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Cat chin acne is a fairly common but minor health condition that can be treated with antiseptic medications that you often have in your house. I remember my first Siamese having chin acne. Back then I thought that she had a dirty chin from food. Thank goodness it was not very extreme and would come and go without any complications.
Plastic food containers have long been suspected in the culprit in causing chin acne. Plastic containers can harbor bacteria and dirt. Not cleaning the dish often can result in a slimy layer of bacteria and fungus in the water bowl. This can infect your cats and spread to other cats in the household. For this reason Veterinarians recommend using glass or metal food containers, and daily washing to prevent this from occurring. Other possibilities of chin acne can be due to stress emotionally or environmentally.
Just like humans cat chin acne is caused by overactive oil glands and takes the form of pimples or blackheads. Most of the time the acne is confined to the chin. The cat usually does not experience this problem until he is at least one year old, with the severity varying throughout the cat’s life. Although this condition can be life long, there will be times when the cat will experience a remission, so you may see the acne come and go. It seems to be more common during the spring and fall seasons when the cat sheds. During this time the body also rids itself of old waste products which is often excreted through the pores. The pores may clog with oil and dirt, resulting in chin acne. Though cats are extraordinary cleaners of them selves, the chin is difficult to clean, and build up occurs. If the conditions progresses and is not taken care of, serious skin problems can occur.
Cat chin acne may appear as red, swollen pores or black clogged pores. In more severe cases inflammation and skin irritation can occur including swelling of the skin and lymph nodes in the head and neck area. In more severe cases hair loss may develop. Typically chin acne looks like black dirt that will not wash away.
Dietary changes along with treatments applied to the skin can be used at home. A higher quality of food can help the cats body be more effective to cleanse and heal itself of waste materials. It is important to keep the infected area clean by applying topical treatments to remove the accumulated waste material from the skin. A cotton ball soaked in hydrogen peroxide or vinegar is good for cleaning the area. Be cautious using vinegar because it might be irritating if the skin is raw. If your kitty is uncooperative about getting her chin cleaned, wrap her up in a towel to avoid scratches. Daily washing of the chin with an antibiotic soap can clear the chin of built up oil and dirt. Afterwards apply an antibiotic ointment which will prevent the pores from getting clogged with bacteria. Daily cleaning with lukewarm salt water can also help and reduce infection. It is also recommended to clean their chins after they eat.
Keep an eye on the water and food bowl. Metal and glass are better. Watch your kitty for the first signs of cat chin acne. Because treatment and prevention are simple, keeping skin problems under control should be easy. Being able to treat most cases of chin acne at home makes kitties and their humans happier.