, particularly for people with large breasts.
Mastitis is when breast tissue becomes inflamed or swollen. It most often occurs in breastfeeding people due to a buildup of milk or a bacterial infection. One of the symptoms of mastitis is pain in the affected breast. Depending on the location, this may also spread to the armpit.
swelling or redness of the affected breastbreast skin that feels hot to the toucha firm or hard area in the affected breasta painful or burning sensation when breastfeeding
If mastitis is due to a bacterial infection, you may also have additional symptoms like:
fever or chills fatigue aches and pains swollen lymph nodes malaise, which is a general feeling of weakness or discomfort
Mastitis can be treated by:
using OTC medications like acetaminophen and ibuprofen to ease pain and swellingapplying a warm compress to the affected areadrinking plenty of fluidstaking a course of antibiotics if a bacterial infection is present
If you’re breastfeeding, you can continue to breastfeed as you recover. In fact, breastfeeding and expressing milk from the affected breast may help speed up recovery. It’s also possible that some types of muscle strain may be felt in the area of the breast and armpit. This includes strains to the muscles of your:
If you’re having breast and armpit pain due to a muscle strain, you’ll likely experience a dull, aching pain on the side of your body where you experienced the injury. This pain may become worse when you move your arm, shoulder, or torso. You can use OTC pain medications to alleviate pain and swelling due to muscle strains.
Rest. Try to rest the injured area, avoiding any motions or activities that may cause further irritation. Ice. Apply an ice pack to the affected area several times each day for about 20 minutes at a time. Wrap the ice pack in a towel or cloth. Avoid applying the ice pack directly to your skin. Compression. Wrap a bandage around the injured area to provide support. Elevation. If possible, try to keep the painful area elevated as much as you can.
Lymph nodes are a key part of your lymphatic system. These small, bean-shaped glands help filter waste materials and harmful germs from your body’s tissues. They also carry immune cells that help fight disease and infection. Lymph nodes are found throughout your body, including in your armpits.
Typically, lymph nodes swell in response to an infection, such as mastitis or mono, In rarer cases, they can swell due to cancer or autoimmune disease. When lymph nodes in the armpit swell, it’s called axillary lymphadenopathy, A swollen lymph node in the armpit will appear visibly enlarged and may be tender or painful, particularly when you touch it.
If an infection is the cause, you may also have symptoms like fever, chills, or fatigue. Swollen lymph nodes can be treated by addressing the condition that’s causing them. You can help ease any pain by using OTC medications or applying a warm compress to the affected area.
- Breast cysts are fluid-filled sacs that can develop in your breasts.
- They’re typically round or oval in shape and may feel like a breast lump.
- According to breastcancer.org, it’s estimated that about 25 percent of all breast lumps turn out to be cysts.
- A breast cyst may cause pain or tenderness in or around the breast.
This is particularly true just before you get your period. Breast cysts may also be accompanied by fibrosis, which is when surrounding breast tissue becomes thickened and firm. This is known as fibrocystic changes, Most cysts are benign and don’t require treatment unless they’ve become large or painful.
taking OTC pain medicationsapplying a warm compress to the affected areawearing a comfortable, supportive bra
If you have pain in your left breast and armpit, it’s possible that it could be a symptom of angina. Angina is pain that happens when your heart doesn’t get enough blood. While it’s often felt in the chest, it can also affect other areas, such as your:
Angina pain can feel like tightness, squeezing, or burning. It may also happen in certain situations, such as after physical exertion or when you’re feeling stressed. Other symptoms of angina include:
fatigue or weakness feeling dizzy or lightheaded increased sweating nausea shortness of breath
Angina can be treated with medications, including but not limited to beta-blockers or calcium channel blockers. Your doctor will also recommend lifestyle changes like eating a heart-healthy diet, getting regular exercise, and reducing stress, There are instances when it’s important to seek medical care for breast and armpit pain.
is persistent or doesn’t go away with self-caregets noticeably worse, either in the short- or long-term doesn’t get better with OTC medicationshappens with any of the following symptoms:
a hard lump that can be felt in the area of the breast or armpit
changes to the skin of the breast, such as dimpling or redness
unexplained nipple dischargefever and chillsshortness of breath
There are several causes of pain in the breast and armpit. Some of the most common causes include hormonal changes, an ill-fitting bra, or a muscle strain. Most of the time, breast and armpit pain isn’t serious. You can take steps to treat it at home by taking OTC medications, applying a warm compress, and wearing a supportive bra.
