Puppy acne and how to treat itHave you found raised spots, white heads (pustules/pimples) and scabs on your puppy's chin? Puppy acne is also known as muzzle folliculitis, furunculosis or pyoderma. It is a common skin condition that usually appears on the lip and chin area of young puppies. Some puppies will only have mild chin acne, which may pass unnoticed, or you may see some small raised white spots. Other puppies can suffer more severely with it as the spots or boils on the chin can be sore. Our vet explains how you can help your pet.This article was written by a FirstVet vetDid you know that FirstVet offers video calls with experienced, UK registered vets? You can get a consultation within 30 minutes by downloading the FirstVet app for free from the Apple App Store or Google Play.✓ Included free as part of many pet insurance policies✓ Help, treatment and if you need it, a referral to your local vet✓ Open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year Rating: 4.9 - more than 1600 reviewsRating: 4.9 - more than 1300 reviewsRating: 4.9 - more than 1600 reviews BOOK What causes of acne in puppies?The exact cause of puppy acne is unclear. It is thought that it might be linked to:GeneticsHormonal imbalanceTraumaFood or environmental allergiesMoisture/humiditySuppressed immune systemStressWhat does puppy acne look like?You will often see blackheads and/or whiteheads/pimples/pustules. In more severe cases, they can become inflamed and swell, and they might become painful. The skin can appear red and angry. There may be some hair loss and bleeding. Often the whiteheads dry to leave small crusty lesions, which indicates healing.What breeds are more likely to develop puppy acne?All breeds can develop acne, but some breeds are more likely to suffer with it than others. For example:BoxersBulldogsDobermansGreat DanesMastiffs Rottweilers WeimaranersIs puppy acne likely to occur at a certain age?If there is a hormonal influence, it often occurs at 5 to 8 months of age (puberty). However, if it is associated with trauma of the skin whilst playing and chewing, it can often be seen from 3 months of age onwards. It usually resolves once puppies reach about one year of age.How do you treat puppy acne?Treatment of puppy acne usually involves cleaning the chin to remove the excess sebum, and reducing the formation of blackheads/whiteheads. However, sometimes other treatment options may also need to be considered:Warm compresses - to reduce swelling and inflammationMedicated shampoo - to clean the chin and flush out the hair folliclesAntimicrobial ointments or gelsAntibiotics - topical antibiotic creams and gels are of limited value as they are soon licked or cleaned off by puppies. In severe cases where an infection is present, oral antibiotics are usually required. Treatment courses are often prolonged for 4-6 weeks due to the nature of the infectionSteroids - short-term treatment with steroids may be needed in severe cases to reduce the inflammation and associated painHow do you clean a puppy's chin?A chlorhexidine antimicrobial solution can be used to clean the chin where puppy acne is developing. The solution must be diluted to a 1:10 dilution (1 part antimicrobial solution to 9 parts water). The solution should be applied to the area and left on the skin for five minutes contact time before being rinsed off with plain water and the skin gently dried. This contact time is required for effective antimicrobial action. Initially, diluted chlorhexidine can be used two to three times daily, until the breakout subsides and in most mild cases, no further treatment is required.How do you prevent puppy acne?Replace any plastic food and water bowls with nonporous, smooth bowls made from ceramic, glass or stainless steelWash food and water bowls dailyClean and dry your puppy’s chin after each mealTry to avoid toys with sharp edges that might cause traumaDo not allow your puppy to rub their face on carpets, rugs etc that might cause traumaDo not pick or squeeze their spotsWhen to see your vet?Puppy acne does not resolve with regular chlorhexidine bathingPuppy acne is painfulBreakouts are recurring frequentlyStill worried?Book an online video appointment to have a chat with one of our FirstVet vets.