You’ve undoubtedly heard a lot of opinions on the Keto diet, know someone that’s on it or even tried it yourself. It is said to have several health benefits and can also be beneficial to your overall skin health. In particular many sufferers of rosacea claim the keto diet has helped their condition.
What is the Keto Diet?
Keto is the popular term used for Ketogenic diet and is a low-carbohydrate, high-fat diet that has gained popularity over the last decade for its claimed health benefits. It has been touted to help with weight loss and offer health benefits such as lowering blood sugar and insulin levels and said to be helpful for people with diabetes, cancer, epilepsy and Alzheimer’s disease.
When you go on a Keto diet, the fundamental principal is you drastically reduce your carbohydrate intake and replace it with fat. It is this dramatic reduction of carbohydrate that puts your body into a metabolic state called ketosis which is when your body becomes very efficient at burning fat for energy. Whilst this is the main type of Keto diet there are several versions as follows:
- Standard: very low-carbohydrate (approx. 5%), moderate-protein (20%) and high-fat (75%).
- High-protein: low-carbohydrate (approx. 5%), higher-protein (35%) and fat at 60%.
- Cyclical: involves periods of higher-carbohydrate levels, such as 5 keto days followed by 2 higher carbohydrate days.
How the Keto Diet can Impact Your Skin
Many people that go on a Keto diet speak of the impact it has had on their skin. For some people it significantly helps their skin condition and for others it has been seen to have a negative impact.
For the better:
- The high levels of fat in the diet means more oil can be released onto the skin by the oil glands. This can give the effect of a healthy glow.
- Dramatic increases in blood sugar levels and excessive consumption can weaken collagen and lead to wrinkles and fine lines. The keto diet is very low in refined sugars which can help to keep collagen levels strong and help support healthy plump looking skin.
- The keto diet is said to improve conditions such as acne, dermatitis and rosacea by helping to reduce inflammation caused by high levels of ketones (ketones are fatty acids that are released from your liver to your bloodstream and help fuel your metabolism).
For the worse:
- The diet promotes the secretion of sebum and when there is an oversupply of this oil, the bacteria P. Acnes can build up and cause breakouts and acne.
- Some people on the diet have complained of a ‘keto rash’. The symptoms are a red, itchy rash that appear around the trunk and neck. Keto rash is actually called prurigo pigmentosa which is an inflammatory skin condition that in rare cases has been claimed to be associated with the ketogenic diet (research on this link is limited).
How Keto can Help Rosacea Sufferers
Millions of people around the world suffer from rosacea, with the majority of sufferers being middle-aged women who have light skin. It predominantly affects the face and can manifest as redness, small bumps and visible blood vessels. Rosacea is sometimes mistaken for acne due to the appearance of small, red, pus-filled bumps.
Diet plays an important role in managing this skin condition and triggers for rosacea can be certain foods, alcohol or sun exposure.
It is suggested that the foods and drinks to avoid are:
- Sugars and starches.
- Alcohol, hot coffee and tea.
- Spicy foods.
- High histamine foods.
As mentioned previously, the keto diet is said to help improve rosacea by reducing inflammation caused by high levels of ketones. The low levels of sugars and starches in the Keto diet may also help to reduce the likelihood of a rosacea flare up.
You can hear more on this from vloggers such as Sarah who talks about her experience with rosacea and Keto. She shares her story on having suffered rosacea for many years and tried many things to help it. The Keto diet has had the most impact on her rosacea and after 30 days she is noticing a massive difference, saying the results are incredible.
How AMPERNA® can Help
Kiri Yanchenko, founder of AMPERNA® struggled with several skin conditions such as acne and perioral dermatitis. Her approach to good skin health is using a holistic approach and adapting your diet, lifestyle and skincare regime to help improve skin conditions. She helps her clients to manage their skin health via her Holistic Skin Coaching Service. Her Telehealth service allows people to discuss their skin concerns, their diet (such as Keto) and develop a tailored plan to work towards healthy glowing skin. Get in touch with Kiri today.
Disclaimer: This article is for information only and should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of medical conditions. If symptoms persist, we recommend that you see your GP or dermatologist.