When you feel under the weather and go to see the doctor, he would probably feel your neck and behind your ears to find out what’s really going down with your body. What he is doing is finding out if your lymph nodes are swollen, because that is usually one of the first signs you are fighting an infection.
Well then, what role exactly do your lymph nodes play and how is your lymphatic system related to acne, if at all? You are probably well versed in what your circulatory system, digestive system, nervous system and muscular system do, but do you know the role of your lymphatic system? What does lymph do, exactly?
A Quick Lesson In Lymph
Your lymphatic system is another word for your immune system, period. It consists of a network of lymphatic vessels that carry lymph, a clear fluid containing nutrients, white blood cells and toxins, from your cells and tissues to the blood vessels for transport and detoxification in the liver and kidneys. The lymphatic system also comprises your lymph nodes, spleen, thymus, tonsils and adenoids.
What does your lymphatic system do essentially, and how does improving your lymphatic circulation help improve your acne?
Time for a Detox
Well, in essence, you need your lymphatic system to help remove toxins from your body, starting with your cells. If your lymphatic system is not working at its best, the toxins in your body would not be able to be eliminated via your kidneys and liver. You certainly do not want them trapped in and hanging around your cells and tissues, which will then affect your cellular functions and reactions… No, thank you very much.
Immune System Regulator
Your lymphatic glands and organs like your lymph nodes and spleen are responsible for detecting any pathogens in your lymph that need to be destroyed by white blood cells. This explains why your lymph nodes become swollen when you are fighting off a viral or bacterial infection in your body, because they act as filters that trap viruses and bacteria before they ravage other parts of your body.
Nervous & Hormonal System
Did you know that your nervous system picks up on the toxicity of your lymph fluid, and sometimes the reason behind mood disorders and autoimmune diseases is due to your lymph being out of whack? That certainly means you have to start paying heed to the health of your lymphatic system because it is also what transports your progesterone hormone around your body.
Acne & Your Lymphatic System
As we have just mentioned, your hormonal system is linked to the functioning of your lymphatic system. If you have an imbalance in progesterone and oestrogen levels, with the former being unable to reach parts of your body that require it, you may experience hormonal acne as a result of progesterone deficiency.
Besides this, if your lymphatic circulation is not efficient, your lymph fluid could pool in the lymph nodes around your neck, jaw and ear areas, leading to breakouts along your jawline and around your ears and neck.
Here are some tips you can put into action to kickstart your sluggish lymphatic circulation and prevent it from being the cause of your acne:
There is a reason why lymphatic massage techniques are being employed by beauticians and aestheticians, in conjunction with beneficial products, to improve acne. Very often, when the skin is inflamed with papules or pustules, it is impossible to perform any other massage without over-stimulating skin. Improving lymphatic flow by a lymphatic drainage massage will relax the skin, allowing white blood cells and lymph nodes to remove toxins, reduce inflammation and clear acne. You can even do it at home, adding it to your skincare routine at night, when you apply your nightly facial serum.
Release Tension in Your Jaw
Sometimes the tension in your body could be focused in your jaw, which shows up as a clenched jaw or teeth grinding when you sleep. If this happens, your lymph nodes can be placed under pressure, preventing lymph drainage from the face. The lymph can stagnate there and cause acne to form on the face. Be aware of the tension you feel by allowing the muscles in your jaw to relax, especially during times of high stress during your day.
Move Your Body
Unlike the circulatory system which has the heart to pump blood around, the lymphatic system relies on muscles to move lymph fluid throughout the body. When you engage in regular exercise, it stimulates your lymphatic circulation and the flow of your lymph fluid.
To ensure your lymphatic circulation is functioning at its best, you should be drinking a lot of water — at least eight glasses a day. This will prevent your lymph fluid from being too thick, which would impede its flow. We already know that stagnating lymph promotes acne, so be sure to drink up to save your skin!