Skin Fold Dermatitis

Skin fold dermatitis is a skin condition in dogs and cats where there is excessive skin that forms folds and gets infected and inflamed.  Moisture collects in the folds, creating a warm moist environment, which is the perfect environment for bacterial or fungal infection to occur.  Rubbing of the two skin surfaces against each other also causes trauma and damage to the skin, thereby perpetuating the inflammation and infection.

Skin fold dermatitis often occurs in breeds with excessive skin folds such as Shar Pei, Bulldogs, Pugs and Persian cats.  The most common locations for this type of dermatitis are the face and around the genitals. 

Signs of skin fold dermatitis include redness and itchiness of the skin in those areas.  Hair loss may occur and a bad smell may be noticed as the infection worsens.

Minor cases can be treated with regular cleaning, topical creams, medicated washes and antibiotics.  In more severe cases, surgery may be required to cut away the excessive skin to prevent moisture build up and friction.  For example, the skin fold that sits just below the eyes in certain breeds can be resected.  Skin folds around the vulva can also be resected to prevent dermatitis.

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