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Dark Specks On Your Cat's Chin? Understanding Feline Acne

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If your cat's chin looks dirty or has dark specks that cannot be wiped away, you should visit an animal hospital to get your cat checked out for acne. Untreated acne can turn into red, inflamed pustules that can cause your cat discomfort and can get infected. Read on to learn more about this condition, what causes it, and how to treat it.

What Causes Feline Acne?

Feline acne occurs when hair follicles produce too much keratin, which is a fibrous protein, and become clogged. Feline acne is not related to sex hormones — both intact and neutered/spayed cats can develop this condition.

PetMD says that acne can often appear on a cat's chin because it comes into contact with food/water bowls. A cat may develop contact dermatitis due to an allergy to a metal or plastic water bowl, or a cat may get acne on their chin because food/water bowls haven't been properly cleaned.

A cat may develop acne because they struggle with grooming. For instance, a senior cat may have mobility issues and need help cleaning their chin. Other cats may have an underlying illness that comprises the skin's immune-barrier function, so acne may just be a side effect of another disease.

How Is It Diagnosed and Treated?

Again, it's important to reach out to your vet to get to the bottom of the issue. When you take your cat into an animal hospital, the facility will likely go over your cat's medical history and take a skin-scraping sample to rule out other similar skin conditions or tumors.

If your cat does have acne, the vet may prescribe topical treatments and/or shampoo. It's important that you don't use your own skin products or shampoo on your cat's chin as these products aren't formulated for veterinary usage and can be too harsh for animals.

You may be tempted to squeeze or pick acne that is swollen, but again, it's important to see a vet. They can safely express pimples without spreading any infection. If your cat does have an infection, then a vet might prescribe a round of oral antibiotics.

How Can You Prevent Future Issues?

As previously mentioned, take note of your cat's food and water bowls. You may want to avoid metal and plastic materials and opt for ceramic dishes since they may hold less acne-causing bacteria. Be sure to clean the water and food bowls every day as well.

Your vet can also recommend over-the-counter face wipes that you can use if your cat struggles with cleaning their chin. If your cat has a longer coat, then you may want to visit a groomer and have your cat's fur around their face trimmed down so that it's easier to clean.

Reach out to an animal hospital, such as Angel Pet Hospital, today for more information.