Why does under my armpit ache?
Whether it’s throbbing, aching, or sharp, everyone has been in pain, The uncomfortable sensation is a red flag. Pain in your armpit could mean that you’ve simply strained a muscle, which you can ease with ice and rest. It could also be a sign of more serious conditions, like an infection or breast cancer.
Pain or tenderness, especially after movement that stretches the muscleRedness or bruisingMuscle twitching or spasmSwelling
For mild strains, doctors suggest that you rest the muscle by taking a break from the activity that caused the pain. You can also put ice on the area and take an over-the-counter medicine to ease pain and swelling. Call a doctor if your symptoms get worse or the strain doesn’t heal within a few weeks.
A common cold Strep throat Measles, an infection of the respiratory system that’s easily spreadAn ear infection A tooth infection Mononucleosis, an infection that’s usually spread through bodily fluids like saliva Skin or wound infectionsHuman immunodeficiency virus ( HIV ), the virus that causes AIDS
Less commonly, lymph node infection can be caused by:
Tuberculosis Sexually transmitted infections such as syphilisToxoplasmosis (infection with a parasite that happens when you eat undercooked meat or come into contact with the feces of an infected cat) Cat scratch disease (infection from a bite or scratch from a cat infected with the Bartonella henselae bacteria
Autoimmune conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and lupus can also cause swollen lymph nodes. When your lymph nodes swell, you may also have a runny nose, sore throat, fever, and night sweats, Pain due to infection goes away when the condition causing it gets better. In the meantime, to feel better:
Place a warm, wet washcloth under your armpit.Take over-the-counter pain medicine.Get plenty of rest.
There are other, less common but more serious causes of swollen lymph nodes, including a malignancy or lymphoma, See your doctor if yours:
Appear for no reasonContinue to growDon’t get better after 2 weeksFeel hard or rubbery, or don’t move when you press themCome with a fever, night sweats, or weight loss that you can’t explain
Breast cancer happens when cells in your breast grow uncontrollably. They usually form a tumor. A common symptom of breast cancer is pain and swelling around your armpit. It may come from:
The spread of breast cancer to your lymph nodesLymph nodes themselves
The swelling and pain may come before you feel a lump in your breast, so if things don’t feel right, be sure to see a doctor. There are several treatments for breast cancer that has spread to your lymph nodes. The one you and your medical team will choose depends on the stage and type of cancer : Surgery.
During breast-conserving surgery (called a lumpectomy ), doctors will remove the cancer and leave as much normal breast tissue as possible. They’ll also take out some lymph nodes and healthy tissue. When this type of surgery isn’t an option, doctors will remove your entire breast ( mastectomy ). Radiation therapy,
Doctors use high-energy rays or particles to destroy cancer cells, lower the chance of the cancer coming back, and help you live longer. Chemotherapy and other drugs, Hormone therapy is used after surgery to lower the chance of your breast cancer coming back.
Do cancerous armpit lymph nodes hurt?
What does a cancer lump feel like in the armpit? These lumps tend to be painful, nonmobile and hard to the touch.
What is a weird nerve pain in the armpit?
What now? – In summary: if you have had chest wall or breast surgery or chest wall radiation therapy and are suffering from burning, tingling pain coming from your upper thoracic spine, going into your armpit, upper inner arm, and upper chest wall, you may be experiencing intercostobrachial neuralgia. Dr. Attaman is board certified and Anesthesiology-fellowship trained in the medical subspecialty of Pain Medicine and Interventional Pain Management. He is also residency trained and board certified in the specialty of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.
- Rachel L 10/12/2016 at 2:17 PM – Reply I found your web page very informative. I had a bilateral mastectomy with chemotherapy, radiation, and finally reconstruction. Oncologist tried Gabapentin with no success. I tried acupuncture with no success. Physical Therapy has helped some with the tightness across chest, cording, and lack of range of motion of shoulders.
It has been almost 3 years. Most of the areas around and in between the scars are numb. However, sometimes the chest is so over sensitive that I can’t stand to wear clothes sometimes. The constriction pain can be so tight around the chest and left arm with stress that you feel like you are wrestling with a boa constrictor.
Unexpectedly, you will jump from nerves that feel like biting ants. In addition to the tightness and the bungee cord feeling and ants, there is also the duct tape feeling and now a burning sensation. The burning sensation is on the sternum and under the left breast.
