Why are My Bulldog’s Wrinkles Red? Veterinary Dermatologists Explain

close up of Bulldog with wrinkles that are red and inflamed with scabs and hair loss on nose and face

Is your bulldog sporting a new shade of crimson in their wrinkles? Don’t panic! Redness in these precious folds can be caused by several things, from allergies to yeast infections. Let’s navigate the wrinkles together, exploring the culprits and uncovering solutions to keep your English or French bulldog’s skin happy and healthy.

From home care and remedies, to veterinarian advice, we will use the best veterinarian dermatology sources such as Dr. Rosanna Marsella, DVM,  and Dr. Hilary Jackson,  DVM, PHD in the BSAVA Manual of Canine and Feline Dermatology to solve your red wrinkle problem in their facefolds.

So, Why Are My Bulldog’s Wrinkle’s Red?

Redness in your Bulldog’s wrinkles could be due to skin fold dermatitis, caused by trapped moisture and bacteria, allergies leading to irritation and inflammation, yeast infections in the moist skin folds, or physical irritation from rubbing or foreign objects. Regular cleaning and monitoring are essential for maintaining healthy skin.

So, let’s dive deeper into the causes of erythema (red skin from irritation or infection) in this breed. 

Understanding the Potential Causes

close up of red and inflamed facial folds on Bulldog

Bulldogs are known for their distinctive wrinkles, but sometimes these can become red and irritated. Here’s a look at why this might happen:

1. Skin Fold Dermatitis & Bacteria

This is a common issue in Bulldogs. Their wrinkles can trap moisture, dirt, and bacteria, leading to skin fold dermatitis. This condition causes inflammation and irritation in the skin folds, leading to symptoms like redness, bad odor, and sometimes discharge. It’s essential to keep these areas clean and dry to prevent dermatitis.

One common reason for redness in your skin fold dermatitis is bacterial skin infections (pyoderma). You see, the skin folds can create a warm, moist environment, perfect for bacterial growth. This can lead to inflammation and discomfort, making your pup’s wrinkles look red and angry. A common culprit is the notorious Staph infection. Ouch!

2. Allergies 

Bulldogs can suffer from various allergies, including food, environmental, and contact allergies. These allergies can cause skin irritation and inflammation, often noticeable in their wrinkles. Signs of allergies include itching, excessive licking, and redness. Identifying and avoiding allergens is key to managing this issue.

3. Yeast Infection

The warm and moist environment in a Bulldog’s wrinkles is ideal for yeast or fungal growth. A yeast infection can lead to symptoms like redness, itching, and the appearance of flakes in the affected area. Regular cleaning and maintenance of these areas can help prevent yeast infections.

4. Physical Irritation

Sometimes, the simple act of rubbing, scratching, or contact with foreign objects can cause irritation in a Bulldog’s wrinkles. The skin folded together can also cause irritation, redness, and hairloss.

This physical irritation can lead to redness and inflammation. Monitoring your Bulldog’s activities and interactions with various objects can help reduce the risk of physical irritation to their sensitive skin folds.

In summary, a Bulldog’s wrinkles require regular care to prevent issues like dermatitis, allergies, yeast infections, and physical irritation. Keeping their skin clean and dry, along with regular check-ups and good hygiene practices, can help maintain the health and comfort of your Bulldog’s distinctive wrinkles.

5.  Improper Cleaning

Finally, improper cleaning can contribute to redness in your bulldog’s wrinkles. Without regular cleaning, excessive moisture can build up and cause problems. Here’s a quick list for proper wrinkle maintenance:

  1. Gently clean your bulldog’s wrinkles with a damp cloth or baby wipe (fragrance-free, please!);
  2. Dry the area completely to avoid residual moisture; and
  3. Apply a thin layer of pet-safe barrier cream to help protect the skin from moisture and irritation.

Diagnosis and Treatment: Addressing Bulldog Wrinkle Infection & Irritation

red skin and hairloos in wrinkles of infected Bulldog skin folds or skin fold dermatitis

If your Bulldog’s wrinkles are red and irritated, it’s crucial to understand the underlying cause and get appropriate treatment. Here’s what you need to know:

1. Veterinary Consultation

The first step is to consult with a veterinarian. They can provide a professional diagnosis and recommend the best course of treatment for the infected area. Never underestimate the importance of expert advice, especially when it comes to skin issues in Bulldogs.

2. Diagnostic Tests

The vet may perform various tests to diagnose the problem accurately. These could include a skin scrape to check for mites or bacterial infections, culture tests to identify any yeast or bacterial growth, and allergy testing if they suspect an allergic reaction is the cause.

