Feline acne is a skin condition affecting the cats chin. Overactive oil (sebaceous) glands in the chin produce excess oil or sebum which predisposes cats to developing Feline Acne and Stud Tail. The oil, which is also called Sebum, plugs up the hair follicles in the chin which causes black heads called Comedomes to form. Secondary bacterial infection may or may not occur. Occasionally in very severe cases, the chin becomes visibly swollen but usually acne is an incidental finding. Acne occurs in male and female cats of all ages.
Black specks that look similar to flea dirt on cats chin.
FACT: Overactive Sebaceous glands in the cats chin predisposes cats to acne by producing excess skin oil.
Conditions that cause Feline acne can include:
* Poor grooming which is rarely a cause.
* Secondary infections with yeast, bacteria or fungi may cause acne.
* Blackheads may occur as part of the normal aging process in some cats.
* NOTE: Owners should not squeeze the chin lesions, because this causes pain and further irritates the chin.
Persian Cats (with very flat faces) may have a hereditary disorder involving abnormal skin Keratinization. This causes severe seborrhea with black greasy debrie that accumulates in the skin folds of their face and around their nose and eyes. Lifelong treatment consists of Benzyl Peroxide shampoos to cleanse the face 3 times a week. The prognosis is excellent.
WHAT YOU AND YOUR VET CAN DO
* Use Benyzl peroxide based solutions or Betadine scrub mixed with water to clean the chin and eliminate excess oil. Rinse with water and air dry.
* Make a solution of white vinegar and water (50/50) and dab onto chin with a cotton ball twice daily, this helps dry out the chin area.
* Avoid topical acne preparations. Cats tend to lick them off.
* Antibiotics are used if bacterial infection is present
* Mild cases often resolve themselves without therapy.
* Diagnosis is usually based on signs.
* Mites, fungi, bacteria and yeast may need to be ruled out by a microscopic exam or a skin sample in some cases.
* A biopsy in which a small piece of chin tissue is removed and examined microscopically confirms severe and or unresponsive cases.
NOTE: Allergies to plastic in food bowls and toys can aggravate acne. Use stainless steel or ceramic food and water bowls.
* A poultice of mashed Dandelion works well to resolve chin lesions.
* Crab Apple – is a batch flower remedy. 2 drops given 2-3 times a day in mouth or mixed into food or water reduces chin irritation.
* Essential Omega –3 Fatty Acids – add to meals once daily, sources include Evening Primrose Oil or 1/8 Tsp Salmon oil