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Swollen Glands and Other Lumps Under the Skin (cont.)

Prevention

Wash your hands frequently during cold and cough season. This may help prevent some upper respiratory infections that cause glands to swell.

Measures to decrease your risk of infection

  • Keep your skin clean.
    • Wash with lukewarm water and a mild soap or cleanser. Do not use soaps and skin cleansers that contain irritating substances.
    • Rinse your skin thoroughly after you wash it, and gently pat it dry.
    • Wash soon after participating in activities that cause you to sweat.
  • Do not use skin care products that contain oil, because they may clog your pores. Instead, use water-based skin care products. Read the labels on products, and look for the terms oil-free or hypoallergenic.
  • Do not squeeze, scratch, drain, or puncture a painful lump. Doing this can irritate or inflame the lump, push any existing infection deeper into the skin, or cause severe bleeding.
  • Prevent irritation by wearing soft, cotton clothing or moleskin under sports equipment (if possible). Parts of equipment (such as chin straps) can rub your skin and irritate it. Adjust your clothing so that belts and straps or elastic from bras or underwear do not rub against your skin.

Preparing For Your Appointment

To prepare for your appointment, see the topic Making the Most of Your Appointment.

You can help your doctor diagnose and treat your condition by being prepared to answer the following questions:

  • When did you first notice the lump or swollen gland?
  • Has the lump changed? Has it gotten bigger or smaller? Has the color of the lump changed?
  • Have you had any recent illness or injury?
  • Have you had a similar problem in the past in the same area or a different area?
    • Were your symptoms evaluated?
    • Was there a diagnosis?
    • How was it treated?
  • What home treatment measures have you tried? Did they help?
  • What prescription and nonprescription medicines have you taken or used? Did they help?
  • Do you have any health risks?

eMedicineHealth Medical Reference from Healthwise

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