Medical Q&As

Lump under the arm - treatment?

My boyfriend has a lump under his arm. Itís about the size of a small grape. He says it is very sore and he thinks it is a boil. It moves under the skin and is quite firm to touch. What do you think it is? I went to the chemist and got magnesium sulphate paste. Will this help?

A grape sized lump is a significant size for a swelling under the arm, which leads me to suggest that your boyfriend should see his GP. The lump could be an abscess or it could be due to swollen glands. If the lump were due to an abscess the magnesium sulphate might be helpful. This special paste is a form of poultice, which can help to bring an abscess to a head and sometimes helps it to burst. However, sometimes a poultice can be very uncomfortable on the skin and may not be tolerated for very long. I donít think there is any reason to be worried about your boyfriendís lump but equally I donít think this is a suitable matter for self-treatment. I think he should see his GP.