Hard Pea-sized lump on side of neck
by Jermany123, Aug 26, 2008
I have a lump on the side of my neck, underneath the skin... its not really visible, but you can feel it when you move your finger across it. It appears to perhaps be attached to a vein. It is about an inch below the back of my hairline on the right side of my neck. the lump is very hard and the size of a pea or a beebee (sp?).

I noticed this first two days ago not long after getting a particularly large insect bite about an inch or two from the spot. I'm not sure if these two are related. I've tried to rub it out, thinking it was just a tiny tense muscle knot or something, but it isnt going anywhere.

The lump isnt particularly painful, but the right side of my neck feels slightly odd. It isn't warm and it does not move at all. It is very firm.

I know this is probably crazy, but someone joked and said that maybe a bug laid an egg beneath my skin?! Naturally, I am now more paranoid.

Please help! I am out of town and without a car, so going to the doctor is a bit of a challenge.
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Member Comments (3)
by Bhupinder Kaur, MDBlank, Aug 27, 2008

This swelling can be a swollen lymph node. Lymph nodes are small (1-2cm) and bean-shaped nodes.Lymphadenopathy (swollen lymph nodes) is usually caused by a viral or bacterial infection.Allergic reaction can also cause swollen lymph nodes.

When an insect bites,venom is injected in the skin. Their venoms contain a wide array of amines, peptides,histamine and enzymes that cause local and systemic reactions.Swollen lymph node results as a mechanism of protection against the insect bite.

Apply cool compresses or ice on the site.You can take over the counter antihistaminic like benadryl or Claritin. If there is any pain involved,then pls take over the counter pain reliever like Ibuprofen(advil).Severe cases may need oral steroids.Also check your tetanus booster dose.If it is more than 10 years since the last tetanus booster,then pls get a tetanus toxoid shot.Usually the swelling goes on its own within days,but sometimes it may take weeks or months for complete resolution.

If the symptoms worsen then pls consult a physician to rule out other causes of neck swellings like thyroid nodule or a tumor.

Take care and pls do keep us posted on how you are doing.

by Jermany123, Aug 28, 2008
Thank you for the information. I was fortunately able to see a doctor, and they confirmed that it was indeed just a common swollen lymph node fighting an infection from the insect bite.

They told me there was nothing to worry about unless it got bigger or started to show signs of oozing.

But there isn't really any pain... its just there... so nothing to worry about. Thank you for your timely response.
by albysmom, Aug 29, 2008
I have the exact same thing and am really nervous about it. I noticed a bump on the back of my neck 2 days ago, right on top of my spine around lunch time. It kind of hurt/ kind of itched. Then at dinner I noticed another lump on the side of my neck, about 2 inches to the right of it. This one doesn't hurt or itch and it feels like it is attached to a vein as well. My husband said the first one looks like a bug bite (and my daughter has several on her legs that look similar) and the other one feels like a bump in my vein or a swollen lymph node. After reading your description I feel much better. I was diagnosed with very early melanoma in May and am overly sensitive about any unknown things on my body. I just had a chest x-ray and blood tests done in June, 2 months ago, and all was fine. I guess I'll wait a week or so and hopefully it goes down. I don't want to run to the doctor with every little bump, but I don't want to regret not going either. Thank you for your post.