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Feline acne is a dermatological condition triggered by inflammation of the sebaceous glands. Characterized by the emergence of small black dots and pimples, it most commonly appears on a cat's chin or around its lip area.
Though feline acne rarely causes notable discomfort, it should not be overlooked. It can serve as an indicator of underlying problems and systemic issues within a cat's body. This skin condition isn't exclusive to certain breeds, age groups, or genders, making it a potential concern across the feline population.
Root Causes
The primary culprits behind this pathological process are disruptions in skin metabolic processes, notably abnormal keratinization, and malfunctioning subcutaneous glands. Ordinarily, the epidermal horny layer undergoes a constant renewal of cellular structures. New cells replace older ones. In cases of pathology, this shedding process falters. Old cells mingle with new ones, resulting in the formation of scales held together by sebaceous secretions. This aggregation of cells clogs the ducts of sebaceous glands, leading to the appearance of subcutaneous black dots on the cat's body.
Note: The development of this dermatological condition is influenced by a range of unfavorable exo- and endogenous factors.
- Obstruction of sebaceous gland ducts
- Hormonal imbalances- Metabolic disorders
- Endocrine irregularities
- Invasive diseases (parasitic infestations)
- Acquired and congenital liver and digestive tract issues
- Abnormalities in the development of sebaceous glands and hair follicles
- Genetic predisposition
- Skin disorders and compromised dermal protective function
- Acne can also be provoked by demodicosis, fungal infections, food allergies, and tumors affecting sebaceous glands (epidermal, follicular).
Inflammation can stem from inadequate pet care, hygiene negligence, or the use of low-quality shampoos and anti-parasitic collars.
While some cats display black dots on their chin or near the lower lip only once, causing them no discomfort and vanishing without treatment, others experience recurring bouts of acne.
Observable indicators encompass
- Skin redness in the affected areas
- Emergence of small black conical dots on the skin (chin, vicinity of the lips)
- Itching, tenderness upon palpation
- Swelling in the afflicted area
- Excessive itching can lead to wounds, scratches, and bald patches where acne clusters. If comedowns become infected, an inflammatory process may ensue in various skin structures.
Diagnosis and Treatment:
An accurate diagnosis can only be established by a veterinarian through a thorough examination and diagnostics. Historical data and results from histological and laboratory tests (such as histological examination of skin scrapings and biopsy) are taken into account. Differential diagnosis is carried out when necessary.
Addressing feline acne involves comprehensive and symptomatic treatment. Identifying and rectifying the root cause that triggered the dermatological condition is crucial.

Note: Self-treatment and especially squeezing matured comedones are strongly discouraged. These actions can lead to inflammation and infection.
In addition to symptomatic medications, antiseptic solutions (like Miramistin, Chlorhexidine, hydrogen peroxide, salicylic alcohol, iodine) are used to treat the affected area. The veterinarian will specify the appropriate means and frequency of application.
Skin care can involve the use of tar soap, anti-seborrheic shampoos for animals (such as Lactaderm or Perkutan), and applying calendula tincture-soaked cotton pads to the acne. Decoctions of medicinal herbs, such as sage, chamomile, and yarrow, can also prove beneficial.
In cases of secondary infection or inflammation, treatment includes systemic antibiotics, corticosteroids (such as Prednisolone), and hormone therapy. Liniments, ointments, and gels (such as Differin and Clenzit) are prescribed and applied two to three times daily. To enhance efficacy, trimming the fur in the affected region is recommended. Treatment continues until the cat has fully recovered.
Additionally, enzyme preparations, vitamin complexes, immunomodulators, and general strengthening agents may be prescribed.
To stave off the onset of acne, a balanced diet, proper pet care, and adherence to hygiene practices are essential. For cats prone to skin conditions or food allergies, eliminating fatty foods and other allergenic products from their diet is advisable.
Maintain clean food bowls, replacing plastic with glass or ceramic alternatives. After meals, gently cleanse the cat's chin with a sterile napkin soaked in an antiseptic solution.
Never underestimate preventive deworming. Regularly treat the fur for external parasites using effective insecticidal and acaricidal agents available at veterinary pharmacies or pet stores.
Enhancing the immune system is attainable by complementing the cat's natural diet with comprehensive vitamin and mineral supplements.

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