Feline Chin Acne

feline chin acneFeline chin acne is similar to the acne that occurs in humans. A form of follicular keratinization in that there is an overproduction of keratin, a protein found in the outer layer of the skin. When this excess keratin get trapped in the hair follicle, comedomes or “blackheads” form. If bacteria infects the comedomes, then pustules or “pimples” are formed.

The exact cause of this skin disorder is not know but may be related to a seborrheic disease such as seborrhea oleosa, or an increase in excess sebum production, the natural moisturizer of the skin. Other causes may be poor grooming habits and in a number of cats, this condition has been linked to the use of colored plastic food dishes.

Early disease shows a black dirty chin and when the blackheads are squeezed, the excess sebum trapped in the hair follicle can be seen. As the disease progresses, infections develop which results in larger, bloody sores and a painful chin.

To treat the disease, the owner must help the cat clean his chin. I recommend a pyoben based gel or shampoo, or an antiseborrheic shampoo to cleanse the affected area. In severe cases, I have often manually expressed the lesions while the cat is under anesthesia in order to get the chin cleaned well. Oral antibiotics will help if the chin is infected.

Daily to weekly cleaning will be needed to keep the condition under control, depending on the severity of the acne.

We also recommend switching the food bowls fromĀ  plastic to either ceramic, glass or stainless steel.

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