Prior to a baby’s arrival most parents have not given much consideration to baby acne and other skin problems. However once a newborn is here, along with visible skin issues, only then do parents start their learning journey about newborn skin care including treatment for baby acne. It’s common for newborns to have spots, blemishes, and marks, most of which are nothing to be overly concerned with. The good news is that baby acne and most baby skin issues are effectively treated by the coupling of chiropractic care and craniosacral therapy. The following is an explanation of how and why the non pharmacological holistic treatments I offer are the safest and best care you can provide for your child to resolve baby acne and other newborn skin ailments.
What Causes Baby Acne
Baby acne is usually noticed within a baby’s first month as red spots along a baby’s forehead, or cheeks or perhaps nose. Rest assured that baby acne has not appeared due to anything you’ve done. Baby acne is the result of hair follicles becoming blocked by dead skin cells, creating a build-up of oil (something called “sebum”) secreted by a newborn’s skin. Though a baby’s glands secrete sebum oil as a natural protestant for the baby’s skin, “too much sebum build up can clog pores and produce acne”. [Source].
Additionally there is a condition of what commonly appears to be baby acne but is actually a skin disease inflammatory reaction to yeast growth (a skin colonization with Malassezia yeast). Yeast that normally lives on a baby’s skin flourishes to visible inflammation or ‘neonatal acne’ if sebum levels also increase.
Baby Acne Explained
Skin is actually a major component of the immune system and a baby’s first point of contact with viruses, bacteria, and foreign pathogens. Baby acne, along with most other skin conditions with newborns, is a symptom reflecting the baby’s immune system isn’t fully fending off bacteria and relieving or remedying the blemishes and inflammation produced on the baby’s skin.
Babies are born with clear skin and once here and in the world, their immune system is also new and trying to establish its bearings and adjust to the outside world. As the immunity defenses a baby receives at birth (shared through Mom’s placenta) fade away, the baby starts making their own antibodies and their immune system starts to work each time they have an infection with a germ or virus.
However a baby’s immune system isn’t a light switch that ‘flips on’ instantly working to its full measure. A baby’s immune system has its own maturation journey that can take up to 3 months or more from birth to reach a sufficient level of development to where it can effectively serve the baby in fighting off viruses, bacteria, and foreign pathogens. Hence there’s a window of numerous months where babies are vulnerable to baby acne as they have few mechanisms to fight inflammatory skin reactions. This is not only the case with baby acne but also for:
ETN or Erythema toxicum neonatorum – appearing within 2 days and 2 weeks of birth, ETN which is similar to bay acne with reddish color patches or small pustules formed on the baby’s chest, limbs and face.
Milia – sometimes called “milk spots” and confused with baby acne. Milia can surface when dead skin cells get trapped within small pockets on the skin rather than falling off.
Infantile acne – Emerging from imbalances in hormonal production and generally occurring between the ages of 6 to 16 months and lasting up to 2 years (source). This type of baby acne may produce blackheads and whiteheads, inflamed pustules and papules (tiny pimples or blisters containing pus), nodules (small spots of swollen cells) and can result in scarring.
“Malassezia”, an inflammatory reaction to yeast growth.
Unexplained acne, eczema, or other rashes
Why Chiropractic Care & Craniosacral Therapy is Effective in Treating Baby Acne
“The innate immune system is the body’s first line of defense against germs entering the body. Research has identified at least 4 main pathways in how acne interacts with the innate immune system to induce inflammation”
“What we think of as acne—the pustules, redness and swelling—is a battle between our immune system and these rapidly multiplying bacteria” – Scientific America
Baby Acne and most all baby skin conditions root causes are directly tied to a weak or underdeveloped immune system [Source] and or overactive sebum-producing glands. [Source]. My treatment to resolve baby acne and other newborn skin conditions aligns precisely with the causes of baby acne and centers on spine health and the robust functioning of the baby’s central nervous system which:
Regulates their immune system
Regulates skin which is considered a sensory organ and an important part of the central nervous system
You can learn in detail about the immune system boost therapy I offer by clicking here that’s adjusted for babies. In short, craniosacral therapy can granularly map inflammation in a baby’s body and target tissues associated with the immune system with precision – all by palpating the immune system’s movement in response to the craniosacral rhythm. Craniosacral therapy then rejuvenates your baby’s immune system’s proper functioning including communication with the nervous system.
A baby’s immune system can be thrown off from any type of dysfunction within their body and a subluxation in their spine (a spinal vertebra out of position compared to the other vertebrae) produces an adverse ripple effect on their immune system’s ability to fight off harmful substances. Unfortunately, subluxations are rarely considered when it comes to a weakened immune system and newborns.
