Switch Out The Food And Water Bowls
Remember? This is where we started. Acne can be caused or worsened by bacteria collecting on your cats face. Plastic bowls harbor bacteria and can contribute to the problem. If you use plastic bowls and your cat has acne, switch immediately to glass or stainless steel bowls and wash regularly.
Wash the food bowl between meals and the water bowl once a day. While the bowl switch can make a big difference in your cats health and acne, its unlikely to be a complete solution. Diet is an even more important influence.
Causes Of Cat Chin Acne
Veterinarians cant definitively point to what causes cat chin acne, but they have some theories. Like with humans it is probably a complex interaction between skin cell turnover, skin oil composition, bacteria on the skin surface, and other unidentified factors, says Layne.
Here we take a deeper dive into some of the most common theories of whats behind cat chin acne.
About Dr Pete Wedderburn Dvm
Dr Pete Wedderburn qualified as a vet from Edinburgh in 1985 and has run his own 4-veterinarian companion animal practice in County Wicklow, Ireland, since 1991. Pete is well known as a media veterinarian with regular national tv, radio and newspaper slots, including a weekly column in the Daily Telegraph since 2007. Pete is known as “Pete the Vet” on his busy Facebook, Instagram and Twitter pages, regularly posting information on topical subjects and real-life cases from his clinic. He also write a regular blog at www.petethevet.com. His latest book: Pet Subjects, was published by Aurum Press in 2017.
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How To Treat Cat Acne Quickly And Efficiently
Acne is a pretty mild skin condition for cats. Most of the time, it doesnt need antibiotics or medications, and it goes away on its own. There are a couple of things you can do to speed up the process, though. Those will also ensure the cat isnt in pain or irritation.
All cat owners know it if your cat is in pain, youre next!
What Causes Chin Acne In Cats
The exact cause of chin acne in cats is not known, but it is believed to be a disorder of follicular keratinization. Keratinization is a process in which keratin proteins are produced to protect the skin from damage. In chin acne in cats, rupture of keratin-filled follicles can lead to inflammation around the base of the hair follicle.
Feline acne can often be complicated by secondary bacterial or yeast infections. There’s no one clear answer as to why this happens, but some possible explanations include poor grooming habits, stress, viral infections, immunosuppression, and allergies. Unfortunately, none of these theories have been proven yet.
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Here Are Some Of The Other Things That Can Cause Feline Acne:
Food allergies: It is possible that an ingredient in your cats food is causing him to develop acne. There may be other symptoms of an allergic reaction too such as sneezing, eyes running and vomiting. Food containing eggs, poultry, grains and seafood are best known to produce such symptoms.
Contact allergies: Some cats may be sensitive to the plastics used to make their food bowl. If you suspect this is the case you should change the bowl for one made of glass or metal.
A cats contact with the bacteria on the tops of food and water bowls may play a part in the onset of acne. Prevention is therefore possible to an extent by lifting the bowl to a height that allows the cat to eat or drink without
Hormonal imbalance: Hormonal abnormalities or changes in the bodys hormone levels may cause your cat to develop acne. A similar problem is seen of adolescent humans.
Weak immunity: If a cat is already ill or has a disease which weakens its immunity he is more prone to infections. A weak immune system predisposes your cat to a range of ailments including anaemia, kidney or liver disease and some cancers.
Cat Acne: Hygiene For Cats
Cat hygiene is KEY when preventing feline acne. For more about cleaning your cat, we recommend taking a look at our video below where we explain how to wash an adult cat for the first time.
This article is purely informative. AnimalWised does not have the authority to prescribe any veterinary treatment or create a diagnosis. We invite you to take your pet to the veterinarian if they are suffering from any condition or pain.
If you want to read similar articles to Feline Acne – Causes, Symptoms and Treatment, we recommend you visit our Skin problems category.
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Antibacterial Agents Including Betadine And Muricin
Your vet may recommend the cleaning of the affected area with mild antibacterial soap, the use of dilute iodine and other topical products because they have antibacterial properties.
Unfortunately, some such as betadine may cause a sting to your furry friend.
Finally, when applying, use a cotton ball and get rid of any excess amount as you wait for them to dry.
Feline Acne Treatment: Hydrogen Peroxide
Apply hydrogen peroxide onto your cats skin with a cotton ball. Make sure to clean off any excess chemical off. The use of benzoyl peroxide for cats suffering from feline acne is also a very common as an antibacterial. In fact, we recommend using a gel containing benzoyl peroxide rather than hydrogen peroxide for cats. The reason for this is that hydrogen peroxide can at times burn your cats skin, especially if it is very sensitive.
Remember to consult a veterinarian before applying any new gels or chemicals to your cats skin.
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Recovery And Management Of Cat Acne
If your cat is plagued with chin acne, remember this is usually only a superficial problem and not one that will have serious impacts on your cats overall health.
