Image Alt

Albuquerque VetCo

 / VetCo  / In the Fold: Skin Fold Dermatitis
dog wrinkles dermatits

In the Fold: Skin Fold Dermatitis

dog wrinkles dermatits

I love wrinkly dogs. All their great folds of skin. It is so cute and cuddly and squishy!!!! It is also the perfect place for Fold Dermatitis. Yeah, that is a nasty sounding condition. If you have a wrinkly breed of dog, this is a common condition that you need to watch out for,

The wrinkles in dogs skin create the perfect environment for breeding bacteria, yeast, and fungi, The heat and moisture build-up and bingo, fold dermatitis.   

It is most typically found in the face, lips, vulva, and tail folds, but it can happen anywhere on their body. Most of the time a case of skin dermatitis is short lived but if not treated properly it can become a chronic skin disorder,

It is most common during hotter months, so during the summer. In New Mexico, we have a long hot season so your dog is at risk from about mid-April through mid-October. 

Symptoms of Fold Dermatitis in Dogs

These symptoms may not be present for all kinds of skin fold dermatitis, but if you see any of these, they could be a sign that your dog has this issue. If you think your dog may have this, bring them into your Albuquerque veterinarian for an evaluation. 

  • Moist red areas inside skin folds
  • Rubbing their bum on the carpet (this can also be a sign of needing their anal glands drained)
  • Excessive licking in the vulvar folds, aka. their vagina. 
  • Bad smell
  • Red irritated skin
  • Frequent urinary tract infections
  • Swollen lips
  • Painful lips
  • Discolored and/or matted fur
  • Scratching and rubbing of the face
  • Weeping sores
  • Blisters

There are a few different types of fold dermatitis depending on what part of the body it occupies. Dogs with short and curly tails typical have tail dermatitis.  Lip fold dermatitis is most common in dogs with loose hanging lips. Face dermatitis is most common in dogs with wrinkly faces. Dogs that are not overly wrinkly, but are obese dogs, are at risk as well. Fat rolls on your dog can create a good environment for fold dermatitis. 

Most Susceptible Breeds

Certain breeds of dogs are more prone to skin fold dermatitis than others:

  • Basset Hounds
  • Bloodhounds
  • English Bulldogs
  • Pekingese Pugs
  • Saint Bernards
  • Shar Peis 
  • Shih-Tzus
  • Spaniels


After your Albuquerque vet has diagnosed your dog they may shave the affected area to help keep it clean and dry. They will likely give you a cream to apply and may give you a medicated shampoo to use. Depending on the level of infection, your dog may need an oral antibiotic. 


Make sure to love your wrinkly dog and play with them, and also check between the folds to make sure that everything is dry and healthy.