- Like the ants, it comes and go.
- Then there is the phantom stabbing nipple pain and pain that I felt in the left breast before the cancer diagnose in the right breast.
- I have difficulty squeezing a lemon, grating food, or the hand over hand action.
- Pushing overhead, I am still real weak.
- Lately, I started having muscle spasms in the right pectoral muscle especially during hand cross over body.
If I do not exercise, it gets tight and stiff still. Scars on the chest sometimes feel and look like adhesions. They still pull a little with certain activities and exercises. I am at a point where I wish to address the nerve pain again but don’t even know who I should schedule an appointment with in Oklahoma.
Dear RL, Thank you for your kind comments. The type of specialist you need is an Interventional Pain Management specialist. I do not know anybody specifically in Oklahoma. If you cannot find anybody locally, we routinely host interstate and international patients here at my clinic in Seattle. If you would like to schedule a consultation and possible treatment, I am happy to see you. Unfortunately, there are very very few physicians worldwide that treat intercostobrachial neuralgia, or even understand that the condition exists Kind Regards, Dr. Attaman
- Linda H 12/08/2016 at 8:16 AM – Reply I recently fractured a rib, and since then I have been experiencing pain under my arm and it runs into the side of my breast. It is very painful when I lay down, turn over begin to sit up and I tell my husband that it feels like a burning charlie horse or severe cramp.
Hello LH, This could be intercostal neuralgia, or inflammation of the intercostal nerves. You should certainly seek the opinion of your PCP, but a mammogram has nothign to do with rib fractures or rib fracture pain. You should read my blog on intercostal nerve pain here: https://jasonattaman.com/intercostal-block-shingles-pain/ Best, Dr. Attaman
- Sheila K 03/20/2017 at 1:06 PM – Reply I have never had surgery of any kind but have had this pain in my left breast for years. The pain has been increasing to the point that I am often unable to leave the house. Doctors are unable to diagnose me, much less treat me. I am a 62 year old woman.
- Julie S 05/19/2017 at 12:25 AM – Reply I have been diagnosed with small fiber neuropathy in my feet and legs. That was 6 years ago but a few months ago I started getting pulsing burning in my right breast and under upper arm. I’ve had 2 Drs manually check me for lumps and lymph nodes.
I cannot diagnose you over the internet, but the intercostobrachial nerve certainly does course though the area you describe. Best of Luck, Dr. Attaman
- Susan Piatt 11/08/2017 at 7:21 AM – Reply I had pain in my neck, right shoulder, upper back, and right arm. There was coldness in my arm and numbness in my pinky and ring finger. At times, I would have burning and swelling under my arm and pain that, at times radiated to the ribs on my right side. I finally had cervical laser spine surgery because there was a bulging disc at the C6-C7 level and they also lasered some arthritis in the other discs. My arm is so much better, but I still have the burning and swelling in my armpit. It has only been 2 wks since my surgery; do you think this problem will go away in time as I heal more? Or could it be something else that needs addressing?
- Virginia 11/13/2017 at 11:50 AM – Reply This blog is very helpful and gives me hope. I had a lumpectomy and sentinel node biopsy 1 year ago, followed by radiation and chemotherapy. I have had armpit & upper arm pain and hypersensitivity ever since. More recently I have been experiencing sharp pain in my chest, wrapping around to the upper back, in addition to the armpit discomfort.
- My surgeon has said nerve damage from a sentinel node biopsy is rare but here I am.
- I take neurontin only at night; it gives a little bit of relief.
- I also do stretches.
- If no other cause of this pain is found on the chest xray (I will find out the results of that today), I will be seeking a pain management specialist.
Do you happen to know someone in the Denver area who is knowledgeable about this? Thank you so much.
Virginia 11/13/2017 at 1:27 PM – Reply Nothing found on chest xray. Which leads me to think this is nerve-related. Apologies for the detail. Thank you.
- I had a hysterectomy on July 24, 2018, laparoscopic Supra cervical, uterus, both ovaries and tubes. Since surgery I have experienced muscle tightening in the left glute and pelvic muscles and left arm tightening and nerve pain under arm pit into chest wall and down inside of left arm. I have just been diagnosed with pudendal nerve pain and am in physical therapy. Do the two nerve pains go together? Odd that it all happened right after surgery. Would like to hear any advice. In a lot of pain.
