Lesser-Known Reasons Why the Underarms Hurt

Pain in the underarm area can be caused by a variety of things. The enlargement of lymph nodes (small bean-shaped organs of the lymphatic system which filter the lymph) is one of the most common causes. Sometimes it’s brought about by structures close to your underarms, like muscles and tendons. Armpit pain can also be due to a medical condition a problem with the nerves or glands.

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There are instances when you will need to consult a physician in order to have the cause determined. Treating the underlying cause can help put your pain or discomfort dealt with. Below you will find some of the lesser-known reasons why your armpits are aching:

Acute Allergic Reaction

If the problem is accompanied by redness or swelling localized to the underarms, perhaps the problem is due to one of the personal care products that you are using. It’s not unlikely for soaps, deodorants or antiperspirants to cause skin irritation, causing your armpits to hurt. Immediately discontinue using the product behind the issue.

The Flu or Common Cold

Just like what’s mentioned before, your underarms may hurt if there are enlarged lymph nodes in the area. Lymph nodes tend to swell if you have an upper respiratory tract infection such as the flu and common cold. By having the infection treated, your lymph nodes will eventually shrink, putting an end to that achy underarm experience of yours.


It’s very likely for you to suffer from shingles if you just had chicken pox because the two are caused by the same virus. Having shingles may leave you with painful rash most especially on your torso, including the underarm area. There are pain medications as well as topical analgesic a doctor may prescribe for an individual with shingles.

Heartburn Due to Acid Reflux

Are you often bugged by acid reflux? Then your painful armpits may be due to it, in particular one of its symptoms — heartburn. Heartburn is caused by the backflow of the contents of the stomach and most especially stomach acids into the esophagus, causing a burning sensation in the chest that may also be felt in the armpits.

Pulled Chest Muscles

Your underarms are very much likely to hurt if you have injured or overused your pectoral muscles, the muscles located in your chest. There are plenty of physical activities that may cause these muscles to end up pulled, including certain exercises that are overdone. Allowing the pectoral muscles to heal can put an end to your underarm ordeal.

Degeneration of Connective Tissue

Suffering from armpit pain is very unlikely if your connective tissues are degenerating. For instance, damaged cartilage in the area where your shoulders and arms meet may cause pain or tenderness in the underarms if you move your arms. Your doctor is the one that can provide the right treatment to have the underlying cause managed.

Armpit Cysts

Since your underarms are dark, warm and moist areas, it’s not unlikely for bacteria to multiply in it. The presence of those microbes plus dirt and debris may cause cysts in the armpits to develop. Worry not because they are generally harmless. However, it’s still important for you to see your doctor as the presence of cysts may be an early sign of cancer.


Having diabetes may leave you with underarm pain. Such is due to the fact that the peripheral nerves (nerves situated outside the brain and spinal cord) may eventually get damaged by high blood sugar levels. Damage to the peripheral nerves causes the so-called peripheral neuropathy which causes pain or tingling sensation in the extremities.

Having Hyperthyroidism

An overactive thyroid, a gland located in your neck, is a condition known as hyperthyroidism. Having a bout of this problem may cause the said gland to end up swollen, and this may cause some pain in the nearby areas such as the underarms. To put an end to your armpit pain, it’s important to have your hyperthyroidism treated.

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