Feline Acne Treatment With Benzoyl Peroxide

Feline acne is more common than one would think, and does not just affect teen-aged cats. This condition is usually a minor health problem that causes a cat's chin to develop blackheads. Feline acne is easily treatable with benzoyl peroxide.

Signs a Cat May Have Feline Acne

When a cat has acne, blackheads, also called "comedones", can appear on the chin or lower lip. This can make the cat look like it has sores or that her chin is dirty or bumpy in appearance. Sometimes comedones can appear on a cat's gums. Feline acne can form abbesses that can drain and crust over.

In more severe cases, cat acne can become red, swollen and infected.

Causes of Feline Acne

Here are several sources of cat acne:

  • Overactive oil glands
  • Stress
  • A weakened immune system
  • Bad grooming habits
  • Dermatitis
  • Skin or hair abnormalities.
  • Acne is usually confined to the area around the cat's chin.

Cats can experience acne more during the times they shed - in the spring and fall. While cats shed hair, they can also eliminate waste in their body through their pores, which can become clogged.

It is believed that plastic food bowls are one of the main culprits in terms of causing cats to develop blackheads. Plastic can harbor a lot of bacteria. A plastic food bowl can come into contact with a cat's chin, letting bacteria fester in her fur and skin, resulting in acne. It is recommended that pet owners use ceramic, glass, or metal bowls for a cat's food and water.

Treating Feline Acne with Benzoyl Peroxide

The goal of treatment is to remove excess sebum. A veterinarian can prescribe benzoyl peroxide products to help combat a cat's acne, especially in more severe cases.

Benzoyl peroxide helps clear up acne by introducing oxygen into the skin, initially drying it where the acne is located. The use of benzoyl peroxide can also help the hair follicles on a cat get rid of excess dead skin, which may be clogging up pores. The dry skin then peels and helps clear pores. As a result, the bacteria causing the acne are reduced.

Benzoyl peroxide gels have proven to be effective in acne treatment. A benzoyl peroxide shampoo may also be recommended by a veterinarian. One should never use a benzoyl peroxide treatment meant for humans on cats. Acne treatments meant for humans are a lot stronger and can cause irritation to a cat's skin. With benzoyl peroxide, feline acne can be controlled. However, this treatment is not a cure.

Cats of all ages, male and female, can develop feline acne. Mild cases of feline acne may not need intervention or can be treated at home by placing a warm, moist washcloth on her chin. However, you should consult a veterinarian if you suspect your cat has feline acne, or if symptoms persist for more than a week as the bumps could be a symptom of a different underlying problem.