What is Feline Acne?
Feline acne manifests itself as red papules or blackheads on the chin and lip. Feline acne tends to be life-long condition and usually shows up in cats at around 1 year old. It can come and go in cycles.
The exact causes of feline acne is unknown but it is widely assumed that the oil glands produce excessive amounts of oil which cause the pores in the skin to become clogged. Acne affected areas can get infected and subsequently become itchy and painful. In some cases, hair loss and loss of pigmentation also occurs.
Tips for home treatment of feline acne
Take your cat to the vet for a proper diagnosis if you suspect your cat has feline acne as there are other conditions that may look similar and have to be ruled out.
There are a number of conventional feline acne treatments similar to treating human acne such topical retinoids, benzoyl peroxide ointments or washes, antibiotics and steroids. All of them have side effects. Oral retinoids are sometimes given to cats with acne; however they can cause liver damage and require close monitoring by a vet. Natural remedies are a safer alternative.
Natural remedies for feline acne
Natural remedies for feline acne have an excellent record in the maintenance of skin health and are well worth trying. There are a number of natural ingredients that can be used to promote over all skin health and assist with the treatment of skin conditions such as feline acne.
Herbs like horsetail, stinging nettle and dandelion as well as nutrients such as bladderwrack and spirulina have been proven to be beneficial. Spirulina which is well known for its nutritive properties and its ability to encourage all round health whereas dandelion is a rich source of vitamins and minerals. The tissue salt Kali. Sulph. is also recommended as helps to regulate and normalise the skin on a cellular level.
To make your own natural feline acne remedies prepare a stinging nettle and horsetail tisane and give six dropperfuls daily. Horsetail is in high silica which is essential for healthy skin, bones, claws and fur. Also give one dropperful of honey and apple cider vinegar.
Apply horseraddish vinegar directly onto the affected area and wipe off with a clean cloth after 10 minutes.
Alternatively, give a dandelion infusion before feeding, one dropperful in the morning and one at lunchtime. Dandelion is a source of vitamin A, D, C, various B vitamins, iron, lecithin, silicon, potassium, magnesium, zinc and manganese. It has the ability to soothe the skin.
Combine this remedy with a stinging nettle tisane. Give one dropperful three times daily and apply a marigold tincture to the acne area twice daily.
If you prefer to buy ready-made natural remedies for feline acne, Skin and Coat Tonic from PetAlive is a remedy containing a combination of beneficial herbs like horsetail and dandelion as well as spirulina, bladderwrack and kali sulph.
Spirulina is a single celled sea algae. It contains protein, vitamins including vitamin B12, folic acid and carotenoids and supports the immune system and liver function.
Bladderwrack, a sea vegetable, is a concentrated source of minerals like iodine, potassium, magnesium, calcium and iron. Regular use supports a healthy skin and coat.
Kali sulph is a tissue salt which helps to maintain balance in the skin and the underlying tissue and supports a healthy skin and shiny coat.
Avoid squeezing blackhead sand pustules as this may increase the chances of infection and could make the break-out worse. Instead, a warm compress can help to unblock any clogged pores. Simply use a warm cloth and hold it to your cat’s chin for a couple of minutes until the cloth is cool.
When the acne has subsided, wash your cat’s chin daily either with a warm tisane of antiseptic herbs such as golden rod, horseraddish leaves, marigold, nasturtium, thyme or watercress or with warm water and a mild antibacterial but unfragranced soap to avoid more irritation of the skin.
Epsom salts can also be used as an initial cleanser followed by a natural antibacterial cleanser.
Feline acne can be a reaction to environmental toxins such as a flea collar, pesticides, or house-hold cleaning agents. Try removing these from your cat’s environment so they can be ruled out as possible triggers. If your cat has poor grooming habits, cleaning the chin after meal times sometimes helps.
Feed herbal supplements such as finely shredded watercress and combine chopped fresh dandelion roots, leaves and stems with meat.
These natural remedies will help you to control and eradicate feline acne effectively.