Most cases of feline chin acne are relatively harmless and respond well with improved hygiene.
The condition does become painful if it reaches the point where lesions swell and/or scab, so this is the point where more aggressive treatment is required to manage your cats acne.
Additional Tips To Prevent Acne In Cats
- Switch the cat bowls to glass, ceramic or stainless steel. At times, what may be perceived as cat acne may be allergic reactions to plastic food and water bowls. Also settle for a shallow dish so the cat doesnt get their chin too deep into it.
- Have the bowls cleaned daily
- Learn to clean your cat regularly. Keep its chin cleaned up to avoid feline acne resulting from poor grooming habits. It is especially important to clean the cats chin after every meal if they have had acne flare ups in the past.
- Clip hair on the affected area to minimize accumulation of acne causing substances.
- To prevent the oil glands from being impacted and to break up the oil, brush your cats chin every day.
In most cases, feline acne will disappear without any intervention. Left alone, the skin condition will clear on its own. However, in case you feel a need for intervention, the above remedies should work within a few days.
Cases of cat acne resulting from chronic exposure to pesticides, chemicals and detergents may linger on for as long as the cat is subjected to the same. The same applies if it is caused by hormonal imbalances. Eliminate the causes for your pet to be free of acne.
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What Does Feline Acne Look Like
Feline acne always develops on a cats chin or lip area, giving the cat the appearance of a dirty chin. It usually manifests as a pepper-like flaky black or brown dirt, which sometimes leads cat guardians to incorrectly believe that their cat has fleas, thanks to its resemblance to flea dirt . A simple way to test whether the black stuff is acne rather than flea dirt is to smear some of it on a wet paper towel. Since flea dirt is made primarily of blood, it will leave a rust-colored stain on the towel. If the dirt barely smears or leaves behind a black stain, then its extremely likely that youre dealing with cat acne. Another obvious sign that your cat has acne is if they have tender pink pustules on their chin.
Dont squeeze or pop your cats pimples. This will spread infection and worsen your cats acne. Seriously. As an ex-cat-pimple-popper , the acne doesnt go away until you stop it.
Photo by self, CC-BY-SA-3.0, from Wikimedia Commons
Here Are Just A Few Treatments And Remedies Of Cat Acne:
Dietary change: Remove suspected allergens from your cat’s food .Resolve compromised immunity: Underlying illnesses may cause your cat to be more prone to acne. Treating these illnesses will boost your cats immunity.Daily cleanse: Wash the cats chin with cat shampoo to remove excess oil and dirt.Disinfect: Apply a mild and natural disinfectant such as witch hazel to your cats chin. Check with your vet first that it is safe to do so.Soothe: Apply a small amount of aloe vera to your cats chin after you have washed and disinfected it. Again, check with your vet first that it is safe to do so.
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Because the presence of acne on your cats skin may indicate something other than a localised dermatological problem, a vet may recommend further tests are carried out to determine any underlying illness or condition.
Once the vet has determined exactly what is causing your cats acne they can begin an appropriate treatment. Treatments will include an anti-inflammatory medication, topical creams and if necessary and antibiotic to combat an infection that has worsened. Be vigilant of the condition of your cats skin and you will be able to act fast to prevent acne from worsening.
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Can Cat Chin Acne Be Prevented
You can definitely prevent cat acne from returning in the future. The first thing most cat owners do is remove plastic dishes. Many cats have a sensitivity to plastic.
Help your cat with grooming. If your cat is not great at cleaning themselves, use vet-approved wipes to help them out so acne doesnt return.
You should also figure out why your cat might be stressed. This can prevent acne from returning. Cats are most often stressed due to new situations, new schedules, or new places. Cats are creatures of habit and dont like when their daily routine is disrupted. Has anything changed recently?
- New cat or pet in the home
- More or different work hours
- Change in food
- A new family member or housemate
- A change in layout
What Is Feline Acne And What Causes It
Cats can experience breakouts just like humans. Feline acne is the result of a buildup of sebaceous fluid in the cats hair follicles, forming comedones, or blackheads on their chin and lip area. In some cases, the cat may also develop pus-filled whiteheads. In most cases, feline acne is only a cosmetic issue, and wont bother the cat at all. Many cats pimples go away on their own after a short period of time, while other cats experience recurring breakouts throughout their lives and require care and preventative treatments.
Feline acne is usually considered idiopathic, meaning there is no clearly identifiable cause. Acne can happen without a definitive instigator. This doesnt mean the lights are out on contributing factors, though.
The cat guardian and veterinarian communities have been able to identify several conditions and factors which may increase your cats likelihood of a breakout.
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Severe And Infected Cat Chin Acne Treatment
Bad cat acnetypically requires a different regimen. Once the acne has progressed to the point where a cat starts scratching and the pimples are bleeding and oozing, it can be tough to try to apply topical treatments, says Layne. In those cases oral antibiotics are usually needed, along with oral anti-inflammatory medications. As the lesions heal, then wipes or cream might be feasible.
