Swollen lymph nodes


To help with the diagnosis, tests may be performed, such as:

  • Physical examination: The diagnosis of swollen lymph node involves inquiring about one’s medical history, including when and how the swelling occurred, along with any accompanying symptoms. The healthcare provider may examine the swollen lymph nodes to assess their size, tenderness, consistency, matting, and location, as specific diseases may be associated with the location of the swelling within the body.
  • Blood tests: This test assesses the general health and looks for a variety of illnesses, such as leukemia and infections, or rule out any possible underlying medical issues. Depending on the suspected reason, different tests may be required, although a complete blood count (CBC) will probably be one of them.
  • Imaging tests: To identify possible sources of infection or locate tumors, a computed tomography (CT) scan of the afflicted area or a chest X-ray may be helpful.
  • Lymph node biopsy: This procedure involves extracting a sample or the entire lymph node for laboratory analysis. This is often required to confirm the diagnosis.


Treatment for swollen lymph nodes usually varies depending on the root cause. Typically, those linked with viral infections resolve without specific treatment as the illness runs its course, causing the nodes to gradually return to their normal size. However, medication may be recommended for certain infections to facilitate recovery.

To ease soreness and tenderness from swollen lymph nodes, particularly in areas like the armpits, natural remedies can be beneficial. Applying a warm compress can offer relief, and over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen can help manage discomfort.

Treatment options for varying causes include:

  • Infection: For lymph node swelling due to HIV infection, specific treatments for HIV will be provided. If they result from a bacterial infection, antibiotics are commonly prescribed.
  • Immune system disorder: Treatment for the underlying causes is required if the swelling is linked to an immune disorder like lupus or rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Cancer: Surgery, radiation therapy, or chemotherapy, depending on the type of cancer, may be recommended in cases when swollen lymph nodes are caused by cancer.