PetMeds® Treating Chin Acne in Cats

A very common skin condition often affecting the chin of cats is known as chin acne.  The presentation of this condition can vary widely from the appearance of blackheads on the chin which occasionally slough off and leave a black crust on the surface or along the chin, to larger boils that can discharge pus and/or blood. Most of the time cats do not seem to be bothered by this common condition, which in many cases bothers the guardian more than the pet. Avoid using plastic bowls if your cat has chin acne

The exact pathology of these eruptions is usually due to clogged hair follicles which become inflamed. I have found that on occasion using plastic dishes can aggravate this condition, so plastic dishes should be avoided.  Many cats don’t need to be treated if they are not bothered by the chin eruptions, while others sometimes will need topical antibacterial therapies such as topical benzoyl peroxide preparations and/or antibacterials like Bactoderm or Mupirocin. Occasionally systemic oral antibiotics are needed, but since we don’t know the cause of this condition in most cases, the condition can recur in the future.

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  1. can i use salicylic acid on the chin acne?

  2. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianMarch 23, 2011 at 5:06 pm

    I have no experience in treating chin acne in this way. I usually use topical benzoal peroxide in 2.5% solution or ointment which is sold over the counter or you can use topical prescription antibacterials such as bactoderm

  3. My cat has acne under her chin. this is the 2nd time it has gotten to the point it looks like big pieces of skin with black dots. I wash it 3 or 4 times a day with dawn dish soap on a clean wash cloth. I have also used muricin ointment. It took about 2 weeks of daily washing to stop the big ugly flakes. It has been about 2 months and it is occurring again. How often will this happen. In between bad break outs I was her chin with dawn every other day. Should I wash it moore often in between bad break outs?

  4. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianOctober 13, 2011 at 12:28 pm

    Try dilute listerine original formula 50-50 in warm water, as well as dry and apply prescription medicine called mupericin or bactoderm your vet can prescribe during flareups. Other option would be to consult homeopathic vet many whom offer phone consults.

  5. My vet recommended dawn dish soap for her mild acne worked amazing, used it twice on a wash cloth it was gone for over a year.

  6. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianJune 10, 2012 at 5:25 pm

    Thanks for sharing this additional tip on treating chin acne in cats.

  7. My cat has been getting this. I need to get a prescription from the vet…

  8. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianNovember 4, 2012 at 7:31 pm

    What has your cat been getting that you need script from vet?

  9. Hello, my cat is currently having some feline acne on his chin. I’ve switched out his bowls from plastic to stainless steel, but it seems to only be getting worse. I don’t know what to do and I’m getting worried. I don’t want him to get extreme acne where he is bleeding and all that. I would love whatever help possible. Thank you.

  10. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianJanuary 6, 2013 at 5:01 pm

    I would consider vet exam as topical and/or oral antiobiotics may be needed. You could try topical bactoderm to area a few times daily.

  11. My cats were adopted as “returns”, so I don’t know much of their history,they have had health issues but are 2 sweeties.
    My vet said my male cat may have a reaction to stainless steel dishes also. Recommended Stridex pads 2x daily.
    But then he also had gum disease and scratched his chin so badly it bleed. After his dental surgery they ended up, shaving his chin and gave him an antibiotic shot, I continued the Stridex pads. 3 weeks and it is clearing up.

  12. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianFebruary 27, 2014 at 12:23 am

    Thanks for sharing. Perhaps using stridex pads long term may help prevent issues from coming back. Also put on good skin supplements like naturevet enzymes as well as missing link from 1800petmeds.

  13. Try glass bowls with rolled edges and low profile. And the Stridex pads 2 x a day seem to help Rex’s chin. Actually after they shaved it gave him another antibiotic injection it was easier to use the pads.

  14. Can you tell me if there is Mupirocin ointment for cats? I can find it for dogs so am wondering if it can also be used for cats with chin ache and hot spots? Thank you!

  15. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianNovember 26, 2014 at 12:46 am

    I dont think mupericin specific ointment for cats, however I have used it in both chin acne in cats and on hot spots with good success.

  16. One site says salylitc acid is ok for cats, another doesn’t. I put some on my cat, now I read it’s toxic. Everything I read says “toxic” to cats,f unless it’s a veteranry product. I’m getting annoyed and frustrated. I cannot afford to take my cat to the vet. Supposed to be allergy to fleas, but nothing helps.

  17. While there are some products that can be used on dogs and cats, it’s important to read all product labeling carefully to make sure it’s safe for cats. Cats have a different metabolism and physiology than dogs and some flea treatments that are safe for dogs can actually be fatal if used on cats. Keep in mind that, unlike dogs, cats spend hours daily grooming themselves, so anything you put on a cat will likely be ingested.

    For non-emergency pet health questions, feel free to contact Dr. Dym using our Ask the Vet form.
    ~ Abby, PetMeds Pro

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