acne on a dog's chin

Acne on a dog’s chin or face: Proper diagnosis is crucial

Most first-time owners are shocked when they find pimples on acne on a dog’s chin or face. Unfortunately, our dogs often suffer from the same diseases as humans, and on top of that most of the “canine” diseases are easily transmitted to human their owners. And this is a reason to immediately contact a veterinary clinic for diagnosis and start treatment.

Top Causes of Acne on a dog’s chin or face

Detection of any rashes on the body, and even more so on the face of a dog, is a threatening symptom of the presence of a disease or a manifestation of a negative reaction of the body to some form of negative stimuli. The dog owner should contact the veterinary clinic and get his dog examined as soon as possible.

dog skin itchy and red

The following conditions and diseases can cause the appearance of a rash or acne on the face or chin:

Allergic reaction

This is the most common cause of inflammation, which can stem from inappropriate diet, exposure to detergents or surfaces, improper personal care, negative environmental influences and man-made pollution. Food allergies are most common, but pimples or rashes can also be triggered by medication, grooming products and cosmetics used for your dog.

Atopic dermatitis

This is a type of allergic reaction that can be hereditary or caused by environmental factors. Bites of ectoparasites, that is, fleas, lice, ticks and other insects are painful on their own, easily inflamed, and when infected, they turn into abscesses. In addition, the parasite bites itch a lot, pushing the dog to scratch the affected areas, which leads to the appearance of festering crusts and scars.

Sarcoptic mange (scabies)

This disease is caused by microscopic parasites that gnaw passages under the skin and cause severe irritation, itching and inflammation. If the scabies mite infects the soft and delicate tissues on the dog’s sensitive face, the dog can suffer a lot, as it can literally tear the skin. In places affected by scabies, wool falls out, oozing marks and numerous combs and crusts appear.

rashes on a dog's body

Demodex (skin mite)

The parasite settles in the hair follicles, causing their inflammation, suppuration and can go as far as hair loss. A characteristic reddish rash forms on the animal’s skin. The dog can itch a lot, which is why a secondary infection often develops, either bacterial or fungal.

Dermatophytosis (versicolor)

This fungal disease has many varieties, is transmitted from one individual to another by contact and is dangerous to humans. It can affect not only the skin and hairy parts of a dog’s body, but also the nails. On the affected area, peeling, soreness appears, hair falls out, tissues dry, crack, become inflamed and redden. An unpleasant odor may also be sensed.


This is a type of fungal infection (yeast) that can be present on the skin of a perfectly healthy animal. When the immune system is weakened, the yeast begins to multiply actively, forming hairless and humid skin with an extremely unpleasant odor. Most often, the fungus settles on the muzzle near the ears, on the lips and chin, in the genital area, because it “loves” high humidity and warm areas.

pimples on dog's skin

It is believed that sometimes an active outbreak of pityrosporosis is provoked by an abundant discharge from the eyes or constant saliva leaking, which is typical of many dog breeds such as English Bulldogs. Sometimes pores around the lip and chin areas of the dog become clogged and sebaceous plugs appear, which are very similar to ordinary human comedones (“black dots”) in appearance.

This type of acne on a dog’s chin or face is caused by fatty foods that get into the pores and cause congestion. When the sebum is oxidized, the plug darkens and becomes noticeable. Because it is an excellent breeding ground for bacteria, the blackheads become inflamed and form pimples which are inflamed, purulent and very painful. If untreated, they merge into large sores and form massive lesions and ulcers. Ouch!

Pugs, French and English Bulldogs are especially prone to such acne on a dog’s chin or face.

Symptoms of acne on the face or chin

Regardless of what causes the disease, all symptoms have many features in common such as changes in the color and condition of the skin, hyperemia, swelling, inflammation, peeling, crusting, effusion of ichor when cracking or scratching the surface, purulent discharge when a bacterial infection gets in, and thinning or complete loss of the coat.

rashes on dog's face

Violent itching and soreness

The dog constantly scratches the sore spot, may even try to bite, does not allow anyone to approach him, constantly looks at the affected area, if he can, becomes aggressive or apathetic, and even lethargic. When affected areas are spreading and the damage is extensive, the animal becomes especially susceptible to other diseases. Do not expect everything to go away on its own, the disease will progress, if not appropriately treated on a timely basis.


It is possible to deal with pimples or acne on a dog’s chin or face only if there is a diagnosis, since it can be caused by various factors such allergies, bacteria, fungi, neoplasms, and so on. Each of those factors need specific treatment. The veterinarian will carry out the necessary tests and analysis and will prescribe the necessary medication.

pimples on dog's face

Most often, a topical (external) treatment with special ointments and solutions will work. The most popular solution is topical benzoyl peroxide. This is an over-the-counter product that is usually available at the drug store or from your veterinarian. It acts as a flushing agent to get rid of the hair follicle and diminish bacterial contamination. In mild conditions, this topical treatment alone may be enough to treat canine acne. However, more severe conditions will require a long-term treatment may be prescribed to reduce the risk of recurrence.

In the presence of an extensive bacterial infection, antibiotics may be prescribed and in the case of allergies, antihistamines is a must. Hygiene, proper diet and restorative treatment are also of great importance.

Going forward, preventive measures will include vitamins and special immunomodulators and immunostimulants, which are recommended only by a specialist, based on the age and health condition of the dog.

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