Random whiteheads and breakouts in strange places
February 22, 2011 12:07 PM   Subscribe

Random body acne after a swollen lymph node - YANAD but does anyone have any idea what is going on?

I had a swollen lymph node under my armpit about 3 weeks ago. It went away within 5 days and everything was normal until I noticed a random whitehead on my upper arm. A few days later, the area under my armpit but above the side of my bra was completely broken out (pic below). The area is not in contact with my bra or with deodorant. I noticed two more random whiteheads today, one on my stomach and one on my forearm.

I have never had body acne before. The things on my arms/stomach were definitely whiteheads, identical to the ones I used to get on my face. The breakout on the side of my chest looks like acne (picture here).

The swollen lymph node might be totally unrelated, but I'm wondering if anyone has ever experience random body acne like this? Could it just be a result of stress (I just started a difficult new semester)?
posted by shoreline to Health & Fitness (7 answers total)
Any chance you could have the chicken pox? Are they painful or itchy?
posted by royalsong at 12:27 PM on February 22, 2011

is it very painful?
I used to get staph infections on my legs sometimes when I was a teen. I don't remember lymph node swelling along with it, but it looked sort of like a patch of whiteheads, but the patch hurt REALLY bad.
posted by aloiv2 at 12:34 PM on February 22, 2011

Could the swelling you felt have been a cyst, or maybe a response to infection you didn't locate? I am thinking that if something burst under the skin, this would be how it would exit. I would use warm compresses to draw out whatever needs to come out.
posted by Riverine at 12:41 PM on February 22, 2011

WebMD has some general information on swollen lymph glands.

The Mayo clinic also has a good general medical reference site.

You could call up your doctor's office, and ask them about it if you are really concerned. Sometimes I will break out if my body has been stressed, and an infection resulting in swollen lymph nodes is a stressor.
posted by annsunny at 1:52 PM on February 22, 2011

Are you tired? That looks like a staph infection I once got (only the breakouts covered my entire body!), and the primary symptom other than the visible rash was that I was exhausted to the point of sleeping around 20 hrs/day. They didn't hurt or itch, and they looked just like that, but I was SO TIRED.

If it is staph and it's serious, you should see a doctor and get some antibiotics. Since your question implies that you're a student, go to the campus health center. They should be able to give you the definite answers that we can't.
posted by dizziest at 3:01 PM on February 22, 2011

Does the breakout on your side hurt or tingle or itch? I ask because I've had shingles outbreaks that resemble that.
posted by crankylex at 3:30 PM on February 22, 2011

Are you taking any medication? Using any new products, detergent? It could be a rash. But with the swollen lymph node and the location of the acne, I'd call a doctor, and ask if you need to visit the office.
posted by theora55 at 3:33 PM on February 22, 2011

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