Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"What's this bump on my forearm?"
On my forearm, like right where the bend in my arm is, I have a weird little lump on the top. It doesn't hurt, but its kind of hard and I can move it around. Around the size of a dime. Something serious?
This sounds to me like it is a lymph node. Lymph nodes are part of the body's immune system. They are small rubbery collections of tissue that serve as a place where germs can be trapped and attacked by the body's immune cells, called white blood cells. When you have an infection, the lymph nodes in the part of the body that is involved may swell, as white blood cells move in to fight the infection. For example, if you had a cut in a finger, this could cause a lymph node in the bend of your elbow to swell. Generally speaking, if the swelling in the lymph node is due to an infection, gradually the node will get smaller, although this may take several weeks. The worry with swollen lymph nodes is that they can occasionally be a sign of a more serious problem. However, if this is just the one node and you otherwise feel well (no weight loss, no fatigue, no night sweats), there may not be a problem. If the problem is persisting or getting worse, you should talk to your primary care doctor to make sure everything's okay.
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