Dog Chin Acne. Yep, they get it, too.

I’ve noticed a few of my dog clients are suffering the joys of spring. With that, comes the lovely chin acne!
But don’t fret. You’re not alone, in fact, Logan gets it every time at this year, and it usually sticks around for the warmer months.

What is Canine Acne?
Canine acne is a benign self-limiting disease of the chin and lips of young dogs. Short-coated dogs, such as boxers, bulldogs and rottweilers, are at increased risk for acne. The condition starts at puberty around 5 to 8 months of age. Most dogs improve with age and the condition typically resolves after one year of age. But commonly enough, it’s something that continues through during the lifespan on the dog.

Acne on a Bulldog. It is clearly visible on the middle of the chin and on his left flew.
Logan: Red bumps (papules) are usually noted on the chin and lips.

In simple terms: It is clogged pores from oil and bacteria which causes pimples – just like people get.

The exact pathogenesis has not been established. Genetics, hormones and trauma have been hypothesized to play a role.

  • Red bumps (papules) and blackheads (comedones)  are usually noted on the chin and lips of young dogs. They may become infected and pus can be expressed from these lesions.
  • When infection is present itching may develop and the dog may start rubbing his face against carpet and furniture.

Treatment Tips

Warm compressing the chin with a warm washcloth will help open pores. Try to express any pustules that you can. Then scrub the chin with a gentle cleanser like Phisoderm.
Then warm compress again. Try to do this twice a day for the first few days, then once a day thereafter until it is healed.
I inspect and squeeze Logan’s on a very regular basis. He is very accustomed  to it now. Make make sure  you follow up with a good cleaning of the area; mixture of peroxide and water, Listerine, apple cider vinegar and water, etc.
Last night I used an anti bacterial facial wash on Logan’s chin.

If the chin isn’t improving, you may have to go ahead and get antibiotics from your vet.
Some of those pustules can be deep and get infected, which is irritating and painful, and systemic antibiotics are sometimes required to take care of the issue from the inside-out.

To prevent future break-outs, make sure you are using stainless steel, ceramic, or glass bowls – NOT plastic. Plastic is too porous and holds bacteria which your dogs chin rubs against during eating, depositing food oil, residue and bacteria onto the chin. Even with the other bowls, make sure you are washing them with mild soap and water every day. Scrub the chin with a warm washcloth periodically (every few days) to remove any oil/debris that may be lingering there.

Clean your dogs’ face after every meal with warm, slightly soapy water or diluted apple cider vinegar.
Note: This document is provided for information purposes only.  Under no circumstances should this information replace the advice of your verterinarian.

32 thoughts on “Dog Chin Acne. Yep, they get it, too.

  1. Thank you so much ! I was very worried about my Jack, money is tight right now and we cant afford much at the vets’s office for meds. His poor chin is pretty swollen right now, thanks so much for the advice!

  2. hmm I really am hoping this is what our puppy has…from my research it looks like it…they’ve not gone away though and was trying to put aloe on them…he started to not feel well for a few days and back on the mend (we think) now…but these bumps bother me..these can get nasty though..poor doggies

    1. It can get pretty yucky looking :( If you can, pop the ones that are ready — they’re usually ingrown hairs. You really want to dry them out, so aloe won’t help much. I can be seasonal, but there are also variables such as the type of dish your pup is eating out of, and diet. Allergies can bring a flare up! So many things to check for. What kind of pup do you have? bulldog, frenchie or boston?!

      1. we just switched his plastic puppy bowls to big boy metal bowls…he’s almost 4 months..august 1st…he’s a yellow lab

        i read somewhere not to squeeze them which is why i never messed with them…he got excited to go outside not to long ago and hit them and got bloody…so i’m not sure i wanna mess with them tonight lol..

      2. I would def see if they’re squeezable. If there’s a hair in there, it always pops out, and the spot will dry up within hours and poof! it’s gone! :)
        Wait until he’s really tired, and laying out int he sun. Then you can just rest his head on your lap, and you can have a good look …

        You can also use acne products (ie oxy pads) to dry them out. Just keep in mind this doesn’t work with dogs who are lickers as they just lick it off in 2 seconds!
        If it gets really bad, I do know antibiotics can be given to clear it up quickly. I’d only go that route if I tried treatment and home, and nothing improved. :)

      3. i will have to try and see later tonight..yeah with the aloe i’m not even sure how much really soaked in cause he would try to lick it off

  3. Tried the antibiotic cream (aside from thorough cleaning of stainless bowls between feedings), but what I found worked best for my Doberman’s chin acne was using pyrex glass inserts. As someone above posted, you might try plastic inserts, or just go with some type of ceramic bowl. I noticed a remarkable improvement.