3. Treatment Options

The treatment will depend on the diagnosis. If it’s a bacterial infection, antibiotics may be prescribed. Antifungal medications are used for yeast infections. In the case of allergies, management strategies may include avoiding certain foods or environmental triggers. Sometimes, topical medications are needed to reduce inflammation and soothe the skin.

4. Home Care

Proper care at home is vital. Regularly clean and dry your Bulldog’s wrinkles to prevent moisture buildup. Use gentle, dog-safe cleaners, and ensure the skin is thoroughly dried afterward. Avoid exposing your dog to known irritants, and maintain a routine that supports skin health.

Remember, consistent care and early intervention are key to managing skin issues in Bulldogs. By combining professional veterinary care with diligent home management, you can help keep your Bulldog’s skin healthy and comfortable.

Prevention Tips: Keeping Your Bulldog’s Wrinkles Healthy

owner using finger wipe to clean a Bulldog's infected wrinkles

To prevent redness and irritation in your Bulldog’s wrinkles, here are some effective tips:

  1. Regular Cleaning and Drying 

    Make daily cleaning of your Bulldog’s wrinkles part of your routine. Use gentle, dog-appropriate cleansers or canine wrinkle wipes and ensure you dry the folds thoroughly to prevent moisture buildup, which can lead to irritation and infection.

  2. Reduce Moisture

    Good airflow is crucial, especially during sleep when your dog might be in one position for a long time. Also, try to manage and minimize excessive drooling, which can contribute to moisture in the skin folds.

  3. Diet and Allergies

    If your Bulldog has food allergies, managing these is vital. Consider a hypoallergenic diet recommended by your vet to reduce the risk of allergic reactions that can aggravate skin issues.

  4. Monitor Closely

    Keep a close eye on your Bulldog’s skin condition. Be alert for signs of worsening redness, discomfort, or signs of infection. Early detection can make a big difference in treatment effectiveness.


In conclusion, while redness in your Bulldog’s wrinkles can be a cause for concern, it’s reassuring to know that with the right diagnosis, treatment, and preventive care, this issue can be effectively managed. Regular cleaning, proper diet, and vigilant monitoring play crucial roles in maintaining the health of your Bulldog’s distinctive wrinkles. Remember, your vet is your best resource for advice and treatment, ensuring your Bulldog stays happy, healthy, and comfortable.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What’s up with my bulldog’s face-folds turning as red?

Your bulldog’s face wrinkles turn red due to inflammation, often caused by trapped moisture, debris, or bacteria. Bulldogs are prone to facial fold dermatitis, a common skin issue. Keeping their wrinkles clean and dry is essential to preventing redness and irritation.

Can I swipe those baby wipes to clean my Bulldog’s facial skin folds?

Indeed, you can! Using hypoallergenic and fragrance-free baby wipes to gently clean your bulldog’s wrinkles is a fantastic way to maintain good hygiene. Just be sure to pat the area dry afterwards to remove any lingering moisture.

Is there topical cream I can buy over the counter for my Bulldog’s red wrinkles?

While no paste is truly magical, antibiotic ointments like Neosporin can help soothe irritated and inflamed wrinkles. Consult your vet before applying any medication, and remember that regular cleaning remains the most effective way to prevent redness.

Are there any natural remedies for a Bulldog’s infected wrinkles?

Some people swear by natural remedies like apple cider vinegar or green tea to soothe inflamed wrinkles on dogs. However, most of these have not been tested or shown to be effective and safe on a Bulldog’s sensitive skin. Check with your veterinarian before trying any home remedies.

What’s the cream for my Bulldog’s facial folds or wrinkles?

Special creams for bulldogs’ wrinkles do exist! Look for a cream formulated for pets, such as those containing hydrocortisone, which helps to reduce inflammation. Be sure to consult your veterinarian before trying any new skincare products on your bulldog.

Can I use Sudocrem for my bulldog’s red wrinkles?

Sudocrem, a popular antiseptic cream for babies, might come to the rescue for your bulldog’s red wrinkles. It can provide relief from minor skin irritations and help create a barrier against new infections. However, always talk to your vet before using human products on your furry friend.


Tamsin de la Harpe

Tamsin de la Harpe, with a lively spirit and 15 years of experience in dog training and behavior, brings a unique flair to the team. Based in South Africa, she is deeply engaged in rehabilitating dogs, focusing on their mental and nutritional health. Tamsin's approach to dog behavior is hands-on and heartfelt, shaped by her life with her own dogs and horses. Her journey in canine behavior is ongoing, as she continues advanced studies in this field.

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