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Is baby acne and/or baby milia a leading indicator of a food sensitivity?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created October 08, 2010 at 9:28 PM

It seems to me baby acne is a leading indicator for food sensitivity, while actual fussiness and altered poop (i.e. green not mustard-colored) are lagging indicators.

Others out there who have babies and are breast-feeding, what say you?

Is baby acne and/or baby milia a leading indicator?

6426d61a13689f8f651164b10f121d64

(11488)

on October 14, 2010
at 12:41 AM

... (continued) Likewise, I did not vote down your question, even though I disagreed with its premise, because this is merely a disagreement. Your question was not "misinformation" just because I disagreed with it. Cheers,

6426d61a13689f8f651164b10f121d64

(11488)

on October 14, 2010
at 12:37 AM

@Patrik, of course you can vote down any post you choose, for any reason you choose. But from your own faq, "If you see misinformation, vote it down." Misinformation is not merely a difference of opinion, which is what you have with Mark and me. Misinformation is not what you "think" is "incorrect." Misinformation is an actual falsehood. There are literally thousands of references which support the hormonal theory of baby acne. You may disagree with us for supporting that theory, but our posts do not sink to the level of misinformation.... (continued)

93f44e8673d3ea2294cce085ebc96e13

(10502)

on October 13, 2010
at 10:24 PM

@Ed -- why shouldn't vote down answers that I think are incorrect?

93f44e8673d3ea2294cce085ebc96e13

(10502)

on October 10, 2010
at 11:17 PM

The hormonal explanation makes no sense whatsoever. Plus, we know that Paleo/Elimination diets can help adults/older children with acne.

6426d61a13689f8f651164b10f121d64

(11488)

on October 10, 2010
at 03:21 PM

@Patrik, I apologize for misspelling your name (x3).

6426d61a13689f8f651164b10f121d64

(11488)

on October 10, 2010
at 01:47 PM

@Patrick #3: Really, down votes for Mark and I? We gave you honest answers based on the available evidence. Gee, thanks!

6426d61a13689f8f651164b10f121d64

(11488)

on October 10, 2010
at 01:41 PM

@Patrick #2: "That is conventional wisdom and I don't buy it." Of course, it's healthy to question CW, and that's what this site is about. Your son's milia may be related to food sensitivities, but that's a single case, i.e., an anecdote. Your question attempts to generalize to a population level from this single case: "It seems to me that baby milia is a leading indicator for food sensitivity," not "MY SON'S milia is a leading indicator..." Also, I agree with Mark's comment about the transience of the condition, despite no change in diet. CW is not wrong just because it's CW.

6426d61a13689f8f651164b10f121d64

(11488)

on October 10, 2010
at 01:21 PM

@Patrick #1: "One can feed babies sub-optimal "food" such as formula and not elicit an allergic reaction." This neither addresses nor disproves my statement.

6fa48935d439390e223b9a053a62c981

(1676)

on October 10, 2010
at 02:24 AM

I didn't "chalk it down to hormones," it IS hormonal. It is well understood, and it is quite common. My own breast-fed son had this, and it showed up right on time, and cleared up promptly, just like the pediatrician said it would. If it's caused by diet, why is it so fleeting? Why no recurrance? Why does it last for about a month then disappear? Several of our friends' kids experienced the exact same thing. It is quite normal. Just because we paleos appreciate the immense significance of diet to human health doesn't mean that we should toss modern medicine out the window.

93f44e8673d3ea2294cce085ebc96e13

(10502)

on October 10, 2010
at 12:35 AM

"Causes include excessive heat and humidity, occlusion of the skin, and blockage of the sweat glands ( http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/1070840-overview ). The reference lists other potential causes, but diet and food sensitivities are not among them." That is the conventional wisdom and I don't buy it. My son's milia seems to be correlated with changes in his stool and behavior -- and what his mother eats.

93f44e8673d3ea2294cce085ebc96e13

(10502)

on October 10, 2010
at 12:34 AM

"In order to prove that baby acne and miliaria (milia) are related to food intolerances, studies would have to show that these conditions occur disproportionally in infants who are exposed to formula or other potential allergens." -- this is incorrect insofar as it relates to formula. One can feed babies sub-optimal "food" such as formula and not elicit an allergic reaction.

