When skin surfaces rub together, the skin becomes wet and inflamed. This creates ideal conditions for bacterial growth. An infection of the skin folds can take a variety of forms. It occurs as lip fold pyoderma in spaniels, setters, St. Bernards, and other breeds with heavy lips; as face fold pyoderma in Pekingese and Chinese Shar-Pei; as vulvar fold pyoderma in obese females; and as tail fold pyoderma in breeds with corkscrew tails, such as Bulldogs, Boston Terriers, and Pugs.
The signs of skin fold pyoderma anywhere on the body are the same: irritation and inflammation of the skin. The moist skin also gives off a foul odor.
Treatment: The most effective treatment is to eliminate the skin fold by corrective surgery. When this is not feasible, the condition can be controlled by cleansing the infected skin fold with a benzoyl peroxide shampoo such as Sulf OxyDex, OxyDex, or Pyoben. Dry the skin and then apply OxyDex or Pyoben gel twice a day for 10 to 14 days. An antibiotic-steroid cream (such as Panolog) can be used twice a day for two or three days to control inflamma- tion and itching. There are also medical wipes available for cleaning the skin folds.
Once the infection has been successfully treated, use benzoyl peroxide gel as needed to prevent recurrence. Medicated powders applied to cleaned and dried areas will also assist in controlling this condition.