Skin irritations are common in both cats and dogs. You may notice small white scales, large brown flakes or red patches underneath the fur. Scabs, crustiness and even pimples or blisters between the toes can show up. Skin problems may be caused by a poor diet, an invasive parasite, exposure to pest-control chemicals or an allergy.
Red blotches: Acutely inflamed, irritated patches of skin, or hot spots, have a variety of causes, including moisture. To soothe them, clip away the hair, then give your pet a bath with a nonirritating soap about once a week. Dry the skin thoroughly with a towel, then dab the affected areas with black tea (Camellia sinensis); it contains tannic acid, which helps dry up moisture.
Between baths, you can smear the afflicted area two or three times a day with the gel from a piece of fresh Aloe vera leaf. Stop if your pet objects or persists in licking it off. Commercial preparations of aloe gel are available in health-food stores.
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