Paleo Hacks – Keratosis Pillaris

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I was browsing Paleo Hacks this morning and came across the following question:

My boyfriend and I are in very different places in the paleo journey. He has been following the lifestyle for years and I only started a few months ago. We have been fussing with macro nutrient ratios lately. He is always low carb but has more protein than fat where as I am low carb trying to do high fat mod protein.

He always seems to have a rash of sorts that is tons of little bumps on the back of his arms. I cant figure out what is causing it! He eats ground beef, raw kale, chicken soup (made the right way with TONS of minerals etc) and thats about it. I eat a much more varied diet. Now, I have only gotten the bumps a few times but I also get them on my legs! There doesnt seem to be any particular food that causes it.

Now I lets just say thanksgiving was an epic failure for me in all ways. I ate things that I cant even bring myself to write. Moving on, but I am really really breaking out into the “bump rash” right now. All over my body it seems! ARgggg

So here are my questions:

  1. What are these bumps?????
  2. Why does he have them and what does it mean? It seems like inflammation of some kind but from what?
  3. Am I having them right now because I am “detoxing” from my thanksgiving binge? It is the first time in months I had eaten such.. crap. Think store bought pie, fudge, stuffing made with fake butter ugh the list goes on.

Bf did not eat anything bad for the holiday- he was smartly at home and did not go to either of our mothers feasts. I am back on track – and pretty strict.


For more Paleo hacks:

This is my response to her question:

I had the same problem for a long time after spending a year traveling in Australia. Not only was I massively fat-soluble vitamin deficient, but I was getting a ton of sun, so I was probably having way too much vitamin D, which is known to result in a consequential vitamin A deficiency (see Chris Masterjohn’s work:

Hyperkeratosis pillaris is a common sign of vitamin A deficiency. It may be possible that the deficiency might be in vitamin K2 as well, since K2 is required for vitamins A and D to function correctly.

I only recently was able to heal my KP with a combination of diet and good exfoliation. But it can be done. It’s not a detox reaction, it’s a fundamental problem of disordered keratin production in the skin. The bumps are simply a buildup of keratin around the hair follicle.

I would add cod liver oil and high vitamin butter oil to your supplement routine if you have one. As far as products go, I like KP Duty by Dermadoctor for exfoliation in the shower, and Amlactin XL as a lotion.

Combining good diet, fat-soluble vitamins, and an aggressive exfoliation routine has completely cured my hyperkeratosis pillaris, so I really recommend that protocol for you and your boyfriend.

My Hyperkeratosis Pillaris at its WORST:

Hyperkeratosis Pillaris on my face, similar to that on my arms

I wanted to bring this question and answer session into my blog, since keratosis pillars (KP) is something I was dealing with for over a year after my trip in Australia. Having attended Chris Masterjohn’s talk, and reading the book “K2 and the Calcium Paradox”, I feel much more educated about the importance of the fat soluble vitamins, and what can happen when one is in excess. My experience in Australia was that my diet was very low quality, and the strong Australian sun was probably giving me way too much vitamin D, causing an imbalance in my fat-soluble vitamin ratios.

I have since cured this skin problem. YAY!

I hope that my experience with KP will give anyone else with problem skin not only hope for a cure, but also a functional protocol to take when looking to cure your skin ailments. I truly believe that a combination of improved diet, proper supplementation, and strategic topical treatment is the best way to deal with KP. I’ve read on some forums before that the condition is permanent. NOT TRUE! I encourage you to give this treatment regimen a try for a month or so and see how your skin reacts. For me, it was a miracle – I had been so self conscious about this skin problem that I was even somewhat depressed. I really felt unattractive when I was covering the redness up with makeup, and it really took a toll on my self confidence. This is why I’m so pleased that I discovered a way to treat the issue, and now my skin is essentially back to normal, with the exception of a bit of scarring.

If any of you are dealing with this skin problem, I really encourage you to try my treatment protocol. Feel free to ask me any questions if you want to know more information about my successful treatment!

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I'm a women's health expert and a registered dietitian (RD) with a passion for helping goal-oriented people fuel their purpose.

I help nutrition entrepreneurs grow their income and their impact by packaging their brilliance into transformative coaching and consulting programs, and get crystal clear on their marketing strategy.

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