When you start following keto you get many health benefits and effective weight loss through this diet, but with all these benefits come some of the most common side effects like headache, dehydration, dizziness and fatigue, and some rare side effects like keto rash.
Keto diet is a low carb and a high-fat diet. With low consumption of carb intake body completely runs on ketones from fats rather than glucose from carbs which leads to fat burning and drastic weight loss. With all these extreme dietary changes, the body gets prone to a lot of side effects which are temporary.
In this article, we`ll explore everything about keto rash like what is it, what are the causes, symptoms, and prevention of keto rash.
A keto rash also called prurigo pigmentosa formally, is a skin inflammatory condition distinguished by an itchy and red rash that develops around the neck, trunk, back, and chest. It becomes very itchy with time and if you keep scratching it, the color of the red rash becomes dark.
It is a type of dermatitis that can occur in anybody but is common among Asian women.
• Red and an itchy rash that occurs on the upper body like on the chest, back, neck, and trunk.
• Papules-the red spots create a web-like appearance.
• A pattern is left on the skin when the spots disappear which is dark brown in color.
Keto rash only happens when a person shifts or make changes in their lifestyle and eating pattern. During keto diet, low carb is being consumed by the dieter, so, the rash appears. Although, it’s a very rare side effect and is seen in few dieters only and the cause of keto rash is still unconfirmed due to less research done on this side effect. This rash happens when the body enters ketosis after 3-4 days from the beginning of the diet.
In ketosis, there is no availability of glucose from carbs in the body, so body utilizes ketone bodies from fats to produce energy in the body. This is the main principle of ketosis. But, the production of ketones in the body can lead to skin inflammation and lesions which appear on the upper body. It is not dangerous but it’s uncomfortable.
It can also happen due to some of the external factors like exposure to excessive sunlight and heat, allergens, friction and skin trauma, hormonal change in body, and sweating.
There are many home remedies to treat keto rash which you can try like:
• Introduce carbs again in your diet: if you think that your rash is due to a low carb diet, then you must include carbs in your diet again. You can slowly move from a moderate carb diet to a low carb diet.
• Remove food allergens: it is important to remove that food that you’re allergic to because food allergies are the source of skin inflammation. It may enhance the symptoms of keto rash. Some of the common food allergens are eggs, dairy, nuts, and fish.
• Improve nutritional deficiencies: nutritional deficiency may lead to certain skin inflammation conditions. Deficiencies of vitamin A, B-12, C are directly linked to acute as well as chronic skin problems. Eating all the veggies dense with nutrients will ensure to improve these deficiencies.
• Skincare: it is crucial to take care of your skin especially when your skin is sensitive. It is recommended to wash your face and body for bathing and showering with lukewarm water. And the use of only clean and chemical-free soaps and cleansers. It is also important to moisturize your face and to protect it from the sun.
• Use supplements: you can include anti-inflammatory supplements in your diet to protect the body from inflammatory conditions. To improve the symptoms of dermatitis probiotics, vitamin D, prebiotics, and fish oil supplements are used.
• Consult your doctor: if your rash doesn’t disappear within a few weeks then you must go to your doctor and consult him for further steps.
Only from lifestyle change and dietary changes, one can prevent and erase the keto rash.
Although this side effect is very rare, you can always prevent it by following some tips when you start your keto journey.
Some of the precautions are:
• Slow and steady transition from high carb diet to low carb diet: instead of reducing your carb intake suddenly, try to slowly exclude carbs from your diet.
• Include multivitamin supplements in the beginning: when you start your keto diet, include supplements of multivitamins to ensure that there is no nutrient deficiency in your body.
• Stay in touch with your doctor: they can refer you to a dietician who can help with your diet. Doctors can also guide you about the health issues related to a specific diet much before you fall into it.