What is feline acne?
As unbelievable as it may be, cats can develop acne just like in the case of human beings. It is not contagious can be mild or severe, and it occurs once, keeps recurring or be a life-long problem.
Feline acne (sometimes referred to as chin acne in cats or simply cat acne) is a skin condition characterized by comedones especially blackheads and at times whiteheads, pimples, lesions, crusts and so on caused by clogged hair follicles commonly noted on the chin area.
However, skin folds, low lip, upper lip, nose, around the mount and eyes, and other places may develop acne.
We already looked at causes, how it looks like including some pictures and treatments. We will be focusing on various home remedies for chin acne on cats.
In case your fluffy friend has a severe form, talk to your vet. Do not rely on home treatments. However, for mild cases, some of the commonly used remedies include the following:
Gently apply a warm compression on the affected area. This will speed up healing and soothe the affected area. While doing so, avoid rubbing the area as you do so as it will only worsen or cause irritation.
Cat acne treatment with benzoyl peroxide
This treatment involves the use of benzoyl peroxide products including benzoyl peroxide shampoos if they don’t cause irritation. Try Davis Benzoyl Peroxide Medicated Dog & Cat Shampoo, or Pet MD Benzoyl Peroxide Medicated Shampoo for Dogs and Cats
Additionally, use benzoyl peroxide creams, gels or ointments that contain it including OxyDex for cats and dogs
The use of benzoyl peroxide helps dry the affected area as well as remove excess dead skin reducing chances of comedones formation.
However, do not use benzoyl peroxide products meant for human beings. Also, care must be taken to ensure your feline friend does not ingest topical creams, gels or ointments or they get into his or her eyes as they can cause irritation.
Consider using an Elizabethan collar if you suspect your cat may ingest these products.
Try witch hazel to heal cat acne
Apply a small amount of witch hazel such as Thayers on the affected area using cotton swabs. As Care.com notes that it works as an “astringent to further remove oil and tighten pores. Proactively applying witch hazel to a cat’s chin can also help prevent breakouts in the future.”
However, the first test to see if it causes more irritation on your cat as it can especially in severe feline acne cases.
Does apple cider vinegar help?
Apple cider vinegar is known to help in killing fleas, ringworm, and mites in these pets. What about using it in managing acne?
Petsho.com and an expert answer on WikiHow.com recommend its use, i.e., cleaning your cat’s chin or affected the area with this product may help reduce mild cases since it has astringent properties. However, you need to dilute it and check if it causes skin irritation.
Feline acne treatment with hydrogen peroxide
Another cat acne remedy is the use of hydrogen peroxide. It will help in killing any bacteria present as well as help in drying any sebum present.
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 (Betadine) 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.
Also, the use of chlorhexidine gluconate a disinfectant with antiseptic properties has been recommended by some people. The Davis Dog and Cat Chlorhexidine Spray, 4 Percent is a good choice.
Chlorhexidine is often used in sterilizing surgical tools or disinfecting the skin before surgery may help reduce the chances of infections and get rid of any bacteria present.
Caution must be taken since chlorhexidine may result in serious ocular damage should it enter your feline friend’s eyes.
Brushing the affected area using a flea brush or an old toothbrush daily to help reduce oil gland clogging by getting rid of any oil that may be accumulating. Furthermore, it will help in removing loose debris as well as loosen them.
Cat acne wipes
They are antimicrobial or salicylic acid wipes. Some may contain antibiotics or steroids. Some of the common brands of wipes are the Pet MD’s antiseptic wipes (anti-microbial), Stridex (antimicrobial with hydrocortisone steroid) as well as Vetericyn Plus Hydrogel (antimicrobial).
Their role will depend on if they are antimicrobial (they speed healing, reduce itchiness, and kill bacteria) while those with salicylic acid will dry the area and help in the shedding of dead skin.
Aloe vera gel
Apply some aloe vera gel especially after you have disinfected the affected area to speed up the healing process and reduce inflammation.
It has antibiotic properties and it will help speed healing. Apply some on their chin or affected areas. Ensure you only use medicinal manuka honey like the Raw Manuka Honey Certified MGO 820+ (NPA 20+) Highest Grade Medicinal Strength Manuka with Antibacterial Activity.
This hydrocortisone spray will help heal any wound, skin infections as well as reduce swelling, among other symptoms that acne may cause. Buy the Zymox Topical Hot Spot Spray for Dogs and Cats with .5% Hydrocortisone.
Rub the affected area with cucumber pulp. It will ensure dry out the affected area as well as acne. Furthermore, this pulp will stop clog formation by dead skin cells. This will reduce breakouts and consequently the scarring that may come with them.
The Neosporin Original Antibiotic Ointment can help heal superficial skin damages in case of scratching due to acne breakout as well as kill any bacteria, preventing further infection. Do not use it in case there is excessive skin irritation.
Other home remedies
Also, the use of dilute Epsom salts, antiseborrheic shampoos, clindamycin gel or solution, coconut oil, dilute tea tree oil, baths with mild antibacterial products, among others.