Idiopathic facial dermatitis

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Typical presentaiton of a Persian with idiopathic facial dermatitis
Same cat after 6 months of treatment with Tacrolimus

Feline idiopathic facial dermatitis is a skin disease of cats which results in facial pruritus.

There is no proven cause although an hereditary link has been proposed. Malassezia spp are often involved as a secondary yeast infection[1].

Idiopathic facial dermatitis in Persian cats is a well recognised disease. Persian and Himalayan cats are predisposed and affected cats show skin lesions similar to those seen in atopy, together with otitis externa and idiopathic progressive dermatitis localised on the face. The condition is of presumed hereditary origin.

No effective therapeutic protocol has yet been developed although tacrolimus has been reported as effective in some cases. Secondary infections are common and need to be treated. However, glucocorticoids and antihistamines do not always elicit a good symptomatic response.

A differential diagnosis would include:


  1. Chung TH et al (2009) Topical tacrolimus (FK506) for the treatment of feline idiopathic facial dermatitis. Aust Vet J 87(10):417-420