93f44e8673d3ea2294cce085ebc96e13

(10502)

on October 10, 2010
at 12:31 AM

Yep. I did so for clarity's sake.

93f44e8673d3ea2294cce085ebc96e13

(10502)

on October 10, 2010
at 12:31 AM

Hormonal? No way I buy that argument. That is the classic "I-don't-why-something-is-happening-and-I'll-chalk-it-down-to-hormones".

Fff1e82d27998ef1d66c0b11bc669152

(40)

on October 09, 2010
at 01:34 PM

I see you've edited your question to include 'milia' in it.

93f44e8673d3ea2294cce085ebc96e13

(10502)

on October 09, 2010
at 12:53 AM

I get that. My question is to the temporal aspect of it.

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6 Answers

1
6426d61a13689f8f651164b10f121d64

(11488)

on October 09, 2010
at 04:24 PM

As paleo enthusiasts, we get used to thinking that everything comes down to diet and food sensitivities, but this is not always the case. In order to prove that baby acne and miliaria (milia) are related to food intolerances, studies would have to show that these conditions occur disproportionally in infants who are exposed to formula or other potential allergens. I'm not aware that these studies have been done or will ever be done.

I agree with Mark that baby acne is primarily caused by hormonal fluctuations ( http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/baby-acne/DS01060/DSECTION=causes ).

There are actually three conditions commonly known as "milia" or "heat rash"--miliaria crystallina, miliaria rubra and miliaria profunda. Causes include excessive heat and humidity, occlusion of the skin, and blockage of the sweat glands ( http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/1070840-overview ). The reference lists other potential causes, but diet and food sensitivities are not among them.

It's true that conventional wisdom is often wrong and/or incomplete, but to say that baby acne and milia are "diseases of civilization" would be speculation.

93f44e8673d3ea2294cce085ebc96e13

(10502)

on October 10, 2010
at 12:34 AM

"In order to prove that baby acne and miliaria (milia) are related to food intolerances, studies would have to show that these conditions occur disproportionally in infants who are exposed to formula or other potential allergens." -- this is incorrect insofar as it relates to formula. One can feed babies sub-optimal "food" such as formula and not elicit an allergic reaction.

93f44e8673d3ea2294cce085ebc96e13

(10502)

on October 10, 2010
at 12:35 AM

"Causes include excessive heat and humidity, occlusion of the skin, and blockage of the sweat glands ( http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/1070840-overview ). The reference lists other potential causes, but diet and food sensitivities are not among them." That is the conventional wisdom and I don't buy it. My son's milia seems to be correlated with changes in his stool and behavior -- and what his mother eats.

6426d61a13689f8f651164b10f121d64

(11488)

on October 10, 2010
at 01:47 PM

@Patrick #3: Really, down votes for Mark and I? We gave you honest answers based on the available evidence. Gee, thanks!

6426d61a13689f8f651164b10f121d64

(11488)

on October 10, 2010
at 03:21 PM

@Patrik, I apologize for misspelling your name (x3).

6426d61a13689f8f651164b10f121d64

(11488)

on October 10, 2010
at 01:41 PM

@Patrick #2: "That is conventional wisdom and I don't buy it." Of course, it's healthy to question CW, and that's what this site is about. Your son's milia may be related to food sensitivities, but that's a single case, i.e., an anecdote. Your question attempts to generalize to a population level from this single case: "It seems to me that baby milia is a leading indicator for food sensitivity," not "MY SON'S milia is a leading indicator..." Also, I agree with Mark's comment about the transience of the condition, despite no change in diet. CW is not wrong just because it's CW.

6426d61a13689f8f651164b10f121d64

(11488)

on October 10, 2010
at 01:21 PM

@Patrick #1: "One can feed babies sub-optimal "food" such as formula and not elicit an allergic reaction." This neither addresses nor disproves my statement.

93f44e8673d3ea2294cce085ebc96e13

(10502)

on October 13, 2010
at 10:24 PM

@Ed -- why shouldn't vote down answers that I think are incorrect?