Chiropractic adjustments have not only resolved subluxations but have also been shown to improve both blood and cerebral fluid flow to the brain. Click here to learn more. Many parents are surprised to learn newborns can have subluxations – but it’s true and very common, click here to learn how that happens.
This is important for parents to note because doctors generally do not check the lymphatic system functioning of a newborn. This vital system removes excess waste/fluid from the tissues and produces immune cells. Birth trauma can be undetected and restrict the craniosacral fascial system of a newborn and fascial restriction at birth can compromise lymphatic system functioning. This is also important for parents to note because key organs/systems are needed to be working optimally to treat skin conditions are the liver, kidneys, digestive tract, and lymphatic system. These are all part of the lymphatic system.
The Craniosacral Therapy I practice with newborns is a type of gentle massage that reduces tension and compression within the cranial bones of a baby’s head, and their sacrum bone in their lower back. Craniosacral Therapy with infants uses gentle finger-pressure massage (similar to depressing an avocado checking for ripeness) to manipulate these cranial bones and surrounding tissues.
This has been proven to boost the circulation and flow of cerebrospinal fluid, remove blockages and stimulate nerves. Boosting cerebrospinal fluid circulation helps regulate and normalize a newborn’s central nervous system, thereby enhancing their body’s ability to self-heal. Parents can hold their baby on their lap or have the infant lay on a table during treatment. Many parents have recognized their babies experience deep relaxation, often to the point of falling asleep after treatment while others have described infants having a burst of energy afterwards. Research has shown and supports using craniosacral therapy in preterm infants as safe.
If You’ve Never Had a Baby Receive Chiropractic Care
Having a chiropractic ‘check up’ of a newborn is sensible and can foreshadow concerns at early stages. After all, babies undergo vast changes in a brief period of time.
At birth a newborn’s spinal column is generally just under 10 inches and about 40% of the length in total of the baby.
The baby’s spinal column then proceeds to grow about 50% of its length or about 5 more inches in the newborn’s first year of life and while their neck and lower back curvatures begin to form.
At birth the shape of a newborn’s spine is similar to the letter “C”. However at 3 months and when babies start to raise their heads the cervical spine (neck region) develops its reversed “C” shape curve.
By 6 months newborns develop their seated and standing posture where the lumbar spine (lower back) – also becomes “C” shaped in nature.
While I don’t want to overwhelm any parent with research, it’s important that you know and see that the care and treatment your child will receive is well studied, rooted in science, aligns precisely with your child’s baby acne condition, and is shown to be effective. As every newborn’s circumstances are unique, if you’re concerned about your child, call me – let’s have a conversation and I’ll be happy to share with you more insights on how to resolve baby acne naturally.
About Dr. Kaminsky & Craniosacral Therapy
Having a Chiropractic background since the year 2000, Dr. Kaminsky offers many methods of treatment with an emphasis on Craniosacral Therapy in NYC.
Craniosacral Therapy (CST) is a method focusing on the link between the cranium (head) and sacrum (the second to last bone at the base of your spine), scientifically proven to work in unison to pump fluid throughout the body, an unknown disruption of which can cause many health issues. The craniosacral mechanism pumps vital fluid called cerebro-spinal fluid (CSF) through the body and in a sense energetically lubricates the joints, tissues, organs; basically all cells of the body. It is the driving force of all your body’s systems of function; including maintaining the tone of your muscles.
The Central Nervous System (brain and spinal cord) are surrounded with CSF generating energetic rhythmic impulses of fluid delicately pumping throughout your body’s parts “breathing” the movement of life. This measurable rhythm of moving fluid, like the heart rhythm, pulse rhythm, breathing rhythm is the foundational “blueprint” and primary principle of our real-time state of our health.
Compromises of our rhythmic movements of fluid flow correlates to the impulse restrictions in the system which the body is unable to overcome or self-correct. This is the reason why we have “dis-ease”, symptoms, conditions, basically all ailments. This is where the skill of an experienced craniosacral therapist becomes valuable. By placing his or her hands on your body the practitioner can feel, detect, evaluate, and facilitate correction of these restrictive arrhythmic impulses.
The craniosacral therapist helps your rhythm restore and renew in compromised areas allowing for healing to take place of sensory, motor, musculoskeletal, neurological disorders, symptoms, conditions and pain. To learn more, visit the other pages on this website. Call to schedule your healing treatment with Dr. Kaminsky.