Swelling of the Neck

Swelling of the Neck: Causes & Treatments

Swelling of the neck can be related to a number of conditions and diseases. In medical terms, the condition is known as lymphadenopathy or cervical lymphadenitis. Swelling of the neck is typically characterized by the enlargement of one or more lymph nodes, located in the neck. This can cause a lump or bump to appear under the skin of one’s neck. While it is typically not a serious condition, it is important to be aware of what may be causing the swelling of the neck and to seek appropriate medical advice and treatments.


The swelling of the neck may be caused by a wide variety of possible underlying conditions, including infection, hormone imbalance, allergies, autoimmune disease, and cancer. Often, the infection is caused by a virus, bacteria, or fungus. Bacterial infections are usually caused by Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus pyogenes, and Haemophilus influenza. Viral infections can be caused by mononucleosis (mono), Epstein-Barr virus, HIV, and cytomegalovirus. Similarly, fungal infections tend to be caused by candida and histoplasmosis. Allergies such as hay fever and food allergies may also cause an allergic reaction or swelling of the neck.


The treatment of swelling of the neck will depend on the underlying cause and the severity of the condition. Treatments may include:

  • Antibiotics: To treat or prevent bacterial infection.
  • Rest: To allow the body to heal itself.
  • Surgery: To remove a lymph node or nodes affected by cancer or to repair damage.
  • Medications: To reduce inflammation, treat allergies, or reduce pain.
  • Corticosteroids: To reduce inflammation and relieve pain.
  • Cryotherapy: To reduce the size of swollen lymph nodes.

It is important to seek prompt medical attention if swelling of the neck persists or worsens. A doctor will be able to properly diagnose an underlying cause and recommend an appropriate treatment.