Acne Woes? It Could Be Your Lymphatic Nodes System

April 10, 2023 by Team Remedy

We’ve all had a pimple or two or many in our lives, but have you ever wondered can swollen lymph nodes cause acne or can pimples cause lymph nodes to swell? This article will explore the fascinating connection between these two seemingly unrelated conditions.

The Lymphatic System: A Quick Primer

Before diving into the nitty-gritty, let’s quickly look at the lymphatic system.

Lymph nodes and their function

Lymph nodes are usually small, bean-shaped structures that filter harmful substances and waste from the lymphatic fluid. They also produce immune cells to fight infections.

Lymphatic vessels, blood vessels, and circulation

The lymphatic system runs parallel to the circulatory system, and lymphatic vessels carry fluid throughout the body.

Role in maintaining overall health

The lymphatic system is a crucial part of the immune system, helping to maintain overall health by removing waste and regulating fluid balance.

Acne: Causes and Triggers

Now, let’s talk about acne, the most common skin condition in the United States.

Dead skin cells, hair follicles, and sebaceous glands

Acne occurs when dead skin cells, hair follicles, and sebaceous glands (oil glands) clog together, forming a plug.

Acne-causing bacteria: Propionibacterium acnes

Propionibacterium acnes is present on our skin and can multiply in clogged pores, leading to inflammation and acne.

Hormonal acne and its prevalence in young people

Hormonal acne is common among young people, as fluctuations in hormone levels can trigger excess oil production.

Other common causes: side effects of medication, underlying health conditions

Acne can also be a side effect of medication or caused by underlying health conditions.

The Connection: Can Pimples Cause Lymph Nodes to Swell?

Now that we understand the basics of acne and the lymphatic system, let’s explore the connection between the two.

Severe acne and cystic acne: a possible link to swollen lymph nodes

Severe acne, particularly cystic acne, can cause inflammation, potentially leading to swollen lymph nodes.

Infected pimples and their impact on the lymphatic system

When a pimple becomes infected, the body’s immune system responds by sending immune cells to the area. In some cases, this can cause nearby lymph nodes to swell.

Examples of bacterial infections leading to swollen lymph nodes: Are staphylococcus aureus, streptococcal infections

Bacterial infections, such as Staphylococcus aureus and streptococcal infections, can lead to swollen lymph nodes.

The Reverse: Can Swollen Lymph Nodes Cause Acne?

While the evidence is limited, there may be some indirect connections between swollen lymph node and acne.

Exploring the possibility

Swollen lymph nodes can indicate a weakened immune system, potentially contributing to acne development.

Indirect connections: weakened immune system, autoimmune diseases, and hormonal imbalances

Conditions that cause swollen lymph nodes, such as autoimmune diseases and hormonal imbalances, may indirectly contribute to acne.

  1. Identifying and Treating Swollen Lymph Nodes and Acne
  2. When to seek medical treatment

Seek medical attention if you have swollen lymph nodes that don’t improve after two weeks, are painful, or are accompanied by other symptoms like fever, night sweats, or unexplained weight loss.

Diagnostic tests: blood tests, MRI scans, CT scans, fine needle aspiration

To identify the cause of swollen lymph nodes, your healthcare provider may order blood tests, MRI scans, CT scans, or perform a fine needle aspiration.

Treatment options for acne: benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, topical treatments, oral antibiotics

Depending on the severity of your acne, treatment options may include benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, topical treatments, or oral antibiotics.

Addressing swollen lymph nodes: medical care, radiation therapy, chemotherapy

Treatment for swollen lymph nodes depends on the underlying cause, which may require medical care, radiation therapy, or chemotherapy.

Prevention and Maintenance

Taking care of your skin and overall health can help prevent acne and reduce the risk of swollen lymph nodes.

Importance of good skincare habits for clear skin

Maintaining a consistent skincare routine, including cleansing, exfoliating, and moisturizing, can help keep your skin clear and healthy.

Lymphatic drainage facials and lymphatic massages

Lymphatic drainage facials and massages stimulate the lymphatic system and promote waste removal, potentially reducing the risk of swollen lymph nodes.

Lifestyle changes: weight loss, hydration, stress management

Implementing healthy lifestyle changes, such as losing weight, staying hydrated, and managing stress, can benefit your skin and overall health.


Understanding the connection between acne and swollen lymph nodes is essential for maintaining healthy skin and overall well-being. If you suspect your acne and swollen lymph nodes may be linked, consult your healthcare provider for a thorough evaluation and appropriate treatment.

Remember, communication is vital. Do not hesitate to contact your doctor to discuss concerns or questions about your skin or lymphatic health.

Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is for informational purposes only and should not be considered medical advice. Always consult with a healthcare professional before making any decisions related to your health.


American Academy of Dermatology Association. (n.d.). Acne. Retrieved from https://www.aad.org/public/diseases/acne

Chikly, B. J. (2005). Manual techniques addressing the lymphatic system: origins and development. Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, 105(10), 457-464 https://jaoa.org/article.aspx?articleid=2093362

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