If you look after your health and well-being, you’ve probably heard of the keto diet as an effective way to fight overweight and improve health. However, as with any radical change in diet, keto diet may have some unwanted side effects. Early side effects of the keto diet may include blurred consciousness, fatigue, electrolyte imbalance and even a keto rash. Here’s everything you need to know about keto rash, what might be causing it, how to treat it and how to prevent it.
What is keto rash?
It is the inflammation of the skin in the form of individual nodular rashes. Most often they affect the skin of the folds and abdomen. In fact, it is prurigo or pruritus, which appear as a result of changes in the diet and allergic reactions to these changes. In case of keto rash, these reactions are caused by products consumed on the keto diet or appear due to a lack of certain microelements in the organism.
Keto rash symptoms
Signs of keto rash may be:
- itching, a red rash that occurs mainly in the upper back, chest and abdomen,
- red spots, called nodules, which take the form of tape
- dark brown spots on the skin after the disappearance of the nodules
Keto rash causes
There are few studies on the relationship between the keto diet and rash. However, there is some evidence that point to a correlation between the appearance of the rash and a low content of carbohydrates in the diet.
One case study found that a 16-year-old girl developed a keto rash about a month after the dietary changes. In a similar case, a 17-year-old man sought medical attention after rash developing and related arthritis symptoms. During the treatment it turned out that he kept the diet with extremely low carbohydrates amounts in the course of the year.
Keto rash treatment
Restore the required amount of carbohydrates in the diet
If you think that recent changes in your diet are the cause of your rash, you may want to think about additional carbohydrates. Study 2018 showed that adding carbs back into the diet significantly improved the rash symptoms.
If you are not ready to give up carbs entirely yet due to the rash, you can always instead aim for a moderate low carb diet.
Restore the lack of nutrients
Deficiency of nutrients can play a crucial role in some inflammatory skin diseases. Vitamin A, vitamin B12 and vitamin C -deficiency are associated with acute and chronic skin diseases.
If you follow a too strict diet, your body does not get all the necessary vitamins and minerals.
The presence of a variety of fruits and vegetables provide the body with nutrients. In case of a keto diet strict version, you can consult your doctor what supplements you can take. But usually this is not necessary.
Elimination of food allergens
Keto diet focuses on low-carb, high-fat foods. The menu of the keto diet often contains eggs, dairy products, fish, nuts and seeds in large quantities. However, many of these products are also can be found in the list of typical food allergens.
Since food allergy is a cause of inflammation, particularly keto rash, it is important to get rid of food that you are allergic to, which can cause rash symptoms.
Take care of your skin
It is important to take care of the skin as much as possible. This is especially true if you have skin inflammation or a predisposition to it.
The National Association of eczema recommends the use of warm water during bathing and showering, as well as the use of only delicate soaps and gels. It is also recommended to keep the skin moist and protected, especially when under such factors as hot sun and cold wind.
5. Talk to your doctor about medications
In extreme cases, when none of the above has helped, you may need to visit a doctor. Effective drugs prescribed against keto rash are antibiotics.
Prospects and prevention of prurigo on keto diet
By changing your diet and lifestyle, you can prevent and alleviate the keto rash by taking the following precautions:
- Reduce the amount of carbohydrates in the diet gradually.
- Dietary supplements and vitamins can help to reduce the likelihood of nutrient deficiency.
- Consult a doctor. If you are worried about any keto diet side effect, including the keto rash, consult your doctor for more information. It will help you safely go on a keto diet.
Keto rash is a rare phenomenon, so it should not be afraid, especially since the symptoms are easy to remove. And even more it should not be taken as a reason to abandon this power system. You can be safe and remove carbohydrates from the diet gradually to get only benefit from a high