Inflamed nodes themselves are not a major concern, but if you have symptoms of some other condition along with enlarged lymph nodes, discuss this with your doctor.
Certain conditions warrant a call to your doctor:
- If the swelling of the nodes lasts for more than 2 weeks or you have any symptoms such as weight loss, night sweats, fatigue, or prolonged fever
- If the nodes are hard, fixed to the skin, or are growing rapidly
- If you can feel swelling close to your collarbone or in the lower part of the neck
- If the overlying skin is red and inflamed and you suspect an infection
The diagnosis of swollen nodes rarely requires emergency hospital treatment. The exceptions to this include a growing infection of the skin that requires treatment, a severely infected lymph node that needs to be drained, or severe pain.