Feline Acne

October 12, 2009

in Cats

Feline acne is a typically mild skin condition that some cats develop. Acne in cats is not much different than acne in humans. Feline acne affects the faces of cats and is most common on the cat’s chin.

Acne in cats often looks like blackheads on the cat’s lips and chin. The blackheads may not be clearly visible in which cases the acne may make the chin look dirty. The acne may cause abscesses which open and crust over.

Though most cases of feline acne are minor, more severe cases can lead to skin irritation, hair loss, swelling, open sores, and infection. If the cat is scratching the area of the acne, the risk of hair loss, sores, and infection increases.

Common causes of acne in cats include poor grooming, stress, allergic reactions, and dirt or food caught in skin folds of the cat’s face. Cat acne can be due to overactive oil glands in the cat’s skin.

Mange, ringworm, yeast infections of the skin, and bacterial infections can be mistaken for cat acne. The skin pigmentation changes that light-colored cats can undergo can cause black dots on the chin that resembles this condition.

Because other skin conditions of the chin could be mistaken for feline acne, the cat should be examined by a veterinarian for a proper diagnosis. A biopsy, skin scraping, or other diagnostic tests may be performed.

The veterinarian may recommend mild soap, special shampoo, Epsom salts, or other treatment for the cat acne. The veterinarian may prescribe a topical ointment or antibiotics. If the cat acne does not respond to these treatments, the veterinarian may administer a corticosteroid injection.

The cat owner may be able to help prevent feline acne. The cat owner may need to pay more attention to keeping the cat’s face clean. If the cat is getting feline acne on its chin, the cat owner might help this condition by cleaning the cat’s chin after the cat eats.

In some cases, the feline acne is caused by an allergic reaction to food bowls. Switching from plastic food and water dishes to stainless steel, glass, or ceramic can help prevent allergic reactions to plastics.

The blackheads should not be squeezed. If this skin condition does not clear up with the recommended treatment, the cat should be examined by the veterinarian again. The veterinarian may prescribe a different treatment.

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