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Lump under chin is unsightly and can mar an otherwise luminous skin. Unlike small bumps, a lump is large enough to be noticed easily by others, which may cause social isolation. So, in order to get rid of this social phobia and restore beauty of the skin, diagnosing the underlying cause is crucial and without any further delay one should take the necessary treatment.

Causes

Injury
Swollen lump under chin is often the result of an injury. A violent blow to the chin during a fight or an accident can cause severe inflammation, which may appear as lump under the chin.

Sebaceous Cysts
Sebaceous cysts is a small bump that appears just below the skin. Also, referred to as epidermoid cyst, it is a pea-sized lump under chin and contains oily matter, known as sebum. The sebaceous glands that lie below the skin, produce sebum (an oily substance) that prevents the skin from becoming dry. Our skin is made up of innumerable pores through which the sebum is released, which helps to promote smooth skin. When some of these pores get blocked, the sebum that is being produced gets accumulated under that area of the skin, eventually causing a lump under skin. If a secondary bacterial infection develops inside the lump, this bumpy structure may turn red and become a cause of great discomfort.

Swollen Lymph Nodes
A mysterious lump below the chin could well mean that the lymph nodes are inflamed. As we all know, lymph nodes considered to be an integral part of the immune system, are small ball-shaped glandular organs that do an excellent job of destroying harmful microbes. White blood cells are primarily found in the lymph nodes that trap and destroy the bacteria and the viruses. It is observed that the lymph nodes are situated below the arms, chin and in many other parts of the body including the chest. However, during an infection when there is too much presence of pathogens, the lymph nodes appear swollen. An enlarged lymph node at the site of chin is visible as a lump under chin and is painful to touch. The patient may also develop fever, which is indicating a viral or a bacterial infection.

Goiter
A lump that has developed below the chin and is on one side of neck may indicate a goiter, a condition that is typically marked by inflammation of thyroid gland. The thyroid is a butterfly shaped gland located in the neck area. Apart from swelling below the jawline, goiter may bring hoarseness in voice and cause cough and trouble swallowing. Goiter may also exert excessive pressure on the windpipe, causing breathing problems.

Swollen Hair Follicles
A hair follicle is a small pouch like structure, just below the skin, through which a hair strand emerges. The sebaceous glands that produce sebum are attached to the hair follicles. Each pore on the epidermis (the outermost layer of the skin) is a spot from where the hair strands are seen emerging out of the skin. The sebum thus produced makes its way through the hair follicles to make contact with the superficial skin. However, the hair follicles can get inflamed when sebum is being produced excessively. A bacterial infection in the hair follicles can also cause inflammation of these sac like structures. The swollen hair follicles, a condition referred to as folliculitis can block the passage of sebum and prevent it from reaching the surface of the skin. The build up of sebum underneath the skin will eventually lead to formation of lumps.

Inappropriate shaving methods can also damage the hair follicles and cause folliculitis, which may lead to formation of lump. Usually, small bumps, often referred to razor bumps occur after shaving. However, sometimes a small bump may grow bigger to form a lump.

Skin Cancer
Sore lump under chin that doesn't respond to standard treatment may indicate malignancy. The sore lump that shows resistance against antibiotics and other medications, bleeds easily. Over time, the lump turns into an ulcer that does not go away, even after taking the prescribed treatment.

Warts
Warts are skin growths that are a result of viral infection. Although these bumps trigger an itchy sensation, they are harmless and are commonly seen in children. These cauliflower-shaped bumps are hard and have a rough surface. When the skin comes in contact with the virus, the cells lying on the top most layer of the skin, multiply indiscriminately, which eventually causes the formation of dome-shaped bumps ranging in diameter between 0.5 cm and 1 cm.

Moles
Although everyone has skin moles on their body in the form of black spots, they usually go unnoticed due to their small size. However, in few cases, moles are found to be abnormally large and appear as brown or black colored lumps.

Abscess
A painful lump sitting below the chin due to abscess (boils) means a bacterial infection has invaded the affected area. The bacteria cause the formation of pus in the abscess. The affected area appears warm, tender and swollen, but with proper treatment, the abscess may go away within a few days.

Getting Rid of Lumps

Treatment for this skin growth under the chin depends upon the underlying cause. Lump under chin occurring from a bacterial infection will be treated with antibiotics. The doctor may prescribe antibiotic creams but in case of severe infection, the patient may be put on oral dosage of antibiotics. In order to ease the pain, taking OTC painkillers such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) in small doses might also be helpful. Anti-inflammatory medications like ibuprofen may also help to relieve the discomfort. Moving an ice pack in a circular fashion can also assist to reduce inflammation associated with injuries.

In case of sebaceous cysts, corticosteroid injections might be administered to subside the inflammation. In most cases, a minor surgery is performed, in which entire cyst is removed. Surgical removal of sebaceous glands does help to prevent its recurrence.

Warts are treated by freezing the skin growth using liquid nitrogen. Sometimes a medication known as Bleomycin is directly administered into the wart through injections to destroy the virus. Infections like abscess are generally treated with oral antibiotics, but in few cases the doctor may puncture the abscess with a needle to remove the pus. All this is done under local anesthesia that temporarily makes the area insensitive.

Moles are rarely a cause for concern but a large mole under chin may require medical attention to rule out cancerous growth. If diagnostic tests reveal presence of cancer cells, surgical instruments like scalpel may be used to remove the mole. Chemotherapy may also be used in case the cancer has spread from its original site.

Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a medical expert.