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.