Keto Rash & Remedies

Some people on a Keto Diet experience itching or rashes on parts of their body. More commonly known as “Keto Rash”, it may present itself as a red rash, red spots or even brown connected pigmentations, usually around the back and chest.

This itching – sometimes called the “keto rash1
 – can be troublesome, sometimes even interrupting sleep. The itching and rash are almost always symmetrical on both sides of the body. It most often develops over the chest, back, armpits and sometimes in the neck.

Dr. Andreas Eenfeldt, MD

Formally, it is known as Prurigo Pigmentosa, and is more common among Asians. While there are limited studies on the relationship of the Ketogenic Diet and Prurigo Pigmentosa, there are medical case studies that show a correlation between the two.

What does Keto Rash look like?

The images presented above were obtained with permission from Miki Wong, RDN, Director of Research and Community Outreach at Milestones, Center for Pediatric Neurodevelopment, Honolulu, Hawaii. This is part of their medical case study on the “Treatment of Prurigo Pigmentosa with Diet Modification”.

Treatment and Remedies

Current treatment options include cessation of the KD or use of antibiotic therapy. RDNs who are trained in ketogenic therapies provide a level of expertise that may allow patients a third option for treatment of PP by helping to correctly identify the rash in its potential connection to the KD, and judiciously modifying the KD with carefully prescribed carbohydrate dosing in the diet without sacrificing ketogenesis.

Miki Wong MACO, RDN, Erica Lee, BS, Yolanda Wu, MD, and Ryan Lee, MD (2018)

If you believe that you have Keto Rash, the first thing to do is to determine whether it is Keto related or not. It could be Keto rash, a food allergy or irritation to clothes or laundry detergent. You can try these remedies:

  • Make sure that the skin is clean and adequately hydrated. Use mild soap and fragrance-free lotion. Don’t irritate it with hot water and alcohol.
  • Take multivitamins to correct possible nutrient deficiencies, especially magnesium.
  • Remove common allergens from your diet such as chicken, eggs, dairy, and peanuts. Slowly reintroduce and observe any reactions.
  • Increase carbohydrate intake from natural sources.

If it gets worse or becomes unbearable, please consult a Dermatologist, preferably someone who has knowledge about the Ketogenic Diet, so that they can properly assess your condition. Depending on their diagnosis, they will either prescribe an antibiotic or creams. Remember, do not take antibiotics without a prescription.


“Best and Most Effective Form of Magnesium Supplements.” Keto Vale, 21 Sept. 2018,

Eenfeldt, Andreas. “Keto Rash – Why You May Itch on Low Carb, and What to Do About It.” Diet Doctor, Diet Doctor, 27 Nov. 2018,

Gustin, Anthony. “Keto Rash: Why You’re Suddenly Itchy & How to Make It Go Away.” Perfect Keto Exogenous Ketones, 17 Dec. 2018,

Lockett, Eleesha. “Keto Rash: What It Is, Why It Happens, and How to Cure It.” Healthline, Healthline Media, 2018,

Maco, Miki Wong et al. “Treatment of Prurigo Pigmentosa with Diet Modification: A Medical Case Study” Hawai’i journal of medicine & public health : a journal of Asia Pacific Medicine & Public Health vol. 77,5 (2018): 114-117.

Whang, Talley, et al. “Prurigo Pigmentosa: Report of Two Cases in the United States and Review of the Literature.” EScholarship, University of California, 1 Dec. 2011,

Wong, Miki, et al. “Figure 1 Case Report #1.” National Center for Biotechnology Information, 2018,

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