How Pets Can Affect Your Skin
One of the positives of COVID-19 is the increase in pet adoptions. While there is no doubt that pets are the ultimate BFFs, unexpected issues can arise with our beloved four-legged friends. In fact, your dog or cat might be the cause of some of your skin issues. Here’s how to keep your skin in check while being the best pet parent, according to Beautytap’s roster of furry friend experts.
If there’s one thing you learn: be careful when you pet your pet
This may seem like a no-brainer, but petting your dog or cat can do a lot more than make your little guy feel loved, especially because humans have a tendency to touch their face about 16 times an hour. “You want to keep your dog pretty clean because people inevitably touch their face, and touching your face after petting your dog is something that could be causing you to break out,” says celebrity dog trainer, Kirstin McMillan.
Not only can dander or dirt picked up on your hands while petting your cat or dog lead to clogged pores and a possible breakout, but not washing your pet can also cause skin and health issues for them too. Keep the both of you happy by making sure your pet takes regular baths. “You should bathe your dog every two weeks with a really good shampoo,” McMillan explains. The trainer passes on the regular stuff and suggests an oxygenated product instead. “Oxygenated shampoo gets off so much more debris and dirt,” she adds.
Some pet related skin issues are more serious or life-long than others
If your dog or cat loves to give you kisses, you might be in for a little surprise. “Possible infections include fungus and bacteria, but more from close contact with the pet’s skin than from the mouth kisses,” says board-certified dermatologist, Dr. Ava Shamban. While simply washing your face after getting some puppy kisses might be a fix to avoid bacteria infiltrating your skin, some skin conditions related to pets are more permanent, particularly when it comes to allergies. “Skin allergies and irritation can come from a lot of different parts of animals, particularly with cats,” says Dr. Lupo of Point Dume Veterinary Clinic. “The dander (or dead skin) as well as saliva that people get on their skin can cause irritation. Dogs, however, are less likely to cause allergic skin diseases,” adds Lupo. Sorry cat people.
Generally speaking, pet life makes you more prone to skin issues
For better or for worse, simply having a pet can be aligned with the sort of things that lead to breakouts. “Dog owners are more active, and that includes sweating outside during walks while wearing sunblock, which can also cause bumps and breakouts,” says Lupo. To avoid a buildup of unwanted impurities, invest in a cleanser that helps the skin rid itself of pollutants, sweat and sunscreen. And, don’t forget to take extra steps to protect your skin. “Support your more outdoors lifestyle with quality skincare along with protective clothing that helps wick sweat from the body,” adds Shamban.
On the flip side, there’s reason to celebrate. Pets also provide some great perks for your skin. The joy, companionship and happiness that comes along with being a pet parent actually helps alleviate some of your stress. “Multiple studies have shown that pets help reduce stress in people’s lives and we know that stress can be linked to a number of skin issues,” Dr. Lupo explains. “[Through reduced stress] owning a pet could even potentially help reduce skin diseases and allergies like eczema.”
So, while both you and your fur baby may have to take some extra care in your cleansing and cleaning routines, there are actually some desirable perks for your skin too. Pets for the win!