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Swollen Glands and Other Lumps Under the Skin - Home Treatment

The following home treatment measures may help you treat a painful lump or swollen gland.

  • Avoid irritation and prevent infection.
    • Do not squeeze, scratch, or pick at the lump. Do not stick a needle in it.
    • Leave the lump exposed to the air whenever possible.
    • Adjust your clothing to avoid rubbing the lump.
  • Apply warm, wet cloths to the painful lump for 20 to 30 minutes, 3 or 4 times a day. If you prefer, you can also use a hot water bottle over a damp towel. The heat and moisture can soothe the lump, increase blood circulation to the area, and speed healing. It can also bring a lump caused by infection to a head (but it may take 5 to 7 days). Be careful not to burn your skin. Do not use water that is warmer than bathwater.

Symptoms to watch for during home treatment

Call your doctor if any of the following occur during home treatment:

  • A lump or swollen gland gets worse or does not go away after 2 weeks of home treatment.
  • A skin infection develops.
  • Symptoms become more severe or frequent.
  • New symptoms develop.
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WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: December 27, 2012
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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