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Does anyone have any experience with feline acne? Murphy has a smudge on his jaw just below his mouth that's a little smaller than a dime, and it looks like someone just smushed dirt into his skin. He had the same thing in the same place about 6 months ago, and it just disappeared after a couple weeks.

At first I was thinking it was a new freckle coming in, but now I'm wondering if that's feline acne. As I look at pictures of feline acne online, it seems like most cases are a reddish bump like human acne would be, but this is more brownish like dirt.
 

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It's probably acne. You can scrub his chin with mild soap a water, rinse well, and apply a little antibiotic ointment every day. Alternately, you can clean the spot with a Stridex pad daily before applying the antibiotic ointment.

If you use plastic bowls or plates for his food or water, switch them to glass, porcelain, or stainless steel. Also, keep them very clean.

Laurie
 

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Oh! This is too funny! Above my quick reply box is an ad for Proactiv AND I can hear a Proactiv commercial on the TV behind me!
I'm surrounded!

If the smudge is a reaction to oils/acne, changing the bowls and cleaning them definitely helps. Plastic has a tendency to get little scratches in the surface that catch and hold oil and bacteria, transferring the bacteria onto the cat when it eats and their chin or muzzle rub along the edges. When cats clean their face with their paws, they have a difficult time being able to clean their chin so that is the most common place for acne issues to appear.
Using SS, ceramic or glass creates a smoother surface, one where bacteria cannot get a firm hold, but oils from the cat and the food can still be smeared over the surfaces and transferred to the kitty so they still require cleaning.
Out of curiosity ... I recently got one of those email things about how peroxide is better than bleach and I wonder if using a dab of peroxide on a cotton ball would be sufficient to clean Murph's chin? ...but soap/water and rinse will work well, as will almost any human acne solution rubbed over his chin hair/skin to clean it of oils.
h
Just curiosity ... can you take a photo of it? I'd love to see what you're seeing.
 

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We're going out of town this weekend, but I'll try to get a picture of it after we get back (assuming it hasn't disappeared).

He eats his wet food from porcelain plates that I clean each time he eats, but come to think of it, I don't wash the porcelain bowl his dry food is in very often. I'll start doing that. But he shows no awareness that it's there....there's no scratching or anything. So it at least looks like it's not bothering him.

How would you get a cat to hold still long enough to let you wipe his chin? Did you know they have teeth? :)
 

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How would you get a cat to hold still long enough to let you wipe his chin? Did you know they have teeth? :)
As luck would have it, most cats LOVE having their chins scratched and rubbed, so rubbing with a Stridex pad should be pretty easy.

I would not recommend using peroxide, however. Peroxide should never be used on compromised skin because it can retard healing.

Laurie
 

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Murphy is eating the same foods as he has all along since March 2008 when we got him, so somehow I doubt it's related to an allergy. He also never eats people food.

Well, as luck would have it his cat sitter this weekend is a vet tech, so I'm leaving her a note to ask her opinion about it.
 

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Thanks Laurie, about the no-to-peroxide. I knew it wasn't good to use on open wounds, I didn't realize it would have the same affect on very minor ones, too.
When our kitties would get chin acne they never seemed bothered by it, either. I would wash bowls well and try to swipe their chins with a washcloth. If Murphy won't hold still on his own long enough for you to give it a scrub (try using something w/out an odor so the strong smell doesn't repell him) you can try doing it when he is snoozy. Not asleep, you don't want to startle or frighten him awake, just catch him when he's slow and mellow. Or you could use a scruff hold or tag-team with one person holding him and the other giving him a quick scrub.

If you use a warm, wet washcloth, it can be done quickly. Just a dab of soap or cleaner on one corner, use that corner first and then wad that corner into your hand and use the rest of the clean/wet washcloth to rub-off and 'rinse' the soap/cleaner. No real need to dry it if you don't use a soaked and dripping washcloth. It will air dry quickly on it's own.
 

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I would not recommend using peroxide, however. Peroxide should never be used on compromised skin because it can retard healing
I have a cat that's prone to acne, and I agree with all the above advice, except I have to differ with Laurie's advice about peroxide. What she says is what I used to advise as well until I had a chance to discuss it with my vet and my vet advised me that I was wrong and that peroxide is actually BETTER specifically because it's LESS irritating. In fact, she had me use peroxide on Rocksie's infected spay incision when the incision was open and oozing, and it worked well to disinfect the area and promote localized surface healing.

So, a new day, a new approach, and now I also use peroxide on my acne-prone cat and my usual approach there is to apply it directly to the blackhead, and after a couple days treatment with the peroxide, the blackhead dries up and falls off, leaving a small wound that I put some anti-biotic ointment on and it heals rapidly.
 

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It was the other cat .... my queen grouch .... who gets the acne; I do think I have some pics; where they are off hand I don't know; they might be on the other computer; I'll see if I can find them.
 

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I spent some time looking for them; I'm sorry I couldn't find them. My computer situation is in flux and I think they might be archived, which would be difficult to get at right now.
 

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When Charlie and Scottie had feline acne the vet told me to use Benzoil Peroxide on it. The same stuff that is an over the counter acne medication. She said it doesn't sting like Strydex does. It worked very well. I had been using the Strydex pads and the cats really hated it.
 
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