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I'm a fit 46 year old woman with a vertical red mark/welt

under my right collarbone. It...
I'm a fit 46 year old woman with a vertical red mark/welt under my right collarbone. It is not painful or noticeably swollen, but has been there for two weeks. It has shrunk from 3-4 inches long to about 2 inches in that time, but has not vanished. It is occasionally mildly itchy (but that could be from having me rubbing at it because I'm so nervous about it). I was not injured in that area. Could this be a lymph node problem? Should I be concerned?
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Answered in 3 minutes by:
10/17/2013
Chris C.
Chris C., Nurse
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 1,091
Experience: Nurse with with 10+ yrs. in wellness care, geriatrics, hospice and acute care.
Verified
Chris C. :

Hello! I will be assisting you today. When exactly did this occur? Is it possible that you got bit in that area?

Customer:

No, I'm pretty sure it's not a bite. I noticed it when I was walking around two weeks ago and felt sore there. I was shocked to see the welt in the mirror. It is vertical, centered under my collarbone.

Chris C. :

It is very likely that this has lymph node involvement but something localized caused this response. As you can see there is quite a large collection of lymph connections in the area you describe.

Chris C. :

Customer:

Anything involved with lymph above a breast seems alarming. But since there is no lump, should I be less concerned or not?

Chris C. :

You had no specific knowledge of exactly when it occurred though correct?

Customer:

Right. No injury or bite that i know of.

Chris C. :

Anything like this is concerning I understand. However, this is localized, not a hard lump, not spreading, or opening up, etc. So while it is a problem it is not a serious one.

Chris C. :

It sounds like an allergic reaction honestly or bite since it has not spread and is actually resolving with any medical intervention.

Chris C. :

Any new perfumes, laundry detergent, etc?

Chris C. :

Anything that may have got on that are and not other parts of the body?

Customer:

Nothing new, no, I'm careful about that. It's been there for two weeks now - how long do you think would be a normal time for it to resolve before I went to a doctor?

Customer:

It has very well-defined edges all around, welt-like. The skin is normal and then boom, red.

Customer:

But definitely no lump underneath.

Chris C. :

The site of say a bite would be very tiny depending on what bit you but the lymph system being right at that area would cause the area to grow following the lymph path as you can see in the diagram I sent. It can take a couple of weeks to resolve.

Chris C. :

Here is the good news.

Chris C. :

It is reducing in area, no hard mass, not severely itchy, and no other symptoms. As long as it continues to improve you should not need to go to the doctor.

Chris C. :

That being said...

Chris C. :

If it grows in size, you get a mass growing, etc. it is time to go to the dr immediately.

Customer:

I'll keep my eye on it then, thank you. Is there anything you'd suggest that would make it heal faster?

Chris C. :

These are often bites caused by anything from a flea in the grass outside or on a pet to bed bugs to mosquitoes, etc.

Chris C. :

The best thing to use would be a hydrcortizone cream that will help with the itching and reduce the area much faster.

Chris C. :

Also

Customer:

I want to cheer up that lymph node as much as possible so I can stop worrying about it.

Chris C. :

You can take Benadryl over the counter if the itching gets severe nut as you describe it you are in the healing stage and it should not progress. It will likely resolve without any visit to the dr.

Chris C. :

I understand.

Chris C. :

but not nut

Customer:

At this point, if the itching suddenly got severe I'd go to the doctor. I just wondered if anything would support the irritated lymph node, even as simple as extra water or whatever. (By the way, thank you for your patience with all this.)

Chris C. :

That's what we are here for. Water is never a bad thing as long as you are not drinking gallons and gallons. You should always drink plenty of water and in additional good general nutrition always helps the body heal faster. A daily vitamin will help support the body and help with healing time. A good jog will increase the heart and stimulate the lymph system which will also reduce healing time. These are all things we should do as regular body maintenance as well not just when we are sick although most of us (myself included) do not do them.

Customer:

Ah, that's good - another motivation to put on my running shoes. Okay, I'm going to worry less and see if this goes away on its own. If not, I suppose another 2 weeks is a reasonable timeframe before I go bug my doctor... unless it is still obviously improving at that time. And if it gets noticeably worse or develops a hard mass I'll go right away. Right?

Chris C. :

Yes that is fine. If it continues to improve it should reduce your concern and not be a reason to consult your doctor. If you still have it in a couple of weeks there may be something that is continuing to cause this reaction and the doctor would need to see you in the office to asses you. Given that it is improve it is unlikely that this will be necessary though. If you get severe itching, trouble breathing, pain at the site, or a mass it is time to seek medical treatment immediately.

Customer:

I feel much better, thank you. This is a great service.

Chris C. :

You are very welcome! Thanks for your question! If you need any more assistance you can always request me directly at: http://www.justanswer.com/medical/expert-c-coleman/

Chris C. :

If you don't mind please rate my service today so I get credit for my time from Just Answer. Thanks again!

Customer:

I definitely will. Thank you!

Chris C.
Chris C., Nurse
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 1,091
Experience: Nurse with with 10+ yrs. in wellness care, geriatrics, hospice and acute care.
Verified
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Chris C.
Chris C.
Chris C., Nurse
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 1,091
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Experience: Nurse with with 10+ yrs. in wellness care, geriatrics, hospice and acute care.

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