Taking Out the Trash: 4 Ways to Drain Your Lymphatic System

eczema and your lymphatic system

by Dr. Amy Duong

Today, I want to bring to attention the importance of the lymphatic system in the body’s ability to detoxify and heal acute and chronic disease, including eczema and other skin afflictions.  I consider the lymphatic system the most important forgotten detoxification system.  It is the body’s garbage can and it’s imperative for those suffering from eczema to help move and drain the lymphatic system for proper nourishment and maintenance of clear skin.

The lymphatic system is the body’s network of lymph vessels, lymph nodes and lymph that are spread throughout your body.  There are about 700 lymph nodes in the body that filter the lymph before it returns to the circulatory system.  Since the skin is the largest organ in the body, the body uses the skin as an elimination organ to rid of internal toxicity, which then manifest as itchy skin afflictions, like eczema.  With eczema there is a concern with the circulation of blood to nourish the skin properly and this can be from lymph that is stagnant under the skin and not moving.

The lymphatic system does not have it’s own pumping mechanism similar to the heart’s electrical system that pumps oxygenated and de-oxygenated blood to and from the cells back to the heart.  Instead, to move and therefore help to drain the lymphatic system, it must be done manually with specific daily practices.

Here are my 4 recommendations to drain the lymphatic system and promote skin healing and detox!


1. Dry Skin Brushing – This is the practice of moving the lymph that is underneath the surface of the skin to return to the major lymphatic ducts and the circulation of the heart.  What you need is a dry bristle brush like this one.  Start this daily routine before showering. Use the brush to go from the farthest body part towards your heart with light, short sweeps to the heart area.  For example, brushing from the hand, up the arm, and around the shoulder to the heart.  This practice also exfoliates the skin of all the dead, flaky cells the also prevent the skin from breathing and proper nourishment.


2. Exercise and Mini Trampoline – Choosing an exercise that is fun and moves the body, which also moves the lymphatic system.  In particular, the use of a mini trampoline and jumping for 5-20 minutes daily moves the lymphatic system and oxygenates all your cells.   For kids, check out this one. Happy jumping!

3. Contrast Showers – As eczema sufferers are fully aware, showers can be a difficult daily routine especially when your eczema is in an acute flare up with open lesions and also making your skin very dry afterwards.  The practice of contrasts showers uses the temperature difference of hot and cold water as a pumping mechanism for your blood vessels as well as your lymphatic system to move, purify and detoxify.  Start by changing the water temperature to as hot as you are tolerate for about 1-3 minutes, then quickly change the water temperature to very cold, as cold as you can tolerate. Continue for about 3 rounds.  You will promote the movement of blood and lymph throughout your body and feel very rejuvenated! Don’t forget to use a natural eczema cream to hydrate the skin afterwards.

photo credit: west-crete.com

photo credit: west-crete.com

4. Lymphatic herbs – In my naturopathic training, we focused on many herbs to help the body heal.  This is known as botanical medicine and there are specific herbs which function to drain the lymphatic system!  Some important lymphatic herbs specific to the skin include galium, phytolacca, and arctium.  Please consult your healthcare provider or naturopathic doctor for more help in choosing the right herbs and combination of herbs for your ailments.


Addressing the lymphatic system along with other naturopathic approaches including diet, leaky gut, microbial balance and stress, have been the key players to addressing eczema for my patients and myself.  By incorporating some of these therapies daily to move lymph through the lymphatic circulation, the trajectory of the eczema greatly changes towards healing.



Please visit Dr. Amy Duong’s website for more information and to work with her through phone or Skype consultations.  Dr. Amy’s patients come from around the world and it’s her passion to help everyone on their path to clear skin.

Click Here for a FREE 15 Minute Consultation with Dr. Amy Duong

amy duong becomes a naturopath after her struggles with eczema

FROM: Eczema


  1. gratefulfoodie on May 5, 2015 at 2:35 pm

    The dry brushing is very attractive! I will try this. It seems invigorating too

    • Jennifer Roberge on May 28, 2015 at 11:44 am

      I hope it works well for your daughter Caroline!

      • Najma on July 2, 2020 at 5:40 pm

        Imy daughter has currently woken up to a very irritated and dry skin underneath her eyes and her whole face due to eczema and her eyes were swollen when she woke up. She only has the eczema on her face and I was wondering if these methods could help her?

  2. tsgillett on May 26, 2015 at 12:29 am

    Great article Amy – thank you. My two year old son has eczema – do you have any specific recommendations for encouraging draining a toddlers lymphatic system?

    • Jennifer Roberge on May 28, 2015 at 11:35 am

      Hi there – If you have any specific questions for Dr. Amy, please contact her here. Thank you.

  3. sailingwithcats on June 24, 2016 at 4:19 pm

    What methods do you recommend for wet wrapping my neck? I see there are no products available like the sleeves and body suits.

    • Jennifer Roberge on July 5, 2016 at 3:28 pm

      Hi there – I’d suggest finding a 100% cotton scarf and using that for best results.

  4. Teresa on July 19, 2016 at 7:21 am

    Manual Lymphatic Drainage from a trained Lymphoedema therapist can also help relieve eczema, with lymphatic drainage it manually reduces the inflammation build up in the lymph nodes and vessels. The effects can be fast, helping reduce itching can clear up wounds and gives the skin time to clear.

  5. Konpal sherazi on January 24, 2018 at 5:58 pm

    I have three kids. 6, 2 and a two month old. My two year old had cradle cap when he was two month old and then he got eczema when he was 3 month old. He still have it and gets bad in winter. Now my new born had same problem. She had cradle cap which is better after using castor oil. But now she got eczema two. She is only two month old doctor thinks it showed up very early. I was really worried bcoz I had bad experience with my son. He use to cry all night bcoz of itch and I was never able to get sleep and he was uncomfortable at day time too. Now I am worried about my new born. I always feel that I might be doing something wrong that’s why all my kids got it. My 6 year old never had it until now this winter she got it too. I am so stressed and feeling helpless. Can you plz tell me what should I do. I am using organic fragrance free laundary soap for new born and coconut oil to moisturizer the skin. I am not using any soap on her. Just plane water to bath her. Nothing is helping. And I am breast feeding. Just one feed of formula to get her use to bottle.

    • Felix’s Mon on December 7, 2023 at 10:07 pm

      Aquaphor is fantastic for eczema in little ones

  6. Amy' on January 31, 2018 at 10:46 am

    Hi Konpal,

    This is Dr. Duong. It may be best to schedule an appointment with your local naturopathic doctor or if you would like to schedule an online consultation, I can be available to help you (www.naturalskindr.com). From clinical experience, coconut oil may not be the best moisturizer for eczema patients. It can also cause more irritation and itchiness.

  7. Liz Cesaletti on November 6, 2021 at 5:37 pm

    Aloha from Hawaii,
    Recently an inflamed blackhead of 15 years on my back got huge and burst, been using a natural drawing salve and it has been draining for about 3 weeks and almost nothing draining now, but about a week ago I broke out with a rash/hives on my neck, chest, upper arms and upper back. Do you think I would benefit from a lymphatic massage? I am taking a natural herbal lymphatic & blood cleanse.
    Please help!
    Thank you for your time,
    Liz C.

Leave a Comment

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This