Read below about painful arm bump, including causes and common questions. Or get a personalized analysis of your painful arm bump from our A.I. health assistant. At Buoy, we build tools that help you know what’s wrong right now and how to get the right care.

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7 Potential Painful Arm Bump Causes

Disclaimer: The article does not replace an evaluation by a physician. Information on this page is provided as an information resource only, and is not to be used or relied on for any diagnostic or treatment purposes.

  1. 1.Skin Abscess

    A skin abscess is an infection of the deeper skin that's typically due to bacteria seen on the skin. Recently, infections are more frequently caused by Staph. Aureus (puts the "staph" in "staph infections").

    Good prognosis with treatment

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    pink or red arm bump, painful arm bump, large upper arm bump, marble-sized upper arm bump
    Symptoms that always occur with skin abscess:
    pink or red arm bump
    Symptoms that never occur with skin abscess:
    fever
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  2. 2.Pimple

    Acne, also known as pimples, occurs when hair follicles become clogged with oil & dead skin cells. Acne is extremely common and ranges from mild to severe.

    The severity of the acne dictates treatment-type and duration. With proper treatment, acne should resolve in weeks to months. In some cases, acne is a long-term condition.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    pink or red arm bump, small upper arm bump, painful arm bump, marble-sized upper arm bump
    Symptoms that always occur with pimple:
    pink or red arm bump
    Urgency:
    Self-treatment
  3. 3.Severe Skin Abscess

    A skin abscess is an infection of the deeper skin that's typically due to bacteria seen on the skin. Recently, infections are more frequently caused by Staph. Aureus (puts the "staph" in "staph infections"). If the infection begins to spread, urgent treatment is required.

    92-96% resolve with treatment within 7-10 days

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    fatigue, fever, pink or red arm bump, worsening upper arm redness, painful arm bump
    Symptoms that always occur with severe skin abscess:
    pink or red arm bump
    Urgency:
    Hospital emergency room

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  4. 4.Boil (Furuncle)

    Boils are infections of a hair follicle that creates a small pocket of inflammation full of pus. It's typically caused by a common bacteria called S. Aureus.

    5-10 days

    Rarity:
    Uncommon
    Top Symptoms:
    pink or red arm bump, small upper arm bump, painful arm bump, marble-sized upper arm bump
    Symptoms that always occur with boil (furuncle):
    pink or red arm bump
    Symptoms that never occur with boil (furuncle):
    fever
    Urgency:
    Self-treatment
  5. 5.Dermatofibroma

    Dermatofibroma (superficial benign fibrous histiocytoma) is a common cutaneous nodule of unknown etiology that occurs more often in women. Dermatofibroma frequently develops on the extremities (mostly the lower legs) and is usually asymptomatic, although pruritus and tenderness can be present

    Resolves with treatment

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    upper arm itch, neutral colored upper arm mass, small upper arm bump, painful arm bump, marble-sized upper arm bump
    Urgency:
    Wait and watch
  6. 6.Benign Bony Growth (Osteochondroma)

    An osteochondroma is a non-cancerous growth that usually develops during childhood or adolescence. It is a benign tumor that forms on the surface of a bone near the growth plate.

    Will remain for life if not treated with surgery, but is benign and is not expected to affect life expectancy.

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    lower leg bump, upper leg bump, numbness in one thigh, painful thigh lump, hip bump
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  7. 7.Cherry Angioma

    A cherry angioma is a noncancerous (benign) skin growth made up of blood vessels.

    Indefinite

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    stable upper arm bump, small upper arm bump
    Symptoms that always occur with cherry angioma:
    small upper arm bump, cherry red upper arm mass, stable upper arm bump
    Symptoms that never occur with cherry angioma:
    painful arm bump
    Urgency:
    Wait and watch

Questions Your Doctor May Ask About Painful Arm Bump

  • Q.What color is the bump?
  • Q.Any fever today or during the last week?
  • Q.Are you experiencing a headache?
  • Q.Do you have a rash?

If you've answered yes to one or more of these questions, try our painful arm bump symptom checker to find out more.

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Painful Arm Bump Symptom Checker Statistics

  • People who have experienced painful arm bump have also experienced:

    • 12% Pain in the Upper Arm
    • 3% Fatigue
    • 3% Muscle Aches
  • People who have experienced painful arm bump had symptoms persist for:

    • 34% Over a Month
    • 31% Less Than a Week
    • 16% Less Than a Day
  • People who have experienced painful arm bump were most often matched with:

    • 6% Pimple
    • 5% Skin Abscess
  • Source: Aggregated and anonymized results from visits to the Buoy AI health assistant (check it out by clicking on “Take Quiz”).

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