Swollen Lymph Nodes in Throat

Q: I have an enlarged lymph node and found a lump on my throat gland under my chin recently. It worries me, even though my doctor explained my lymph node was swollen due to a scratch I got on my scalp.
– By Jen


It is quite probable that your lymph node has enlarged due to the scratch you had in your scalp.

Why Do Lymph Nodes Enlarge?

Lymph nodes are a part of the body’s immune system. Whenever there is an infection or injury in some part of our body, lymph nodes draining that area enlarge.

This is an immune response of the body. The swollen nodes help in fighting against the external agent (bacteria or virus).

When you had some trauma in your scalp, the region may have got mildly infected. Now, your scalp does not have lymph nodes of its own.

Where Does the Scalp Drain?

Scalp does not have its own lymph nodes. It drains into the following group of lymph nodes:

  • Nodes around the ears
  • Nodes below the chin
  • Glands below the jaw bone
  • Deeper nodes of the neck
  • Cluster of nodes on the back of the neck

So, the head drains its lymphatics in the neck region, making it very likely that any scalp injury or infection would lead to enlargement of nodes in the neck area.

The enlarged lymph nodes would gradually subside with time. You may notice it reducing in size.

However, if you feel they are hardening or becoming painful, you would require further evaluation.

Take Care,

Buddy M.D.

Medical Advice (Q&As) on “Neck Glands May Enlarge Due to Scalp Injury

  1. Anonymous

    Hey there. I just noticed that there is a tiny little kinda hard thing behind my ear lobe. It is maybe the size of a black peppercorn. Probably smaller and flat. Not round like a peppercorn. I just saw an ENT last Friday and he didn’t say anything about it and he felt my glands all around there. But also I hadn’t noticed it before I went or else you would have asked him. It’s so small my husband could barely feel it. Is this something that is concerning?

    1. Buddy M.D. Post author

      Let us know a little more information about the bump. Is it hard or firm to touch, what is its color? It is movable, or seems to be attached to the underlying structures?

      Is it growing in size, is it painful?

      1. Anonymous

        Hi. I can’t really tell. It feels firm and attached to me but I ended up going to my doctor today and he said it didn’t feel firm like the way worrisome lymph nodes feel. He said it was more firm like a marshmallow and he said he could feel it move. It took him a while to even feel it. He couldn’t find it without me showing him where it was because it is so small. It isn’t red or anything and it is a little sore but I think that’s from me pushing on it so much. Do I need to worry still?

        1. Buddy M.D. Post author

          It doesn’t sound worrisome at all.

          It is good that the bump is movable and not too hard. It may be a cyst or a hardened fatty lump beneath your skin.

          Since it is symptomless, you may leave it as such. There are good chances that it would regress on its own with time.

          Just be watchful. Report to your doctor if it grows in size, hardens up or becomes coarse to touch.

  2. Lisa

    Hi! I have been treated for vaginal yes for some months but the pimples won’t go away for good. I have applied so many creams but it’s not working, is it normal to live with pimples on my vagina. My doctor told me not to worry so much it’s nothing much. Help I can’t think straight. I don’t want those pimples. These pimples are small painful. We try to pop it or just touch them.

    1. Buddy M.D. Post author

      Getting too many pimples down there is not normal. To prevent them from occurring, you need to understand why they occur.

      Accumulation of secretions down there and poor ventilation in the groin area may be the cause. Read here in detail about vaginal pimples.

  3. J Webb

    Hello. Myself and my two girls are all battling a cold. Glassy eyes, stuffy nose, sore throat and ears and so much congestion. I also have a cold sore in my nostril. I went to the doctors a few days ago and she said that she thought it was just a virus but gave me an antibiotic to take if it doesn’t go away. I have some swollen tender lymph nodes in my neck and throat area. Like above where the thyroid gland/ Adam’s apple area is. Is it okay to have swollen lymph nodes like that when you are sick? Swollen lymph nodes really scare me for some reason. I just had my yearly physical and aloof my blood work and tests were completely normal. If it is common, how long does it take for them to go back down to normal? Thanks for your help!

    1. Buddy M.D. Post author

      It is common for lymph nodes to enlarge in states of infections.

      Lymph nodes are like filters or sieves in the body. They are present as a group at various strategic places, like the neck, armpits, groins etc.

      Whenever an infection affects that particular area, lymph node group nearest to the affected area may enlarge. This is a natural immune response and happens in almost of infections.

      however, the enlargement is not perceived in all infections. It may be seen in infections that are severe or those which are for a long time.

      You and your kids need to be under an antibiotic cover. Some antihistamine can be taken to control symptoms.

      Take care of your diet. Eat well for early recovery. Drink plenty of water to keep yourself well hydrated.

  4. matsa R

    Hello, I have had this swollen lymph nodes under my chin, it’s hard and very painful before I felt it move but now it’s just hard not moving and pretty painful. Should I worry?

    1. Buddy M.D. Post author

      Did you have any sore throat, or infection in any tooth in the recent past. If yes, the swollen lymph node may be due to that infection.

      However, it’s better to get this examined by a ENT. Not moving, this is not a good sign.

  5. Nick

    Hello, I recently was bitten by a mosquito on the side of my head about 2 inches from the top of my ear. In result, I developed two swollen lymph nodes behind my ear. It’s about a centimeter wide and the one below is about the size of a rice grain (can’t really see it). I don’t any symptoms but I’m a little worried because they’re a little hard don’t move much at all when I push up or down on them.

    I guess my questions is, when should I be concerned?

    1. Buddy M.D. Post author

      That’s a normal reaction. Nothing to worry. The node are likely to regress on their own with time. This may take a month or two.

      You need to worry if they increase in size or give you pain.

  6. Shannon

    I fell mountain biking and hit my head hard..had a helmet on, but my neck was still over extended. I had pain for a few weeks but it’s all back to normal now. We noticed my neck gland started to swell very soon after. It got quite large and had some heat/irritation feelings in the first couple of weeks. It’s now way down, but I can still see and feel it when I touch it. It’s no longer bothering me in anyway, other then seeing it. It’s been a few months now. I’d read it’s a normal reaction to head/neck injury and that it would likely go away…will it ever go away fully, is it odd that it hasn’t?

    1. Buddy M.D. Post author

      Looks like it is inflamed.

      Common causes include your past injury, any current allergies or any recent pharyngeal infection.


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