The lymph nodes are small nodes that are a vital part of the immune system. In fact, most immune system responses to infections and germs originate in the lymph nodes, causing them to swell. When the lymph nodes in the groin swell quickly and painfully it is usually because they have sustained an injury or have become infected.
An infected lymph node in the groin is usually caused by a viral or bacterial infection. However, often an infected node may have other causes such as allergies, metabolic disease, arthritis, an overactive thyroid and cancer. Lymph nodes in the groin can swell in response to a sexually-transmitted disease. For this reason, a swollen lymph node should be a cause for concern.
A lymph node is considered overly swollen when it is two to three times its normal size. The average lymph node is half an inch in size. The swelling may last for two to four weeks. The node may also seem to be misshapen and may feel hard to the touch. You may also notice that the node seems warm.
You will probably be put on antibiotics or antiviral medications to combat the infection in the node in the groin. Your doctor will also treat whatever has caused the infection at the same time as treating the infection itself. If the cause is a larger bacterial or viral infection, the medication that treats the infected lymph nodes may also treat the wider infection that has caused them. If the infection has been caused by an STD, the medications used to treat the infection may react with the infected lymph node medication, a problem that you should discuss with your doctor.
Do not try to try to squeeze the nodes under any circumstances. This may cause the nodes to become misshapen when the infection has been cleared. The infection may cause your appetite to lessen. Despite this, try to eat as a healthy diet can boost your immune system and help it fight the infection in the lymph nodes. Do not take aspirin to relieve pain. Aspirin may cause you to develop Reye's syndrome, a serious condition that affects the brain and the liver.
Always consult your doctor if you experience swelling and pain in the groin, as this could be caused by a more serious problem than a bacterial or viral infection, such as an STD. Also consult your doctor if the swelling exceeds two centimetres, or if the lymph nodes are red and tender.