Keto Side Effects: What to do about keto rash

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Isabel Aestelle received her B.A in Communication from Far Eastern University Manila in the Philippines. She fell in love with words when she first started writing poetries and short stories at the age of 10. Her passion in health and wellness are pretty much seen in almost everything she does.

keto rash sucks

Keto side effects are not that hard and impossible to cure. In fact, there are a lot of remedies that you could try when you’re experiencing some of the side effects of Keto. However, one of the most irritating side effect of Keto that most Keto dieters are trying to avoid is Keto Rash.

What is a Keto rash?

It is pretty rare for Keto dieters to experience the Keto rash. As several studies suggest, this inflammatory skin disease is also known as prurigo pigmentosa. Just like what prurigo pigmentosa suggests, Keto rash is commonly caused by three instances; Ketone production in the body, emotional stress, and skin irritation.

What are the symptoms of Keto rash?

Similar to other common skin diseases, Keto rash manifests as itchy, tiny spots that usually appear as either red, brown, or pink. The color of the rash depends on which stage it’s on. Although this skin disease is such an unpleasant sight to see and irritating to feel, it’s not something you should really worry about.

This Keto rash may possibly appear on the neck, back, chest, shoulders, torso, and even armpits. They may even appear on the face but this case is too rare to occur. Again, it’s a rare situation to have the face infected so it’s not that life-threatening after all.

They even be confused as eczema or dermatitis due to the symmetrical pattern it creates on the skin. But since you’re doing a low-carb diet as of the time being, you would probably know it’s one side effect of Ketosis.

There are things you can avoid to prevent the rash from worsening; sweat, friction, heat, and exposure to potential skin irritations.

How to get rid of Keto rash

Gradually Increase Carbs

There are studies that suggest that increasing one’s insulin level could help get rid of the rashes. One way to test if your rashes are caused by the ketone production, you can try increasing your carb intake and see if the rashes would subside. However, you cannot keep on increasing your carbs. Since Keto diet suggest a limit intake of carbs only, you need to reduce your carbs again once you see the rashes are starting to disappear. For a standard Keto diet, 50-100 grams of carbs are only needed to keep your body in the state of Ketosis. If the rashes begin to reappear, it would be clear by then that you are sensitive on Ketones. That’s the time you can try other low-carb diets that will not trigger any reactions that will cause you in getting the rash.

Double check your diet

Keto dieting is a lot more fun most especially when you try to mix match your meals. By doing so, you won’t get bored easily with your low-carb meals as you try to stay in Ketosis. However, incorporating different ingredients might cause you some allergic reactions. As a result, some foods may be the culprit on why you’re having the itchy rashes. If this is the case, you will need to double check your food for some allergens in your diet.

Some of the Keto foods that may trigger your allergies are the following:

  1. Eggs
  2. Dairy products
  3. Seafood
  4. Nuts

This is a matter of trial and error. In order to find out which among those foods are causing you the discomfort, you can try removing some of the products from the above list and see how your body will react after.

Increase intake of anti-inflammatory foods – To keep your skin from getting severe inflammatory reactions, you can consider some Keto-friendly foods that have anti-inflammatory content.

A list of the Keto-friendly anti-inflammatory foods you can try is below:

  1. Bone broth
  2. Low carb veggies (e.g. celery, spinach, asparagus)
  3. Low carb fruits (e.g. avocado, watermelon, peach)
  4. Wild fish (e.g. salmon, sardines, mackerel)
  5. Healthy fats (e.g. olive oil, coconut oil)

Support with supplements – Every time you do a low-carb diet, it is likely recommended to have your diet program supported with supplements, vitamins, and minerals. They won’t only keep you healthy, but they would help protect you from skin diseases like the keto rash. While on Keto, you can look for supplements that contain a good amount of potassium, sodium, and magnesium. Omega 3s also play a role in reducing inflammation on the skin – mind you, they contain quality fats too!

Of course, make sure to stay hydrated. Water helps dilute the acetone in your body which could also prevent your rashes from swelling when you sweat.

1. Avoid Sweating

Sweat is the number one trigger of rashes. Avoiding sweat could be a challenge if you’re trying to lose weight. You can only do light exercises to avoid excessive sweating. Until the rashes disappear, it is better to stay away from the ultimate rash trigger.

2. Wear comfy clothes

Tight clothings could also be another trigger.As you’re still trying to figure out how to recover from the Keto rash, avoiding tight clothings could be a remedy for the time being. Friction caused by the cloth being rubbed on the skin could could worsen the situation.

3. Avoid too much stress

Another keto rash treatment would be to add up some stress-relieving activities in your daily life. We all know that emotional stress could also be a trigger on some skin reactions.

4. Consult an expert

Seeing a doctor will be your last resort. If by chance some of the treatments we’ve provided don’t help in any way, you could seek advice from a doctor instead. Your doctors might be able to prescribe you with some antibiotics that would make the Keto rash disappear fast.


Unfortunately, some Keto dieters are prone to this negative side effect of Keto. However, you can still prevent the rash from happening. With the help of the remedies we’ve provided above, you would know what to do already if you’re still starting your journey in Ketosis.

On the other hand, if you’re experiencing such discomfort now caused by the Keto rash, you may still refer to the list of treatments we’ve given.

Furthermore, our target goal here is to still lose weight. You do not have to give up Keto dieting right away since the side effect won’t even last. Just as how weight loss takes time, healing the Keto rash will also take time.

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