Both Irene AND her husband get keto rash

*Top 2 are few days into rash, bottom four are taken tonight right after dinner.

[I really appreciate Irene and her husband sharing their photos and experience with me and permitting me to share them on the blog here as a post.  I know that with the details and descriptions they’ve so thoroughly provided that many readers will benefit.  If you also have a story you’d like to share, please don’t hesitate to contact me.]

First of all, thank you for create this page just for keto rash!

Keto rash or gluten intolerance?? Long post.

A bit of background. We are both Asian, spouse is Korean and my parents are Taiwanese. No previously known allergy history. I made sure we have enough macro nutrients, supplements, consume at least 4 cups if not more green leaf veggies daily. Potassium & magnesium supplements, pink & lite salt for sodium, 4 tbsp ACV, 6 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice, plenty of water…basically the whole shabang

Spouse and I hopped on keto wagon Sept 19, keto rash begin about 1 week in and has progressing negatively since. Initially it started around neck as top two pictures indicate, smaller area like Ruth’s but much more angry looking. And shortly I also developed the rash. Thought it was clothing rubbing with ketosis sweat, or detoxing process from all the toxins stored in fat cells etc. Took allergy medicine, topical cream as most suggest, yet it just lessen the symptoms for few hours before it comes back.

Rash continue to develop daily, spreading to back, nape, trailing to above navel. I got lucky with even more area – armpit and entire bra line. If by luck we can resist from scratching, it’ll reduce to red pimple looking but hasn’t fade away since it develop. On rare good days, ours look like AA’s post on 9-12-17. Most of time it resemble angry teenage breakout, puffy, pinkish red, and itchy. We aren’t active people, was hoping to incorporate exercise on week 2 of keto, but had to postpone due to rash.

It’s has gotten so bad that it’s affecting spouse’s work performance, can’t focus due to constant itchiness. Many co workers also expressed concern about the angry rash peak above shirt collar. We did notice the symptom gets worse right after meal, but am not sure specifically why- a certain ingredient that we were allergic to but didn’t noticed until we cut the carb? Still in detox mode, our body start utilizing the fat in meal to continue expel the “toxins”? First week of diet is classic newbie style – lots of bacon, cream, cheese, bacon grease etc. Until we our stomach protests, and rash begin. I slowed down fat intake from dairy products, thinking the inflammatory property in it may be the cause of our rash.

Our first thought was keto rash, which most people say fade away 4 – 14 days, yet by the look of it we may not be so lucky. At this point, I’m not sure if it is temporary detoxing type of keto rash, or we may be dairy/gluten/nut intolerance and just didn’t know until now? Although I’m leaning towards allergy or carb withdraw from our previous carb heavy diet, it’s also unlikely for both of us to develop allergy to the same source.

Macro wise, we try to hit protein daily, net carbs varies depending on recipe, sometimes it’s as low as 6g, sometimes we nailed it at 20. Fat count also yoyoing like net carb, I think I have a better understanding of meeting protein goal, so fat is the next thing I’m working on. Now I start to incorporate roasted, no salt macadamia nuts, parmesan chips, and fat bombs in our diet.

Should we increase carb count, if so what are some keto friendly options? Or should we try eliminating gluten/dairy/nut in diet? If later is the case, I’m not sure if spouse will stay in keto as we both enjoy food very much. I don’t want to fall off bandwagon, as I do keto for the long term health benefit though weight loss is definitely a big motivation factor.

A couple of interesting things I’ve observed. Tried BPC and we both feel no difference than regular coffee or green tea (we made from powder + water). My shark weeks begin the same day we start keto, after usual cycle, there was 2 days of discharge and the cycle came back full force. For the past 2 days, I don’t feel hungry all of sudden and didn’t realize I haven’t eat anything all day until spouse is back for dinner. I usually drink a bottle of ACV (2 TBS)+lemon juice (3 TBS)+stevia+ginger right after I send spouse off to work, and sip the other bottle throughout the day. Because of this my rash has decreased significantly, it’s still here but not as unbearable as before. Spouse noticed the rash gets ‘angry’ right after meal. Since 10-09 we have tried to eliminate egg and almond flour from our diet, the rash feels almost slightly better but I’m not sure if it’s due to our tolerance has build up or if it’s really working. We’ll give it a few more days to be sure if we can reintroduce it back to our diet w/o any negative affect.

Hubby and I both got the rash, except ours looks like AA’s on good day. Most of time it loon like puffy and itchy version of angry teenage breakout.

ps, we’ve read the 50 korean men keto rash case. Which spouse also did some research in Korean. He didn’t have much time to research the case, but said most gave up due to unbearable rash.
Korean is probably the biggest fan to follow any trend in US amongst all Asian countries. Mostly due to WWII, with many Korean married military soldier. I can read Chinese, but from most of my research 90% is based on translation of English case study/text. Nothing new.

sorry for another message, if it matters can you please add to first post that my menstrual was normal, 2 days later it came back again for another full round. I’m not on any pills so it’s abnormal IMO

[I responded with what I say to most people who contact which is: 

The two best options right now are #1 Take antibiotics or #2 Increase carbs just to see if it helps with the rash.  If you increase carbs and rash goes away, you know for sure it’s keto rash and the only way to keep the rash away through diet is to eat enough carbs to get out of ketosis.  Some people have found very narrow windows of carbs, that will allow them to remain in light or borderline keto, so they get some of the keto benefits, without having the rash, but this will require a lot of self experimentation.  The other option is to stay keto.. but take the antibiotics like doxycycline.”]

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1 Comment

  1. jules 1944

    my keto rash is on my left upper arm itches all the time upped carbs did nothing , I just bought fish oil we’ll see if it helps. any suggestions??


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