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July 5, 2020

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.


 

Woman and pug dog kissing each other while quarantine at home
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 (simonapilolla)

 

 

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.

 

 

puppy in a bath towel after a bath
You should bathe your dog every two weeks with a really good shampoo (istock/IharHalavach)

 

 

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.

 

 

puppy and cat kissing each other
The dander as well as saliva from cats and dogs can cause irritation. Dogs, however, are less likely to cause allergic skin diseases. (istock/Dixi_)

 

 

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.

 

 

Child playing with baby dog and cat. Kids play with puppy and kitten. Little boy and American cocker spaniel on bed at home. Children and pets at home. Kid taking nap with pet. Animal care.
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 (istock/FamVeld)

 

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!

 

 

 

Beautytap

COMMENTS 9

glambeauty

What an interesting article! I have a Yorkipoo dog and his hair is more like human hair- very fine and soft, doesn’t shed .. so many great points and tips in this article- glad I came across this

azuredream

I feel this is especially pertinent to long haired cats and dogs.

vanessaramn

Very interesting article. I don't have any pets but my skin is so sensitive that if I go next to a dog or cat it starts getting itchy and irritated. These are great tips for those with pets, especially during times like this.

mygirlcam

My siblings swear I over do it but I make everyone wash their hands before touching my two puppies. I will say that this article makes me want to give them baths more. They're only 10 weeks but I was told that I shouldn't bath them too often while they're young. That's a topic for a different post but this is a good read hilleaton.

Also, even though I am a dog mom, I've never been a fan of getting liked on the face by them so this really sums it up lol. They're going to be so mad at... Read more

deolivil

I personally do not have a pet, but I always questioned whether animals being too close to your face led to bacteria and irritations on your skin. You have answered my question, thanks for the detailed article!

cherish

This is so informative ! I had no idea pets could cause breakouts. As a cat mom I’ll definitely be more careful to avoid clogging my pores, and take proper measures for my fur baby.
I heard dry shampoo is better for cats.

carriele

As pet lover, I'm not sure I wanted to hear all this! But these are great tips! Sunscreen every day for all those doggy walks and some COSRX One Step Original Clear Pad to keep that skin clear helps!

makeupbyshannon

This is so helpful I would have never thought that pets can affect my skin! Thank you for this informative piece!

pattyc9895

I also use a pet wipe on my dog pretty regularly to keep him "maintained" between baths. One additional "benefit" to having a dog, laugh lines...he makes me giggle plenty which is also a great stress reducer.