Hand Injury Infection Spreading to Armpit Nodes

Q: I’m a male and I’m 17. I wrecked my dirt bike yesterday and I scraped my hand on the road. The next day, I had a red line going from my hand to my arm pit. It has no pain, just the injury on my hand.
– By Timothy Hollingsworth


You need immediate medical attention. Visit your nearest doctor/ health center at the earliest!

The condition you have is medically called lymphangitis.

What is Lymphangitis?

All organs of our body have their own lymphatic systems. This consist of the organ, the lymphatic channels draining it and the group of lymph nodes to which the organ drains.

Lymph is an important fluid, which ultimately drains into the blood. Lymphoid tissues work basically as sieves or filters of blood.

Now, your skin is an organ, which drains into the lymph nodes of the armpit via a few lymphatic channels.

Sometimes, as in acute streptococcal or staphylococcal infections of the skin, the infection may spread from skin to the lymphatic channels.

The infected lymph channels appear as a red line going up towards the armpit.

The infection may further reach the lymph nodes of the arm pit. If delayed, causative bacteria can enter the blood stream from the lymph nodes, leading to a very serious medical condition caused sepsis.

Sepsis is a life-threatening condition. So, you may go to a hospital without any delay.

Read about a similar case here.

Take Care,

Buddy M.D.

Medical Advice (Q&As) on “Red Line Running Up Arm in Lymphangitis

  1. Tan

    My friend smashed her finger in a door last Tuesday. Now it’s a week later and she had so much pressure that she sterilized a needle got it hot and poked a small hole on the back part of the the finger nail;, which immediately started seeping pus relieved the pressure which she says made it feel better. Later about two hours later, she says her finger is throbbing again and there is a red streak running up her am into the arm pit. What do we do?

    1. Buddy M.D. Post author

      Go to the hospital immediately. She needs antibiotics as soon as possible. She may require pus to be drained surgically.

      The red line indicates that the infection is spreading in her body. This can be serious.

  2. Tami

    I have had a cough for a week and really bad smelling urine and peeing more often I have a slight pain in my stomach that never really goes away I’ve been gaining weight and feel so tired now I have a red line running from my back left hip all the way to my shoulder and my lump nods are swollen am I OK?

    1. Buddy M.D. Post author

      Appears to be having an infection. Antibiotics may be needed. See a doctor at the earliest.

  3. Jillian

    I have my belly button pierced and the other day a dog jumped up to my stomach then went back down, pulling my belly ring. It started bleeding a good amount after but didn’t start hurting until the next day. Now I have a faint red line going from my belly button straight down. Is this anything I should have looked at by a doctor?

    1. Buddy M.D. Post author

      Is it still paining? do you have any swelling or redness over the affected area? If yes, you need to see a doctor at the earliest.