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Lymphadenopathy is swelling of your lymph nodes. Lymph nodes are small organs that are part of your immune system. The lymph nodes are found throughout your body. They are most easily felt in your neck, under your arms, and near your groin. Lymphadenopathy can occur in one or more areas of your body. It is usually caused by an infection.


Return to the emergency department if:

  • The swollen lymph nodes bleed.
  • You have swollen lymph nodes in your neck that affect your breathing or swallowing.

Contact your healthcare provider if:

  • You have a fever.
  • You have a new swollen and painful lymph node.
  • You have a skin rash.
  • Your lymph node remains swollen or painful, or it gets bigger.
  • Your lymph node has red streaks around it, or the skin around the lymph node is red.
  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.

Follow up with your healthcare provider as directed:

Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.


  • Do not poke or squeeze the swollen lymph nodes.
  • Apply heat to the swollen glands. You may use warm compresses, or an electric heating pad set on low.
  • Rest as needed. If you have a fever, rest until your temperature returns to normal. Return to your normal daily activities slowly after your fever is gone.

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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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