Potassium is an electrolyte, a substance that conducts electricity in the body. It works in conjunction with sodium to regulate your heart, muscle and digestive functions. Several factors can cause low potassium, or hypokalemia, including diarrhea, the use of diuretic medication and high thyroid levels. Too much sodium can also cause low potassium levels.
Potassium and Skin
Early signs of chronic potassium deficiency include acne and dry skin, according to Dr. Elson M. Haas, writing for the Periodic Paralysis International website. However, acne and dry skin have a wide range of other causes. You should consult your physician if you suspect that you have a low potassium level, which is usually corrected by increasing your intake of potassium-rich foods, such as bananas, avocados, salmon, lean beef, chard and white beans.