Black scabs on cat chin 

The black scabs on cat chin are the result of cat chin acne which is a fairly common skin condition in cats causing blackheads and blocked hair follicles. This article will cover the concern “Black scabs on cat chin”, its symptoms, causes, treatment, etc.  

Black scabs on cat chin 

Black scabs on the cat chin refer to the cat chin acne. It’s a poorly understood disorder of follicular keratinization ( the overproduction of keratin protein in the outer layer of skin). Comedones (blackheads) form, when keratin is trapped in the hair follicles. 

Cat chin acne is characterized by folliculitis (inflammation of hair follicles) and furunculosis (larger sores similar to boils). If bacteria infect the comedones, pustules (pimples) may form. Most cases of cat chin are mild, but with the progression of the condition, the skin can become swollen, thickened, and painful. 

Causes of cat chin acne 

The main causes of cat chin acne are still unknown and remain a mystery. However, some of the causes associated with this condition are as follows: 

  • Plastic bowls: cats use plastic bowls for food and water, and any scratch from this plastic bowl can cause a wound which provides the site for bacterial invasion leading to acne. 
  • Poor grooming can lead to acne, especially in older cats.
  • Hyperactive sebaceous glands and excessive keratin production 
  • Genetics 
  • Stress
  • Viral infections (Calicivirus and Herpes virus) 
  • Fungal infections, mite infestations, or some autoimmune disease 
  • Excessive scent marking 
  • Poor immune system 
  • Food allergies 
  • Hormone imbalances
  • Atopic dermatitis from allergies 

The exact mechanism is not understood but the abnormality in follicular keratinization is thought to be associated with a seborrheic disease such as excessive sebum production by the skin. Any of the above-mentioned factors can cause this condition resulting in the plugging of hair follicles. 

Symptoms of cat chin acne 

Following is the list of symptoms associated with cat chin acne: 

  • The dirty appearance of the chin 
  • Lesions on chin and lips
  • Swollen and inflamed chin and lips
  • Blackheads and infected follicles
  • Hard, crusty lesions, that are sore when touched. 
  • Pain (due to furunculosis) 
  • Red pimples or pustules with head-like pimples. 
  • Sometimes hair loss (chronic case)
  • Itching or scratching at the chin 

Diagnosis of cat chin acne 

Diagnosis of cat chin acne is based on the following: 

  • Medical history and clinical signs 
  • Blood tests, urine tests 
  • Skin cytology (looking for pathogens).  
  • Skin culture and sensitivity tests 
  • Biopsy or skin scraping (if lesions don’t have a typical appearance). 
  • Dental X-rays (as infected tooth roots can mimic chin acne). 
  • The differential diagnosis for mange mites, fleas, fungal and bacterial infections/allergies. 

Prevention of cat chin acne

Here are a few preventive considerations for cat chin acne:

  • Improve hygiene. 
  • Remove plastic objects especially plastic food bowls that may come in contact with your cat. 
  • Keep all porous materials around your cat as clean as possible. Wash them regularly. 
  • Treat allergies, skin infections, or other skin conditions. 
  • Brushing, bathing, and disinfecting the chin and lips area of cats can be beneficial. Keep them clean and they should undergo proper grooming. 
  • Reduce stress by keeping your cat in calm, quiet places to relax and avoid triggers that can lead to anxiety and chin acne. 

Treatment of cat chin acne 

The home remedies and treatments you can give to treat your cat’s chin acne include: 

  • Swap plastic dishes with non-porous material and wash them daily. 
  • Cleaning of the affected areas twice a day with mild soap, chlorhexidine, benzoyl peroxide, or antiseborrheic shampoo, will flush out the hair follicles. 
  • Omega-3 supplements to improve skin health. 
  • Promote healing by soothing pustule inflammation with warm water. 

Cat chin acne treatment mainly revolves around improving hygiene to manage the condition, rather than curing it. If chin acne has progressed to a chronic condition, treatment includes: 

  • Systemic antibiotic therapy 
  • Topical antibiotics applied to the affected area 
  • Steroids to reduce inflammation
  • Antibacterial or antifungal shampoo and cleanser with a steroid. 
  • Ointments 

Prognosis of a cat infected with chin acne 

Cat chin acne isn’t removed completely in most cases, but this condition is mostly considered harmless unless an infection occurs. Your veterinarian can help manage the condition by starting a variety of treatments to reduce the symptoms. 

Topical, and systemic antibiotic therapy and improved hygiene mostly have favorable results in treating the case. However, some cats can’t respond to the treatment in the same way and require more aggressive treatment. 

Can cat chin acne appear again? 

Cat chin acne becomes a recurring condition in some cases. Maintaining a strict hygiene and grooming schedule can help avoid relapses in the condition. If acne keeps on coming back again and again, discuss with your veterinarian the most effective management strategy to avoid this situation. 


Today, we covered the article “Black scabs on cat chin”, its symptoms, causes, treatment, etc. From the above discussion, it’s evident that the black scabs on the cat chin depict the cat chin acne due to abnormal keratinization of hair follicles. 


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