Causes of feline acne
A common, mild skin condition that affects cats is feline acne. Acne in cats is similar to the acne that affects humans. The faces of cats tend to have acne.
Acne in cats may look like blackheads on the cat's chin. If the acne is not clearly visible on the cat's skin, the chin and lips may look like it is dirty. The acne may form crusts.
Severe cases of feline acne can cause open sores, skin irritation, hair loss, swelling, and infection though most cases of feline acne are minor. If the cat is scratching the area, the risk of these complications 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.
Light-colored cats often experience changes in skin coloring which can cause black dots on the chin. These dots can resemble feline acne. Other skin conditions like bacterial infections, ringworm, yeast infections, and mange are sometimes mistaken for cat acne.
The skin condition should be examined and properly diagnosed by a veterinarian. A skin scraping, skin biopsy, or other tests may be done to determine the appropriate diagnosis.
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 cat owner should refrain from squeezing the blackheads which could make the cat's skin susceptible to infection. If the cat acne does not clear up with treatment, the cat should be examined by the veterinarian again. Another type of treatment may be needed.