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Pauline, Doctor (MD)
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 8631
Experience:  Medical Doctor & Registered Pharmacist. Worked as Community pharmacist for 17 years.
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I have a lump under the skin just above my elbow on my ...

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I have a lump under the skin just above my elbow on my forearm about the size of a quarter. I noticed it yesterday. Since yesterday it has gotten larger (the size of a golf ball) and it hurts to touch it or move it. There is no sign of a bite, or opening in the skin at all???

Optional Information:
Female , Age: 35

Already Tried:
cold & heat

Have you been doing any repetative action with that arm eg sawing/playing tennis, golf etc?

Customer: replied 10 years ago.
Reply to Pauline's Post: No, I worked out yesterday on a machine to biceps but thats it.... Its not my elbow its right below my elbow about 1 inch on my forearm
Customer: replied 10 years ago.
It feels tight and hurts like something is under my skin
There is a condition called bursitis where you get accumulation of fluid under the skin which is released from a 'bursa' on the elbow. This is commonly associated with injury or trauma.
Recommendations are ibuprofen three times daily, ice packs and strapping. Although you may need a steroid injection to resolve the problem. Trying to describe the location is difficult however you may need to show this lump to your pharmacist or doctor to confirm the cause.
I think this is directly related to your activities yesterday. The alternative cause is that you have damaged a ligament, muscle or tendon. Either way anti-inflammatory tablets will help.
Hope this is useful. Please rmember to click accept.
Hope this was helpful.
Customer: replied 10 years ago.
I really did not do anything to injur or pull it... It feels more like a hard lump that has gotten larger and it feels like a tightness under the skin, If you touch it it hurts almost as if you had a pimple or nodule that is inflamed, but I do not see a head or opening on it....
Customer: replied 10 years ago.
If you bend your arm and look down to your elbow, its about 1 inch or 2 before the elbow on the forearm
Is it red or purple in colour, or normal skin colour? Does it feel warmer than the rest of the arm?
Customer: replied 10 years ago.
Reply to Pauline's Post: see other reply
Customer: replied 10 years ago.
Reply to Pauline's Post: Its normal skin color, maybe a little pink because I keep touching it, it is warm to the touch
Customer: replied 10 years ago.
Its warmer then any other part of my arm
Customer: replied 10 years ago.
Its hard to tell about the color my skin tone is very olive.. My family says it looks darker or different then my reg skin tone.. Its very warm to the touch... Thanks for trying to help me...
Customer: replied 10 years ago.
I would hate to go to the er if its something that can wait, but I dont know what it is and its gotten bigger and it hurts... please let me know what you think... I will accept the answer when we are done
Warmth might indicate inflammation response to trauma, or bacterial infection. The fact that the skin is not red reduces the likelihood of bacterial involvement but does not exclude it. I think at this point you may need to have it looked at properly. You will need to make an appointment with your doctor.
In the meantime continue with the anti-inflammtory tablets and use icepacks to try to reduce the swelling.
Customer: replied 10 years ago.
Reply to Pauline's Post: What do you think if there was no trama would cause this??? can you get an infection under your skin with no opening??
Customer: replied 10 years ago.
I do not have ins right now so I do not want to make a trip to the er or dr if it will go away on its own?? How long does it usually take?
Depending on the cause. Bacterial involvement of deep tissue would usually require breakage of the skin or other underlying medical problem with immune system. We can probably rule that out.

If it is accumulated fluid then this will take up to a week to reduce. It is possible to have this fluid build up with repetative strain, it doesn't have to be an accident or injury. Avoid all activities with that arm. Use of a sling might be useful. Tie the sling in such a way that your hand is across the chest and lies on your collar bone. This encourages fluid to drain.

Go to the ER if you develop a temperature or rash, or if you start to have tingling/numbness or reduction in circulation in fingers.
Pauline and 3 other Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 10 years ago.
Reply to Pauline's Post: Thank you Pauline... God Bless :)