Feline Acne can be caused by stress, a suppressed immune system, other illnesses, atopic dermatitis, and over active sebaceous glands. The sebaceous glands secrete oils which lubricate the skin. They are found in the eyelids, chin, base of the tail and the lips. They are connected to the hair follicles. These glands are what your cat uses to mark territory. You probably notice your cat rubbing you or your furniture or other objects with his/her face. They are marking with these glands. With feline acne the hair follicles become blocked with black sebaceous material. The follicles become infected and swollen producing the little scabs. The main signs your cat may scratch the chin frequently and his/her chin will look dirty from the black scabs.
When acne is suspected your vet will take a skin scraping and test it to determine the cause of the condition. This will tell whether the problem is demodicosis, Malassezia (yeast infection), allergies or ringworm. Your vet may recommend convention medications for your cat depending on the diagnosis.
The treatment may involve the use of special shampoos containing benzyl peroxide (3% concentration or less). This helps to cut down on excess oils and helps dry up abscesses. If there is an infection involved your vet may prescribe topical or oral antibiotics. The book “Small Animal Dermatology” recommends an EPSON salt soak. Add two tablespoons of EPSON salt to one quart of warm water. Hold a warm compress of the solution on your cats chin for 10-15 minutes.
Give your cat a supplement containing Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids. You can get fish oil gel caps and puncture them, squirting the gel onto their food. You will have to be diligent in trying this. Most cats are finicky eaters and it may take a while to get them to eat their food with anything new on it. Fatty acids not only help to maintain a healthy heart, they also reduce inflammation. They help to strengthen the immune system. A weak immune system can lead to many illnesses including feline acne. Feed your cat and give them water in glass bowls. They may get a reaction from chemicals that are in plastic bowls.
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