Keto rash, also known as Prurigo Pigmentosa, is an inflammatory skin condition caused by an excess of ketones in the body. It is considered a rare skin disorder.
Apart from people who follow a diet deficient in carbohydrates, keto rashes can also appear among people who are fasting, people with diabetes, and those undergoing post-bariatric surgery.
Symptoms Of Keto Rash
Watch out for any itchy, red spots or bumps on your chest, back, and neck. Remember that keto rashes come with a netlike pattern around them. While they may appear red at first, they slowly turn dark, leaving pigmentation in the form of brown patches where the red spots used to be.
If you have been noticing rashes that cause irritation and are persisting for more than a week, consult a doctor to diagnose the exact cause correctly.
A keto rash usually appears as red, itchy papules on the neck, chest, and back in a net or web-like pattern. They could also appear on your upper back, abdomen, and armpits
Different stages of Keto rash
- Early Lesion
Prurigo pigmentosa evolves or progresses through three stages in a span of about two weeks. You will see red, itchy bumps with a net or web-like pattern around them in the first stage. Don’t ignore this symptom, especially if you have diabetes or are on a low-carb diet as it could be a sign of the early stage of a keto rash.
2. Fully Developed Lesion
In the second stage, prurigo pigmentosa progresses to swollen, pale red bumps. This stage is also associated with a lot of skin irritation.
3. Late-Stage Lesion
The itchy, swollen pale red bumps further evolve, and you will notice both papules (bumps without liquid) and bumps that are pus or liquid-filled.
After the late-stage comes the post inflammation period, during which the papules and vesicles (fluid-filled bumps) will dry up and become crusted, leaving behind brown discoloration or pigmentation.
How to counter keto rash?
• Slowly lowering your carbohydrate intake. Rather than dropping your carbohydrate intake suddenly, try to slower taper carbohydrates out of your diet.
• Supplement with a multivitamin/mineral initially. A once-a-day multivitamin or multimineral can help you reduce the likelihood of nutrient deficiencies as you start the keto diet. Check out what nutritionists say your multivitamin should contain.
• Consult with a doctor. If you’re concerned about any of the side effects of the keto diet, including the keto rash, visit your doctor for more information. They may refer you to a dietitian who can help you transition to the keto diet safely.
- Reintroduce carbohydrates
If you believe that a recent change to your diet is the cause of your rash, you may want to consider reintroducing carbohydrates.
A 2018 study Trusted Source found that incorporating carbs back into the diet significantly improved rash symptoms.
If you’re not ready to completely give up the keto lifestyle just yet, you can always aim for a moderately low-carb diet instead.
- Correct nutrient deficiencies
Nutrient deficiencies may play a role in certain inflammatory skin conditions.
Deficiencies in vitamin A, vitamin B-12, and vitamin C have been linked with both acute and chronic skin conditions.
If you’re eating an overly restrictive diet, your body may not be getting all the vitamins and minerals it needs.
Eating an array of colorful fruits and vegetables is a great way to ensure that you’re eating all the nutrients nature has to offer.
- Eliminate food allergens
The keto diet emphasizes low-carb, high-fat foods. Some of the most common foods to eat on the ketogenic diet are eggs, dairy, fish, and nuts, and seeds, to name a few.
Coincidentally, many of these foods also happen to be on the list of common food allergens.
With food allergies being a source of inflammation, it’s important to eliminate any foods you’re allergic to that may be worsening your rash symptoms.
- Incorporate anti-inflammatory supplements
In addition to dietary changes, certain supplements may assist the body in fighting inflammatory conditions.
Probiotics, prebiotics, vitamin D, and fish oil supplements have all been used in clinical studies Trusted Source to help improve symptoms of dermatitis
- Take care of your skin
It’s important to take care of your skin as much as possible. This is especially true if you have inflammatory skin conditions.
Use lukewarm water for bathing and showering, and cleaning only with gentle soaps and cleansers. Its recommended to keeping your skin moisturized when dry and protected when out in the elements, such as the hot sun or cold wind.
- Talk to your doctor about medication
If home treatments fail to clear up the rash, a visit to your doctor may be necessary.
Effective medications prescribed for prurigo pigmentosa are the antibiotics minocycline and doxycycline. Dapsone may also be used for treatment.