Here is the article which was printed in the SCMP Post 'About Pets' section yesterday:
It may have no real impact on the animal in a mild case, such as blackheads, and when symptoms are mild they can go unnoticed by owners.
In more serious cases, when infection sets in, it results in a highly painful and itchy experience for the animal and, due to the irritation, the cat may wound itself from excessive and continual scratching, causing further inflammation and perhaps infection.
"Although cat acne is a common problem, fortunately, most cases are mild. If infection sets in, then there may be raised red spots, hair loss, discharge and itchiness or discomfort," says veterinarian Dr Gillian Hung.
"If left untreated the infection can spread and scarring can occur."
The problem is not confined to younger cats and can appear in animals of any age and breed.
For some, the acne will be a one-off problem, while others may suffer recurring bouts for the rest of their lives, with the frequency and severity varying from cat to cat.
"Feline acne is caused by abnormal keratinisation and sebum production, but often there is no specific reason for this abnormality," Hung says.
Sebum is an oily matter produced by the sebaceous glands that are found in a number of places on a cat, including the chin. One of the purposes of sebum is to lubricate the skin so that it does not become overly dry and irritated.
Sebaceous glands also play a role in territorial marking, as can be seen by the cat rubbing its face and chin on items and around certain areas.
Other contributing factors can include poor grooming habits.
"Owners should groom their cats regularly and pay attention to any new skin lesions. Flea prevention is also important, because allergies to fleas can present themselves in a similar way as cat acne," Hung says.
Owners can clean the area with a gentle antiseptic that does not contain alcohol or antiseptic soap. Never use human acne remedies on a cat.
For most cats, a well-balance commercial diet is usually good enough ,but if an animal has sensitive skin or food allergies, making it prone to acne, there are prescription diets available.
Additionally, essential fatty acid supplements can be given in food to improve skin condition, but this may not eliminate cat acne," Hung says.
Plastic food bowls have also been suggested as a cause due to a bacterial buildup in the plastic and the possibility that a cat may also be having an allergic reaction to the material.
Hung suggests using a ceramic bowl as some cats can also be allergic to metal ones.
Bowls should be washed thoroughly each day.
Like all health issues, it is important to seek the avice of a vet to confirm that the problem is indeed acne, as other skin problems, such as llergies or ringworm infections, an look similar.
Treatment from a vet for cat acne can range from a good scrub and clean of the area and follow-up with a topical cream, to a course of antibiotics to treat any infections.