Q. I have a firm rubbery lump under chin. Is it swollen lymph node?

Answered by
Dr. Sagar Ramesh Makode
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
Published on Jul 16, 2018 and last reviewed on: Jul 24, 2019

Hello doctor,

I am a 30 year old female, 5' 7", 130 lbs. Generally healthy. I have a small, but firm/rubbery lump under my chin near the front of my neck (sort of the curve where neck and chin meet). It is the size of a large pea. I have been ill with a cold this week and also have generally swollen lymph nodes on the sides of my neck as well, which is typical for me. I have not, however, noticed similar swelling to this pea-sized bump in the past as the location and consistency of it seem a little different. I have, however, felt the same spot in the past for a while. It just feels bigger/more firm this time. Since I have always noticed the spot I am assuming it is a lymph node but my question is: Is it normal for a lymph node to gain this type of consistency? Typically mine swell in a more generalized/puffy way without being able to feel a defined lump. I also have chronic chin acne and been dealing with chronic mild wisdom tooth infections. I noticed this spot at a time where my tooth infections, acne, and cold symptoms were flaring up. So, I have been inclined to think it is due to infection. But, because it is a relatively different finding for me, I wanted to check and see if it should warrant further investigation. I have firm "shotty" lymph nodes in my groin that have always been there. This feels a bit more similar to those.

Dr. Sagar Ramesh Makode

Cardiology General Medicine Internal Medicine


Welcome to icliniq.com.

Yes, it is likely related to current infection, either a cold or tooth infection as it is a draining lymph node for both the sites. So, the site may appear unusual to you but it is possible to get enlarged at the site. Consistency may vary with infection, but it should not be stony hard which occurs in malignancies which can be identified very easily.

Also, considering your age and other supporting factors like cold, etc., it is likely a reactive node secondary to infection. Also, groin lymph nodes are palpable in a majority of individuals which usually occurs due to noticed or unnoticed infection in lower limbs, genital in the past. So, it is usually not worrisome. The size of lymph node is usually less than 2 cm in the groin and less than 1 cm in the neck region.

Also, other than size, the course of lymph nodes is important. So, observe it for a week and if not for rapid increase in size and it decreases in size then needs no investigations. If there is rapid enlargement and change in consistency to a hard one, then get a simple FNAC (fine needle aspiration cytology) which I am not expecting in you.

So overall, it seems to be a reactive lymph node and should observe it for a week. Just check the oral cavity once for any obvious unusual lesion.

For more information consult an internal medicine physician online --> https://www.icliniq.com/ask-a-doctor-online/internal-medicine-physician

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