- My physio therapist was saying that this is probably the issue with the pain I’ve been having. I’ve had a lot of pain in my shoulder blade and she’s been trying to work on that but in the process we discovered that the pain is reflecting to my shoulder blade because I have no feeling in my underarm due to a mastectomy 4 years ago, chemotherapy, and reconstruction. Today while she was working on my underarm she noticed what we thought might be cording and while she was trying to work that out by massaging it and pulling on my arm, I felt a strong tingling sensation in my arm and that palm of my hand. I will mention this to my oncologist when I see her again in April. Thank you so much for the info. Hopefully we can get rid of this pain somehow
- Alex HOFFMEYER 04/12/2018 at 5:30 PM – Reply Hi! I found this article to be very informative to me as well. A year ago today I was finishing up the last chemotherapy session after I was diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma. I am a male, about 5’11 and 26 years old. Before I was diagnosed I had a surgeon perform a biopsy. I am not sure what it was called. He went in two different ways (very close to each other) right on my upper side under my armpit and followed all the way to the center of my upper chest where the tumor was. After the procedure he mentioned he hit and bruised a bunch of nerves along the way. Since this Biopsy I have had pain or tingling discomfort that sometimes will make me pull over on the side of the road to get out and walk around since its so uncomfortable. I have also found tight clothes to be very uncomfortable since it usually makes me rub my chest repeatedly to try help the irritated nerves (my guess). Although sometimes it is painful, most of the time its just very discomforting. I notice when i get nervous my nerves freak out and go into a panic almost instantly. My doctor has prescribed me multiple anxiety medications to help with this but im not convinced I need to be on these. When I am driving I am fine and not nervous at all, then in a second or two my nerves freaks out to the point where I need to pull over. Overall Im just tired of every doctor telling me this is anxiety and that I need to practice yoga. I have never had problems with anxiety before this and dont understand why I would have anxiety problems after. Do you think what you described above could work for me in anyway? Do my symptoms match anything you may have studied before? If so do you know anybody in the Minnesota area that could help me with this? Thanks! The nerves that do this are in my upper chest and next to my armpit on the front side. Could what you decribed above help me in anyway?
- Sara Hansen 06/19/2019 at 11:12 AM – Reply I am pretty sure I am having intercostobrachial nerve pain in my right armpit. It radiates from the side of my right breast though my armpit to the back of my armpit/scapula area. It is a sharp burning, numbness pain and it has prevented me from working out.
I have had diagnostic tests to rule everything else out and now I need to know how to treat this. My problem is I am having difficulty finding a doctor that understand and knows how to treat this. Do you know anyone in the bay area in Northern California that treats this that you could recommend to me.
I am desperate for this pain to go away so I can work out. Or do you have any suggestions on how I can treat this.
Heidi Snider 11/05/2019 at 12:34 AM – Reply I am at my wit’s end due to the extreme discomfort of the nerve pain under my arms. I have it in both arms but predominately under right arm pit. I have to use a pillow or ice packs as a cushion under the arms or else I have severe tingling in my hands and sometimes shooting pain. At first I thought it may be a lymph node issue because I also have a feeling of swelling on my neck. I think doctors think I’m making up or exaggerating my symptoms because they I’ve had a mammogram m ultrasound and MRI which shows no swollen lymph nodes which would be compressing the nerves. Could what I am experiencing it be intercostobrachial neuralgia? Do you have any ideas of what the neck swelling could be? (Clavicle area) Could it be related?
- Heidi Snider 11/05/2019 at 12:36 AM – Reply I am at my wit’s end due to the extreme discomfort of the nerve pain under my arms. I have it in both arms but predominately under right arm pit. I have to use a pillow or ice packs as a cushion under the arms or else I have severe tingling in my hands and sometimes shooting pain. At first I thought it may be a lymph node issue because I also have a feeling of swelling on my neck. I think doctors think I’m making up or exaggerating my symptoms because they I’ve had a mammogram, ultrasound and MRI which shows no swollen lymph nodes which would be compressing the nerves. Could what I am experiencing i be intercostobrachial neuralgia? Do you have any ideas of what the neck swelling (Clavicle areal) could be? and could it at all be related to under arm swelling? (
- Terri Mategrano 03/09/2023 at 12:39 PM – Reply Is there someone who can perform this diagnosis/treatment in Florida? Specifically Tallahassee or Jacksonville or even Atlanta that you can recommend?
