Acute moist dermatitis, also known as a hot spot, is a localized, moist, reddened bacterial infection of the skin often caused by self trauma. A hot spot starts because something irritates the skin. The body’s response is to itch, which further inflames the skin and increase itchiness. This creates a cycle of itching, scratching and chewing.

Hot spots can be caused by anything that irritates the skin. Most often, the culprit is the flea. Other causes include allergies (flea, inhalant, food), parasitic disease (sarcoptic and demodectic mange), anal gland disease, poor grooming, tick and mosquito bites, burrs, and summer heat. They occur most commonly in long-haired and heavy-coated breeds, and are more prevalent during the summer months.

Diagnosis and Treatment Notes:

  • Acute moist dermatitis is typically diagnosed through a history of intense scratching and physical exam finding of red, inflamed skin.
  • Treatment depends on the severity of the disease, your individual pet, and your veterinarian. Clipping and cleaning of the inflamed skin is usually done. The skin is cleaned with an antibacterial solution and a drying agent may be applied. Some dogs benefit from corticosteroids to reduce itchiness and some may need antibiotics. Discuss treatment details when your pet is diagnosed with this condition.


What to Watch for*:

  • Areas of hair loss
  • Red, inflamed skin
  • Intense itching

*Please notify us if you notice any of the above signs or if you have any questions!