what is keto rash

What Is Keto Rash?

Prurigo Pigmentosa, often know as keto rash, is a rare inflammatory condition. This condition is known by a red itchy rash on the skin around the upper part of your body.

Researchers are still looking to pin down the exact cause behind the keto rash. Currently, it is suggested that the reason behind this rash may be related to ketosis.

What is Keto Rash

The ketogenic diet may be a possible cause for the keto rash. The keto diet is a low carb diet that consists of high fat intake.

 When you follow this diet correctly, your body will start to burn fat for fuel instead of the usual carbs. Your body converts fats into ketone bodies. When that happens, your body reaches a state known as ketosis.

The keto rash is a reaction on the skin that can be worrisome. It causes itchiness and redness.

While researchers have linked the keto rash to ketosis, additional cause may also exist. Some studies suggest that there are certain triggers that causes keto rash to develop. Some of these potential triggers include:

  • Friction caused by clothes and frequent movement.
  • Complication of the bariatric surgery.
  • During menstruation, there are hormonal changes in the female body. This may also be a trigger for a keto rash.

Symptoms of keto rash

Keto rash can materialize as red, itchy raised papules on your skin surface. The redness of the skin can be difficult to spot on darker skin tones.

The rash mostly appear on the upper part of your body and usually affects the:

  • Chest
  • Neck
  • Back

Keto rash can be confused with a variety of other skin related conditions. It can, however, be distinguished by the unique pattern it leaves behind.

The inflammation will eventually fade away to leave a strange brown color on your skin.

Can Keto Rash Be Treated?

There are a few simple everyday tasks you can do to relieve the symptoms of keto rash. For example, if keto rash occur because of ketosis, you can eat more carbs. Don’t go overboard, however. You only want to add a small amount of carbs to your diet – and do this gradually. The goal is to reduce the symptoms, without taking your body out of ketosis.

Some experts have suggested the use of antibiotics as a treatment method for keto rash. This, however, is not the first line of treatment. Doctors will usually first turn to other treatment options.

Here are a few extra tips to help you manage with this concerning complication:

  • Try not to touch the rash or areas around the rash. This can cause irritation. When you irritate the skin, it is possible that you could aggravate the symptoms.
  • Keep your nails clipped short. If you absentmindedly scratch the keto rash with long nails, you may end up damaging your skin. You could also make the symptoms much worse.
  • Keep away from humid or hot areas of possible. This can also aggravate symptoms by irritating the skin.
  • Try to wash your skin gently. Avoid rubbing. You should also not use exfoliating sponges and cloths.

Learning how to develop a keto diet plan that focuses on healthy foods may also be helpful. Make sure you know what not to eat on the keto diet, and consider the nutritional values of the meals you consume.


The keto rash is a rare skin disorder. It’s unlikely to last for too long, even when you continue following the keto diet. Being is ketosis may or may not be the cause of the rash. Further research is still needed to provide conclusive evidence.

Keto rash can be confused with other skin conditions.  You can slightly increase your carb intake to relieve yourself from the keto rash. Be gentle on the area and avoid anything that could irritate the skin while the rash is still present.


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