Reader Melanie was kind enough to allow me to share her experience with the keto rash. She also sent me a photo of her rash that she gave me permission to share.
Thank you for this blog! I just started a strict keto diet about 3 weeks ago and got the rash about 5 days ago. It started small and then spread into a pretty symmetrical rash all over my sides, lower torso, and mid back in two patches. The itch is making me crazy! It was only minimally calmed by hydrocortisone and calamine. Claritin didn’t do anything.
I went to the doctor last night (thought this was an atypical presentation of Shingles!) … The doctors didn’t know what it was so prescribed a 5 day moderately strong prednisone treatment (40 mg/day).
I’m going to add more fruits back into my diet and see what happens before I finish the prednisone.
Thanks again for creating this space to talk about the keto rash! Glad to know I’m not alone… never fun when your doctors call you a medical mystery!!
I checked in with her a few days later to see how adding in the fruits worked:
So far so good! Christmas fudge isn’t hurting either. 😉 the rash is fading and a lot less itchy already. Doctor prescribed me doxycycline after i left a voice mail about PP. I havent taken it yet… Hopefully it keeps disappearing and I won’t have to!
After the holidays I touched bases with her again and that’s when she sent me the photo:
This is just one small portion of the overall problem… I had about 4x more rash on my torso than what’s in the one photo here.
Again, really glad you had this info out there or else I’d probably still be scratching my head.
I’ve been eating probably 70-125 g carbs/day and the rash is about 98% gone and still fading but darker pigmentation remains where the rash was… I probably won’t try full blown keto again.
She tried antihistamines, topical steroids, topical calamine lotion, and was even given oral steroids, none of which did the trick. Given the available research thus far, I wouldn’t have expected these to. It turns out, all she had to do was increase her carbs.