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Dogs With Folds and Wrinkles Often Develop Skin Conditions Such as Fold Dermatitis!

That's one wrinkled pup!

That's one wrinkled pup!

What in the World is Fold Dermatitis?

Right about now you are probably thinking…”What in the world is Fold Dermatitis?!” Well, if you own a Bulldog (or any breed that happens to have loose and wrinkled skin) it’s about time you found out!

Fold Dermatitis is an inflammation of the skin folds that occurs in dogs with, you guessed it, loose skin. Unfortunately those folds and wrinkles that add to your dog’s “cuteness” can cause major medical problems if not cared for properly. We will examine the world of doggie skin care in a moment…but first, allow me to explain how dogs develop this condition.

Boston Terriers often have folds of skin on their faces.

Boston Terriers often have folds of skin on their faces.

So how does a dog develop Fold Dermatitis? Well, in order for a dog’s skin to remain healthy it MUST be able to breathe! Unfortunately, it is often next to impossible for fresh, clean air to reach the depths of some skin folds and wrinkles. The lack of fresh air allows moisture and bacteria to build up. When this happens, the affected area can quickly become red, raw, infected and foul smelling (can you say GROSS!). For obvious reasons, breeds such as Bulldogs, Pugs and Boston Terriers are prime candidates for this condition.

Thankfully, there are simple things you can do to keep Fold Dermatitis at bay. First and foremost, it is very important that you keep your dog’s skin folds CLEAN AND DRY (dry is KEY as moisture can quickly become a bacterial breeding ground…NOT GOOD!). The great news is that most dogs only need their skin folds cleaned two or three times per week. However, dogs with extremely loose skin (such as Bulldogs and Sharpeis) may require DAILY cleaning). Note: If you are thinking about adding a fur-friend to your family…keep this in mind! Dogs with a lot of wrinkles and loose skin can be high maintenance when it comes to grooming. Don’t get a dog that you do not have time for! Choose a dog that best fits your lifestyle!

Yes, cleaning a dog’s skin folds can be a pain in the you know what. However, it is a not a difficult task and shouldn’t take long. The easiest way to clean your dog’s skin is with a baby wipe. Not only can you purchase baby wipes in bulk (who doesn’t like to save a little money) they also contain aloe which will soothe and moisturize your dog’s skin. If you don’t want to purchase baby wipes…no problem! Damp cotton balls or a damp, soft washcloth will also do the trick.

If your dog's skin is infected...a trip to the vet is in order!

If your dog's skin is infected...a trip to the vet is in order!

A simple yet effective homemade cleaning agent can be used to clean your dog’s skin. All you need is warm water and a drop or two of doggie shampoo. After GENTLY cleaning your dog’s skin it is VERY IMPORTANT that you thoroughly dry the area. Remember, moisture breeds bacteria…so DRY, DRY, DRY! If for some reason you think you need a stronger cleaning solution it would be a good idea to consult with your veterinarian. If you think your dog’s skin is infected…by all means, take him to the vet as soon as possible (DO NOT clean the problem area before hand as this may make matters worse by irritating the infected skin). Please do not worry…most doggie skin conditions, while uncomfortable, are highly treatable and Fold Dermatitis is no exception. If the veterinarian determines that your dog does indeed have Fold Dermatitis he will most likely prescribe an antiseptic ointment. Before you know it, your dog’s skin will be healthy and glowing. Ok, maybe not glowing…but you get the picture.

Dog Health Handbooks! Great Home Reference!

A great way to keep moisture away from your dog’s skin is to apply a small amount of petroleum jelly (Vaseline). Petroleum jelly is wonderful and will not only provide a moisture barrier; it will also soothe your pup’s skin. It is important to note that you should never put cornstarch or baby powder on your dog. Both of these agents tend to clump and clumping is not good as it will eventually irritate your furry friend’s skin (which, by the way, is exactly what you are trying to avoid in the first place!).

Caring for your dog’s skin is important…and thankfully, NOT difficult! Conditions such as Fold Dermatitis are treatable and best of all, with a little TLC, preventable! That’s it for now my dog loving friends. If you have a moment to spare, please check out some of my other dog and cat HUB Pages. Thanks!

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Andrea on April 14, 2014:

I own 3 Sharpei and am the Admin of a Sharpei health group on FB. Most Sharpei do not need their wrinkles cleaned daily, especially if they are fed good food (raw, home cooked or high quality grain/potato free). I would not use petroleum jelly (a petroleum product) on my dogs at all. If they need something to repel moisture you can use Extra Virgin Organic Coconut Oil, it's antibacterial, antifungal & antimicrobial. It can also be used for small wounds & scratches after they have been cleaned.