  4. I have wonered if this could be my boston, Macy’s problem. It was just one or two bumps & is now many on the center of her chin/lower lip. I will get busy & scrubby-scrubby her face daily.
    Thanks!! =o)

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  6. Thanks so much for the info , My rotti has got pimples just as everyone has said and i have been popping the big ones and now i know its ok to do i will continue …i also use an antiseptic cream from pets at home which helps dry them out …once again thanks i was a little worried .

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  8. I have an Irish setter (2yr) and she has something I am hoping is this. Hers are crusty and seem to crumble away… along with her hair when I rub them. They are not round or curved like some of the pictures above and they only occur on her chin. Slight bleeding occurs when they are rubbed and she doesn’t seem to like it much when I rub them. Are there any other conditions that are more serious that she may have? And are there any long time risks with dog pimples?

    -Thankyou so much this website is great!

    Will Athanas 16

    1. same here with my pitbull she just turned 1 and on her chin the very bottom they are like red bumps everybody told me they were allergies but I am going to try these remedies as well keep posted if it works for Chloe

  9. My dog has had bumps on her chin for awhile… everything on the internet is saying it is most likely allergies but this information has helped a lot thank you and I will try your suggestions hopefully they will get rid of them!

  10. wow thank you so much this helped out so much i was really worried about it i too was popping the (pimples) and a white puss would come out thank god its okay to pop them… i didnt know plastic bowls were not so good to use so i will be getting different bowls asap lol!!!! i will definitely take your advice i hope it works thank you so much very helpful this eased my worries thanks again :)

    1. So happy this helped you out! You’re not alone with this, and while it’s usually not a big problem, it’s easy to control once you’ve figure out what is it :) LEt me know if the plastic bowl switch, and keeping the chin clean (using baby wipes works) and even wiping with something that will dry it out will really help. :)

  11. I wish i had read these comments before I took m bulldog to the vet and spent over £250 on getting a diagnosis for her large spots on her chin, I wasn’t aware that bulldogs suffer from acne from time to time, so I think I will be changing my vet as well.

  12. My boston terrier just turned 5 some months ago, but tonight, she woke up at around 2:00 am and i went to check on her, i brought her to my room, and noticed she was rubbing her chin on the bed, i checked to see, and it looked irritated, and red, not exactly like pimples, but just in general, it was red all on her chin, around the whiskers, i tried putting a warm compress, and that helped a bit, shes fallen asleep now, but im wooried for her, i did some other research and i am dreading that it is some benign disease, god forbid fleas, any help?

  13. Mine is a pitbull, he suffers from this. My husband and i found this article of use…thanx so much. I will repost his progress in a few days. We were worried, and money is to tight right now for vet

  14. I have an eight month old pitbull and she has them for the first time today. I just washed her face and doctored them with a topical ointment that was given to my son by his dermatologist. I hope it works and if not I know what else to try. Thank You

  15. I have a Lab/ English Mastiff mix and he is almost a year and 1.2 and his seems to be getting worse!!!! I feel so bad and I don’t know what else to do. The vet gave me a wash but its a nightmare trying to hold down a 160lb puppy and im 115lbs!!!!! they gave me antibiotic after i complained about not being able to do the wash on him, and the meds made him SO SO SO sick. The vet even said those are the only 2 ways they treat it. I am feeling lost and I feel so bad cuz his poor chin looks so painful I literally want to cry for him. I need some suggestions! I was told by no means try to pop them!

    1. These are 2 photos of his chin i just took 2 minutes ago! I hope someone can help..or at least tell me they to had a dog w it this bad and how they treated it or something, anything!!

  16. Thank you so much for this page!!! My pug/boston terrior mix had these bumps show up on her face when I came home from work last night I noticed them and I was worried. She’s a very healthy dog so I didn’t know what it could be. This page has helped me so much. Thank you lots!!!

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