Q: My cat, Spike, is 17 years old this month. He has a lump under his chin that has had drops of blood on it. There’s something that looks like a pimple, but it is detached a bit from the skin. This has never happened to him or to any of my other cats so I am freaking out a little bit. I read on the internet that cats do get acne and a lot of sites said to use peroxide on it. That scares me.
He is an indoor cat and really gets frightened when we have to bring him out to the vet. Can I heal this “thing” without compromising his health by not going to the vet?
A: It sounds like your cat has feline acne, a common skin condition in cats. Basically, it is an infection of the hair follicles on your cat’s chin. Because it is an infection, it usually responds to antibiotics. Topical medications, such as benzoyl peroxide, metronidazole gel, clindamycin gel or mupirocin ointment, are useful for treating feline acne. If topical therapy isn’t successful, systemic antibiotics usually clear up cat acne.
Clip and clean the chin before applying topical medications. Hot-packing the chin prior to treatment often enhances the efficacy of topical treatment. A warm washcloth, pressed against the chin for a few minutes, will open the pores and allow better penetration of the topical medication.
The ointments and/or antibiotics needed for treatment must be prescribed by your veterinarian, so I don’t think there’s any way to avoid a veterinary visit. Peroxide, while not dangerous, is unlikely to resolve chin acne.