The Importance of Skin Barrier Health

The Importance of Skin Barrier Health

Here in Turks and Caicos, a great deal of our canine and a few of the feline patients, struggle with various skin issues. Among them, external parasites such as fleas, ticks and mange; sunburn, superficial skin infections, allergies, scrapes and wounds and irritation secondary to plant and insect contact.

Damage to the
Skin Barrier

Damage to these layers causes loss of water, ability for various microscopic items to gain access to the deeper layers and cause detrimental inflammatory reactions, ongoing skin irritation, pain and infections, and lifelong allergies.

Skin Health

The skin is the largest organ in our dog or cat’s body. It has several layers to protect animals from the elements, irritants and allergens in the environment. It also prevents water loss and hosts a large number of beneficial bacteria on the surface layers, which have a mutually beneficial relationship with the skin.

Treatments to Support a Healthy Skin Barrier

Bark and Bliss carries a full arsenal of supplements that support a healthy skin barrier. These supplements include highly bioavailable fish oils, medicated shampoos and conditioning treatments, proper parasite controls, topical treatments that reduce inflammation and nutraceuticals that have a broad-based response to supporting skin health and rebuilding the skin barrier. 

Following an examination by our veterinarian, we can tailor the best plan forward for your pet and determine what treatments are ideal for your pet’s individual condition.

Repairing the Damage

Supporting the skin barrier takes time and commitment on the part of the owner/pet parent. It takes nearly 3 weeks for the full cycle of skin rejuvenation, and full repairing the damage to the skin can take 3-4 cycles. You will see improvement during this time, but it is important to understand the full response will take 9-12 weeks.

Chronic Skin Conditions versus Temporary Skin Conditions

Many skin issues are chronic and manageable conditions, versus curable. But there are some that are more temporary. Temporary skin conditions include sunburn, abrasions, and external parasites such as fleas and ticks.

Chronic concerns such as mange and allergies must be managed and are not curable, so require ongoing treatment to keep flare-ups at a minimum.

Diagnosis of Chronic Conditions

Chronic skin conditions often require diagnostics, such as skin scrapings, culture of infections, thyroid, food trials and or allergy testing to determine the best options to reduce symptoms and improve the comfort of your pet. Rest assured at Bark and Bliss we have all of these options available.

Treatments for Chronic Conditions

Skin disease is a constantly evolving issue, with new developments on the horizon at all times. Our team stays on top of the newest and safest options to keep our patients healthy, comfortable and functioning at their best.

  • Firstly, when your dog gets worked up give them a verbal cue that works to both catch their attention and provides them with something to do. That cue can be “sit,” “down,” or even “relax.” You just want to make sure you can use it consistently.
  • Secondly, use the word until your dog performs the behavior that you want, such as lying down, sitting at your feet, or even just stopping what they are doing and looking at you. You may have to show them what to do the first few times until they get the hang of it.