Topical Treatment Options for Dogs with Skin Allergies

There are several topical treatments for dogs with skin allergies. It's important to also address diet as topical treatments alone are often only a temporary solution. Specific bathing practices help in addition to substances you can get via prescription and over the counter. Each dog responds differently, so some trial and error may be necessary.

Soothing Shampoo

Regular bathing with specific products can help soothe itchy, dry or flaking skin on your dog. A good bath will remove the irritant from the skin as you clean the area. Use a dog shampoo that contains oatmeal. Other helpful ingredients include tea tree, vitamin E, salicylic acid, papaya, aloe vera and kiwi. To really clean the area, use a bathing brush with raised teeth and brush against the grain of the fur while washing.

Dog Conditioner

Using a dog conditioner after shampooing will help moisturize and heal your dog's irritated skin. A shea butter conditioner with allantoin, wheat protein, calendula, and yucca can help reduce hot spots, scaling, and flaking. Many conditioners have the ingredients listed in the above section. They may also include alpha-hydroxy malic acid, vitamin A, and omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids.

Antihistamine Powder

Your vet can give you a powder that includes Benadryl or another antihistamine in it. An antihistamine will reduce the allergic response the skin has to the irritant. It can provide immediate relief and may also deter your dog from the chewing and licking that further irritates the skin.


Hydrocortisone can be added to a powder or ointment. Some dogs respond very well to the anti-imflammatory properties of a hydrocortisone substance. You'll most likely need a prescription for this type of topical treatment.


The powder contained in high quality probiotic product can do wonders for a dog with irritated skin. For efficacy, the capsules or powder should contain live probiotics from a refrigerated section of a natural food store or reputable supplier. The live strain count should be in the billions. It's safe to use probiotics intended for humans as long as the product contains no other ingredients like lactose etc. Cut away any wet hair around the irritated area and use just a pinch of the powder for every 2 inches of skin. Rub the powder into the inflamed area. These live friendly bacteria will literally eat away at the bacterial that may be causing the allergic reaction for your dog.

Vitamin E Oil

A pure vitamin E oil can do wonders for your dog's skin. As always, it's good to cut away wet hair as this will just add to the skin irritation and provides the perfect environment for bad bacteria to thrive. Put a small amount of the vitamin E oil on the dog's skin, just enough to cover the irritated area.

Powders or Sprays to Remove the Irritant

If your dog is having an allergic reaction to fleas or chewing lice, killing these parasites will help heal the skin. An all-natural flea powder is better than chemicals if it will solve the problem. A topical flea medication given each month can deter fleas and chewing lice. Never double up on flea medications and watch to see if your dog is allergic to the flea treatments.