Some cats have just a few episodes of cat chin acneduring their lives, while others have chronic issues, Layne says. For these cats, long-term oral medication to control the inflammation is often needed.
Feline Acne Treatment And Home Remedies
How do you treat cat acne? The approach you take will depend on its severity. Mild cases may resolve on their own. However, severe cases including where there are pustules require the help of your veterinarian.
Even if you prefer home treatments using the various home or OTC products, it is good to let your vet confirm if the problem is acne or it could be other conditions, we have mentioned that some skin conditions may mimic it.
For mild cases, various home remedies for cat acne may be used which will include but not limited to:
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Does Feline Acne Hurt My Cat
If your cat has a light sprinkling of blackheads, they probably dont notice the acne at all. As long as your cat isnt actively scratching or pawing at their chin, or reacting to touch as though they were in pain, its likely youre more aware of the acne than they are. However, if your cats acne develops into tender whiteheads or pink sores, their chin may itch or feel painful. This can lead to more damage if your cat scratches the acne or begins to excessively groom their face. They may create open sores, which can become infected. Fortunately, this is rare, and most cats are not bothered by acne.
What Causes Chin Acne
While the exact mechanism is not understood, the abnormal follicular keratinization is thought to be related to a primary seborrheic disease such as seborrhea oleosa, to excessive sebum production or to poor grooming habits. In a significant number of cats, there is an association between using plastic food and water dishes and chin acne. The irregular surface or scratches in the plastic make it more prone to bacterial contamination. Whatever the cause, the result is that the hair follicle becomes ‘plugged’ and an infection with its accompanying clinical signs results.
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How Do You Get Rid Of Cat Acne
Treatment of cat acne usually involves cleaning the chin to remove the excess sebum, and reducing the formation of blackheads. However, sometimes other treatment options may also need to be considered:
Warm compresses – to reduce swelling and inflammation
Antiseborrheic shampoo – to clean the chin and flush out the hair follicles
Clipping the fur in the affected area
Antimicrobial ointments or gels
Antibiotics – topical antibiotic creams and gels are of limited value as they are soon licked or cleaned off by cats. In severe cases where an infection is present, oral antibiotics are usually required. Treatment courses are often prolonged for 4-6 weeks due to the nature of the infection
Steroids – short-term treatment with steroids may be needed in severe cases to reduce the inflammation and associated pain
How To Prevent Feline Chin Acne
As mentioned, one of the best ways to prevent feline chin acne is to switch from plastic bowls to ceramic, glass, or stainless steel. Take steps to minimize your cats stress and ensure good grooming occurs to help promote healthy skin and fur, which will decrease the chances for clogged hair follicles.
Although feline chin acne is a puzzling condition that can be difficult to eradicate, good hygiene habits and prompt intervention can help clear up your kittys blackheads. Speak with your veterinarian before beginning any home care regimen, though, as some human products are toxic to cats.
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Other Cat Chin Acne Treatments
Cats afflicted with acne can also benefit from a fatty acid supplement, especially one containing Omega 3 fatty acids, says Loft. Fatty acids are not only noted for their role in maintaining a shiny coat, but they have anti-inflammatory properties which can benefit the skin. Ask your veterinarian for product recommendations and read the product instructions carefully before administering it to your cat.
In some cases, keeping hair clipped short can help the condition resolve, Loft adds.
For a proper diagnosis and to rule out other issues, its a good idea to check with your veterinarian. For example, If there is significant itching and skin trauma, then the area should be checked for other similar looking conditions like demodex , says Loft.
One practice to avoid is popping feline acne, as it can be painful, irritate the affected area, and spread infection.
Clinical Signs Of Feline Acne
The most common sign of feline acne is what appears to be a dirty, crusty chin. It may start out looking like blackheads in humans. Unfortunately, it can progress further if the blackheads become inflamed, swollen, reddened, and infected. They may become quite painful and rupture, become further infected, or even spread the infection to other parts of the body.
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Cat Chin Acne Treatment For Mild Cases
If the acne is in the mild stage, theres only crusting, and your cat is comfortable, treatment isnt necessary, says Layne.
However, If you object to the appearance of the crusts and black heads, you can use warm compresses to clean it off. Sometimes wipes containing disinfectant and degreasing ingredients like salicylic acid, chlorhexidine, or acetic acid can be helpful, she says. Many of these are available over-the-counter. Be sure to check the package label to be certain it is safe for cats and avoid their eyes. If you are unsure, consult your veterinarian.
For superficial oil buildups, topical benzoyl peroxide or antiseborrheic wipes, or mild shampoo, can be used to flush out the hair follicles, says Loft. Additionally, Many cats can benefit from a Clindamycin gel or liquid preparation, which veterinarians can prescribe and help administer.