Acne In Dogs - Its Cause, Symptoms, And Treatment

Acne in Dogs - Its Cause, Symptoms, and Treatment

What Is Acne In Dogs?

Dog acne typically manifests itself when your furry friend is between five to eight months old, coinciding with their adolescence. During this phase, a dog's oil glands become hyperactive, leading to an overproduction of sebum, an oily substance. Despite your best efforts, some dogs may experience breakouts during this time, which can be triggered by various factors such as allergies to products or food, hormonal fluctuations, inadequate hygiene, or bacterial involvement. The perilous combination of excessive oil, dirt, and dander can clog their hair follicles, forming multiple comedones (blackheads), scabs, or red bumps on areas like the chin, muzzle, lips, chest, or genital region.

In the world of veterinary terminology, dog acne is known as folliculitis and furunculosis. Typically, canine acne is not a severe health concern and tends to resolve as dogs reach adulthood. However, if left unaddressed and untreated, acne can escalate into a more serious medical issue.

Additionally, there are several other potential triggers for canine acne, and here is a comprehensive list of them.

Reasons For Dog Acne

  • Hormones
  • Fleas
  • Secondary bacterial infection
  • Genetics
  • Autoimmune diseases
  • Breed predisposition
  • Trauma
  • Contact dermatitis
  • Allergies

Acne Symptoms In Dogs

For pet caregivers, having a keen understanding of the symptoms of dog acne is essential to identify any signs promptly in their beloved furry companions. Here's an overview of the most prevalent indicators of this condition.

  • Nodules
  • Blackheads
  • Itching
  • Swelling
  • Hairless papules
  • Redness
  • Bleeding

Furthermore, neglecting to address acne in dogs can lead to bothersome and discomforting symptoms as the condition progresses. Some of the later-stage symptoms may encompass:

  • Extreme redness and irritation
  • Scarring
  • Ulcerated lesions with or without discharge
  • Bleeding
  • Large papules
  • Pain

Acne Types In Dog 


Hyperkeratosis in dogs occurs when your canine companion overproduces keratin, resulting in the thickening of the skin, a presentation that often resembles a pimple-like appearance.

Nasal acne

Nasal acne in dogs can be triggered by trauma to the nasal area. You may observe more vigorous behavior if your furry friend enjoys digging in the earth and exploring with an enthusiastic sniffer. The contact with dirt can hurt their skin, potentially forming one or more pimples.

Superficial acne

Superficial acne emerges on the outermost layer of a dog's skin, presenting as typical pimples or raised bumps that commonly appear on a pet's chin, muzzle, or lips.

Interdigital acne

Interdigital acne, often triggered by furunculosis, is marked by the recurring presence of boils that can form between your dog's paw pads. This condition may result from coarse hair follicles embedded in the skin due to the friction created when the dog walks.

Juvenile acne

Juvenile acne emerges in dogs around their sixth month of age and typically continues until the pup reaches maturity.

Treatment Of Acne In Dogs

Take Care of the Dog's Hygiene

The majority of canine acne issues stem from a combination of inadequate hygiene and bacterial factors. Hence, pet caregivers must maintain their pup's cleanliness through regular weekly baths, pay close attention to their dental hygiene, and monitor their overall health. Additionally, it's essential to carefully consider any new foods or products introduced to your furry friend to assess whether they might contribute to any problems.

Use Medicated Shampoo

Explore your local pet care store for specially formulated medicated or antibacterial shampoos tailored for dogs. Alternatively, you can conveniently purchase products like Malaseb Shampoo, MalAcetic Shampoo, and MalAcetic Conditioner for your dog.

Don't Be Picky with Pimples

While it can be tempting to pop or pick at canine acne, resisting this urge is essential, as it can exacerbate the issue. Picking at the bumps or pimples may lead to the acne spreading or even result in a more severe infection. Instead, it's advisable to refrain from touching your dog's pimples, allowing nature to take its course and the acne to clear up. To alleviate skin itching and irritation associated with acne, consider using Apoquel for dogs, a highly effective anti-allergic treatment known to relieve itching within 24 hours.

Visit your Vet

If your dog's acne appears to be deteriorating or there are signs of infection in the affected area, it is imperative to schedule a visit with your veterinarian promptly. Seek the expertise of a veterinary professional for professional guidance and a range of treatment options tailored to your pet's specific needs.

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