General information on Solar Dermatitis
Solar dermatitis is a skin condition that recurs over time due to sunburns. Over time, the sunburns damage the skin to the extent that skin cancer may develop. This condition is mostly seen in white cats, cats with white ears, cats with white noses, and bald cats due to the fact these cats lack pigmentation in both the skin and the hair that protects them from the sunlight. Solar dermatitis is a common disorder in areas with mostly sunny and warm climates. Solar dermatitis starts off mild, but every summer, the condition progressively gets worse until skin cancer and, sometimes, ulceration occurs.
Symptoms of Solar Dermatitis
The symptoms for solar dermatitis may be redness, hair loss around the ears, thickening of the skin, scaling, itchiness, ulceration, and skin cancer. The cat may also shake its head and scratch the affected area which may cause bleeding and infection.
Treatments for Solar Dermatitis
The treatment for solar dermatitis is to apply sunscreen to the affected areas and to keep the cat out of sunlight especially when the sun is high. Tattooing the white areas also helps protect the at risk areas. If an infection is present, antibiotics may be required and to help treat severe sunburns, steroid cream may be necessary. A veterinarian can run tests to see if the cat has skin cancer.
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