6426d61a13689f8f651164b10f121d64

(11488)

on October 14, 2010
at 12:41 AM

... (continued) Likewise, I did not vote down your question, even though I disagreed with its premise, because this is merely a disagreement. Your question was not "misinformation" just because I disagreed with it. Cheers,

6426d61a13689f8f651164b10f121d64

(11488)

on October 14, 2010
at 12:37 AM

@Patrik, of course you can vote down any post you choose, for any reason you choose. But from your own faq, "If you see misinformation, vote it down." Misinformation is not merely a difference of opinion, which is what you have with Mark and me. Misinformation is not what you "think" is "incorrect." Misinformation is an actual falsehood. There are literally thousands of references which support the hormonal theory of baby acne. You may disagree with us for supporting that theory, but our posts do not sink to the level of misinformation.... (continued)

1
6fa48935d439390e223b9a053a62c981

(1676)

on October 09, 2010
at 02:10 AM

It's hormonal. The baby is getting all of mom's hormones in utero. After birth, in the absence of mom's hormones, the baby's own hormones normalize in a few weeks and it clears up. About half of all newborn babies exhibit this. Note that I am talking about newborns only. If you're talking about breakouts in, say, a nine month old, then I don't know.

93f44e8673d3ea2294cce085ebc96e13

(10502)

on October 10, 2010
at 11:17 PM

The hormonal explanation makes no sense whatsoever. Plus, we know that Paleo/Elimination diets can help adults/older children with acne.

93f44e8673d3ea2294cce085ebc96e13

(10502)

on October 10, 2010
at 12:31 AM

Hormonal? No way I buy that argument. That is the classic "I-don't-why-something-is-happening-and-I'll-chalk-it-down-to-hormones".

6fa48935d439390e223b9a053a62c981

(1676)

on October 10, 2010
at 02:24 AM

I didn't "chalk it down to hormones," it IS hormonal. It is well understood, and it is quite common. My own breast-fed son had this, and it showed up right on time, and cleared up promptly, just like the pediatrician said it would. If it's caused by diet, why is it so fleeting? Why no recurrance? Why does it last for about a month then disappear? Several of our friends' kids experienced the exact same thing. It is quite normal. Just because we paleos appreciate the immense significance of diet to human health doesn't mean that we should toss modern medicine out the window.

1
Fff1e82d27998ef1d66c0b11bc669152

on October 08, 2010
at 11:25 PM

Do you mean baby milia? Never heard of baby acne. Mine had a very slight milia case around her nose soon after birth; that disappeared in one week. She was breastfed until 13-month-old and no food intolerances have been detected so far (she's 30-month-old now.) I wasn't even paleo at the time.

Fff1e82d27998ef1d66c0b11bc669152

(40)

on October 09, 2010
at 01:34 PM

I see you've edited your question to include 'milia' in it.

93f44e8673d3ea2294cce085ebc96e13

(10502)

on October 10, 2010
at 12:31 AM

Yep. I did so for clarity's sake.

0
0dbec866a03e621f9a633131c5ea9720

on May 03, 2013
at 04:14 PM

Reading this thread made me think of one other reason. What if newborns get milia or acne from a reaction to the baby-clean-up method used at the hospital. That could cause dermatitis too.

0
0c0c5c65612425e497b7231c21516943

(1354)

on October 09, 2010
at 12:44 AM

If it is not the milia, I was told by my naturopath that all skin irritations are do to digestion and elimination issues, pointing to a gut irritation caused by food intolerances. If the baby is solely breastfed, the mom should start an elimination diet starting with dairy then wheat and nuts. Paleo is ideal here and no processed foods because of all of the preservatives etc.

0
4a1966b5bc00a9aefd3abd63b9913284

on October 08, 2010
at 09:33 PM

Skin irregularities in infants is typically a result of food intolerance - often resulting from gut-irritating proteins passed through the mother's milk such as grain, dairy or other lectin containing food. It can also be easily caused by environmental factors such as detergents, soaps, perfumes or other chemicals.

93f44e8673d3ea2294cce085ebc96e13

(10502)

on October 09, 2010
at 12:53 AM

I get that. My question is to the temporal aspect of it.

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