Feline acne develops in the sebaceous
glands on the underside of the chin and edges of the lips. Blockage of skin
pores by excess sebum or keratin is a predisposing cause. It is more common in
cats with oily skin. It is not
analogous to acne in people.
Feline acne is identified by finding blackheads or pimplelike bumps that come to a head and
drain pus. Swelling of the entire chin and lower lips may be seen in severe
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A similar condition can be caused by an allergic reaction to rubber or
plastic food and water bowls. In those cases, simply changing to stainless
steel or ceramic dishes will clear up the condition.
Treatment: The infection usually responds to cleansing of the skin twice a
day with an ointment or gel containing 2.5 to 5 percent benzoyl peroxide
(OxyDex), chlorhexidine (Nolvasan) or povidone-iodine (Betadine). When excess
sebum is a factor, the skin should be cleansed with a medicated shampoo for
cats. An extensive or deep infection may require antibiotics. Because the
underlying problem remains the same, acne often recurs when treatment is
stopped. Some cats do better if switched from a wet to a dry food, or if the
owner cleans their chin after every meal.
WebMD Veterinary Reference from "Cat Owner's Home Veterinary Handbook"