Ketosis Update & Keto Rash
As of today I have lost 21.1 pounds using nutritional ketosis; my rate of weight loss has slowed down as of recent, due to a rash that showed up on my upper chest and lower back to shoulder blades. The rash first presented sometime around April 19th in the center of my chest, of which I attributed to allergies or some sort of irritant in my clothing. The rash then began to present on my back around April 23rd of which I then also attributed the rash to allergies as I had taken the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) Wilderness First Aid (WFA) class at REI in Bloomington and figured it related to laying on the ground for extended periods on both that Saturday and Sunday as part of some scenario based first aid learning.
I asked my cousin about the rash around April 25th, in a bit of a panic as it at that point it looked something like Measles to my untrained eyes (minus the rash on the face that is normally associated with Measles) — which made me especially paranoid due to the recent breakout of Measles in Minnesota. With some of the diagnosed patients being present at the same Clinic my kids go to 24 hours prior to when we visited the clinic.
It turns out that some small subset of people are sensitive to [something] during nutritional ketosis causing a rash; I am one of those people (…turns out my cousin is to, but to a lesser degree).
Personally, I suspect the rash that I got from the ketosis is a function of ketone bodies (specifically: acetone) accumulating in the sweat and then irritating the skin. Others believe a wide range of things from a bacterial imbalance, a microbiome imbalance, fungus, “toxins” escaping from adipose tissue, et al.
At its worst the rash looked something like a mid dermal partial thickness burn covering 8% of my body; and behaved similar to a superficial burn. My shirt would stick to the rash as it healed, similar to how a would dressing my stick to a burn.
I exited Ketosis around April 27 to begin resolving the issue by eating tons of bananas and apples, and then maintained a low level of ketosis for the following days. I also took 3-4 showers a day to make sure my skin was staying clear of any irritants (acetone) that could build up from being in deep ketosis the prior week(s).
As of May 7th, I am experimenting with re-entering ketosis but, rather than following the “20 grams net carb” rule, I am attempting to work out what ratio of carbs to estimated caloric output keeps me in the optimal band of experiencing the mental clarity & weight loss benefits of ketosis while avoiding the keto rash.