The groin area is located in the region where the upper legs meet the lower abdomen. It is a main terminal of lymph nodes. In most cases, a painful lump in groin will be due to swelling of the lymph nodes.
Lymph nodes play a very crucial role in the body’s natural defense mechanism. In the advent of an infection or disease, the lymph nodes usually swell, since they are actively involved in filtering microbial agents from the blood.
Several other factors can cause lumps in the groin region. It is very important to know the difference between harmful and harmless lumps. This is important because lumps are often the first signs of malignancy. .
Common causes of lump in groin area
A lump in groin area can be caused by any of the following:
Swollen lymph nodes
This is by far the most common cause of a painful lump in the groin. If you are to touch your groin, you will feel a pea-sized lump that moves when touched. Both groin regions have these tiny bumps. When swollen, lymph nodes are painful when touched. Swelling doesn’t necessarily indicate an infection in the nodes themselves. Rather, it is a sign that an infection has been sustained nearby the region or in the body. A lump in throat when swallowing can also be caused by swollen lymph nodes.
Bacterial and viral infections are responsible for quite a number of lumps occurring in the groin region. Such include boils, abscesses, folliculitis, herpes, measles and such. Lumps due to infections are often red and sore.
Cysts are responsible for most cases of hard lumps in and around the groin region. They basically form when sebum gets trapped inside hair follicles. Cysts are harmless and painless. They can however get quite painful if irritated. A good number of lumps on top of the head are caused by cysts.
Hernias are defects that occur when a weakness in the skin allows an internal organ to push outwards. It is very common for a hernia to cause a lump in groin area. An inguinal hernia mostly causes a lump in the groin area of males while a femoral hernia is mostly responsible for a lump in the groin area of females.
Lipoma is a condition used to describe formation of fat deposits under the skin. This leads to formation of soft, rubbery and movable lumps under the skin. Lipoma is harmless.
Cancer of the lymphatic system may be responsible for occurrence of lumps in the groin region. In most cases, cancerous lumps are hard and not painful. This is however not always the case. Cancerous breast lumps for example can feel soft and round.
Injuries and trauma
Injuries sustained on the skin usually lead to formation of lumps on the skin. This includes allergic reactions to foods or drugs.
Symptoms of lump in groin area
Symptoms will in a big way point you to the right direction in regards to finding the actual cause or type of the lump you may be dealing with. Here are the common symptoms for groin lumps:
Presence of hard and painful lumps in the groin region mostly indicates swollen lymph nodes. The swelling can occur on either or both groin regions.
Infections are often accompanied by other symptoms such as fever, chills, fatigue, cough, sore throat or rash. The actual cause of the infection will determine which other symptoms will occur.
The lump may be itchy, red, sore and swollen. This is a symptom of a bacterial infection. If a lump on groin is accompanied by these symptoms, it is likely caused by a boil or an abscess.
Lumps due to cysts are generally hard and painless. They occur much closer to the surface of the skin compared to lipoma lumps. Cysts may become painful if continuously irritated.
A soft lump that moves when touched is likely due to lipoma. In some cases, lipoma lumps are surrounded by other similar but smaller lumps.
If the lump is soft and tends to go away while lying down, it could be due to a hernia. Hernia lumps may occur naturally or after surgery.
Injuries and allergic reactions are likely to cause lumps that will be accompanied by itchiness and swelling.
A hard lump that feels firmly fixed to tissue can be due to cancer. Cancer lumps tend to be painless, mostly in their initial stages. Another giveaway symptom of cancerous lumps is tendency to keep increasing in size with time. You may also notice a lump under armpit that is painful. This will indicate that the cancer is spreading.
Always keep track of the progress of symptoms. If a lump is not causing any discomfort, pain or signs of diseases, it can be left alone. In another scenario, if a lump is to prompt signs of diseases such as general weakness, voice hoarseness, vomiting, headaches, weight loss, fever and such, it should be addressed by a doctor immediately.
Diagnosis for a lump in groin region
A doctor may only require to physically examine the lump. This works for lumps due to boils or skin infections.
Ultrasound machines can be used to scan the size of the lump. This is common in diagnosis for lipoma. Ultrasound will help differentiate lipoma lumps from cancerous ones. The same test is likely to be used in case of lump in groin due to hernia. Ultrasound pictures will reveal the type of hernia that is producing the lump. In fact, an ultrasound will be helpful in very many ways. It can also tell if a lump is due to a cyst or not. In men, a small lump on the testicle can be diagnosed with ultrasound.
Your doctor may need to perform a blood test in case of an infection. Blood tests help diagnose lumps resulting from swollen lymph nodes. This is mostly in case the actual infection has not been identified as of yet.
X-rays can be used to check if lumps in groin region are due to cancer. If doubts still exist, your doctor will likely decide on a biopsy. A biopsy is a test that involves a small part of the skin being scanned in the lab for presence of malignant cells. Biopsies are perhaps the most accurate tests for cancerous tumors.
Treatment for lump in groin area
Depending on how large it is, the causes and severity, a number of treatment options can be considered for a lump in the groin area. They include:
Different forms of surgery can be performed on lumps in the groin area. A cyst can for example be drained in a minor surgery. Lipoma lumps can be removed through incision. Hernia lumps can be rectified by moving the rogue tissue back to its place. Cancer lumps will require complex surgical removal methods.
Painkillers and antihistamines
Painkillers are valuable treatment options for painful lumps in the groin. Antihistamines will only be necessary if the lumps are due to allergic reactions or are itchy.
Antibiotics are drugs used to control bacterial infections. They are very important in treatment of lumps caused or worsened by skin infections such as boils and abscesses.
How to cure lump in groin region at home
If a lump in the groin region is not showing any signs of malignancy, it can be treated or managed at home. This doesn’t, however, include lumps caused by hernias or other medical defects. Home treatment cure options include:
Soak a fine piece of cloth or towel in hot water. Wring it out appropriately to get rid of excess water. Compress it on the swollen groin region and hold it for about 10 minutes. This treatment reduces inflammation, eases pain and draws pus in cysts and boils towards the surface.
Dilute apple cider vinegar with water. Wet a cotton ball with the solution and dab it on the affected regions. Apple cider vinegar will fight off bacterial infections. It is also an anti-inflammatory remedy.
Try applying a paste made from turmeric and honey on the affected region. Turmeric is long known for its anti-inflammatory properties. It also reduces pain associated with the swollen groin region. Honey is an antibacterial.
Add a bit of salt to water to make a not too hostile solution. Use the solution on swollen lymph nodes. If you are experiencing a painful small lump under the chin or in throat, gargle the salt water.
For skin infections that are causing the skin to be red and sore, try massaging it with aloe Vera gel. Aloe Vera soothes irritated skin and fights bacteria.
Add a bit of garlic in your menu. Garlic is known to reduce inflammations. It is in fact listed among the best foods that fight cancer.
If treatment at home is not proving effective, get medical help. In some cases, lumps on the skin can be indications of serious underlying conditions. It is only by treating the conditions that the lumps will go away.