- M.Azzam 06/18/2023 at 6:28 PM – Reply Hello Dr.Attaman, i do have a question, Is being left handed might cause this weird pain in the left armpit, i have it for very long years and nothing relieve it, i did many tests all negative, i have read your description and i believe i do have this type of neuralgia. i would like to visit your clinic but i am from Texas, any branch or suggestion or we have to fly Washington. please advise. thank you M.Azzam
Is it normal to have pain under your left breast?
2. Hiatal hernia – A hiatal hernia is a condition that occurs when the upper part of the stomach pushes through the diaphragm (a muscle that separates the abdomen and the chest) into the chest cavity. When that happens, digestive acid can reflux into the esophagus. Because the stomach is located in the upper-left portion of the body, it’s not uncommon for pain to be felt there. Symptoms
heartburnpain that mimics a heart attackbelchingtrouble swallowinginability to pass gas or stools
Oftentimes there are no symptoms, however. Treatment Medications to neutralize, reduce, or even prevent stomach acid or surgery to reposition the stomach into the abdominal cavity may be advised. Prevention Obesity and smoking up the risk of having a hiatal hernia.
You’ll be advised to quit smoking and lose weight if necessary. Not straining with a bowel movement and limiting the amount of acid-producing foods (spicy foods, tomatoes, chocolate, alcohol, and caffeine) can also help reduce your risk. Any sudden, abnormal, or debilitating pain — left side or otherwise — needs immediate medical attention.
While not an exhaustive list, seek emergency care if you have:
tightness or pressure in the chest, especially if you’ve been diagnosed with heart problems or the pain is accompanied by sweating, nausea, and shortness of breathtrouble breathingan injury to the chestchanges in your stools — either you can’t pass them or they look bloody, oily, or resemble tar pain that doesn’t improve with rest or starts to radiate to other parts of the body
Given the vital organs located there, pain under the left breast isn’t uncommon. In most cases, it’s not a heart attack. But because the pain can be intense and the symptoms worrisome, it’s worth getting them evaluated. In many cases, the conditions can improve with medication and lifestyle adjustments.
What infection causes armpit pain?
Armpit Infections – The armpit’s skin folds and warmth make it a good breeding ground for infection. Many of these are fungal or bacterial. Both local and systemic (bodywide) infections can lead to armpit pain. Some of these cause inflammation in the axilla. Others affect the lymph nodes in the armpit. Fungal Infections Fungal infections common to the armpit include:
- Intertrigo : A type of yeast infection ( candidiasis ), intertrigo usually causes a very red, shiny rash with scaling in areas where skin touches skin.
- Ringworm (tinea corporis) : This may occur anywhere on the body. It often causes an itchy rash in circles that get bigger as it grows.
Bacterial Infections Several common bacterial skin infections may lead to pain in the armpit. They’re often associated with redness or swelling. Erythrasma is a common one. It begins as a pink rash that turns brown and scaly. While often mistaken for a fungal infection, erythrasma is caused by the Corynebacterium minutissimum bacteria. Other infections include:
- Cellulitis : This deep infection causes red, swollen skin. It may cause fever and red streaks moving away from the site. Cellulitis can be a medical emergency.
- Folliculitis : An infection in the hair follicles causes red spots to develop, possibly with a red ring around them.
- Furuncles (boils) : These red bumps filled with pus may quickly get bigger.
- Carbuncles : This cluster of boils may also cause fever and fatigue. Untreated boils may develop into an abscess,
Systemic Infections Body-wide viral infections can cause pain and swelling in the lymph nodes. These can be:
- Viral : Mononucleosis (mono) and HIV/AIDS
- Bacterial : Cat scratch disease, syphilis, tuberculosis
- Parasitic : Toxoplasmosis
Infections in nearby body parts may also drain to the lymph nodes in the axilla. That can cause pain and swelling. These areas include:
- Breast (mastitis)
- Parts of the chest and upper abdomen
How do I know if I have a cyst or a lymph node?
Lump in the neck or throat – A lump in the neck or throat is most likely to be one of the following (although, there are also several other causes):
swollen glands (lymph nodes) – usually a sign of infection, such as a cold or glandular fever (the glands tend to go down when you recover) a cyst – a harmless fluid-filled lump that may disappear on its own without treatment a skin tag – a harmless, knobbly wart-like growth that hangs off the skin and can be left alone a goitre – an abnormal swelling of the thyroid gland in the neck that causes a lump to form in the throat
See your GP for advice if you have a lump in the neck or throat.