Whether you have a cat or a dog, your pet can be responsible for many issues that can cause trouble for your skin and your entire health. Find out how to deal with beauty problems caused by pets, and how to determin whether you’re dealing with something bigger.

While your dog or cat can infect you with plenty of diseases that manifest with symptoms that affect your skin, it’s also important to remember the most important beauty benefit of having a pet. Read on for the troubles pets can cause, and for the beauty upside that they offer.

Puffy Eyes (Allergies)

One of the most common beauty problems caused by pets, allergy symptoms don’t always manifest as a rash when you’re exposed to dandruff, hair or saliva from a pet. When you’re dealing with allergies caused by a pet, nasal congestion often leads to puffy eyes. While you can’t make this problem go away completely, it’s important to get either prescription or over the counter antihistamines and fight nasal congestion in order to avoid any swelling that’s caused by allergies.

Scratch Marks

Even if you don’t get cat scratch disease, a bacterial infection most common in children, your pet can leave ugly red lines on your skin after play time. Make sure you always clean your hands with soap and water very well after playing with your cat or dog when claws and teeth are involved. Antibiotic ointments should also be used when your pet completely breaks your skin, causing even the smallest amount of bleeding.

Pimple-Like Bumps (MRSA)

Cats and dogs can transmit all kinds of staph infections to human if their saliva enters your bloodstream, but the most dangerous one is Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. It doesn’t matter if your pet only bites you playfully. If they break the skin and they carry the bacteria that spread the disease, you’ll be dealing with more than beauty problems caused by pets. MRSA presents symptoms of small and red pimple-like bumps. Without the proper antibiotic treatment, they grow larger and become painful.

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Dry Skin Patches

Letting your cat “groom” you with their tongue may feel great, but when you’re already dealing with dry skin, it can turn into a problem quickly. Make sure that you always clean the area your cat licks thoroughly and you use a good moisturizing lotion. Your cat’s rough tongue is adapted to cleaning fur, so repeated licking on the same spot on your hair and legs can lead to dry skin patches that you’re better off preventing.

Rashes (Ringworm)

A fungal infection, ringworm is more commonly spread from cats to people. The symptoms include red rashes, usually ring shaped. Unlike other beauty problems caused by pets, you can get ringworm just by touching their fur. The fungus usually affects moist areas, like the groin (where it’s called jock itch) or the feet (athlete’s foot). When it settles on the scalp, the fungus can also cause bald patches, so it’s important to seek medical attention from the first symptoms.

Creeping Eruption (Cutaneous Larval Migrans)

Caused by the larvae of nematode parasites of the hookworm family, creeping eruption manifests itself through a very red and very itchy eruption. While it can kill your pets, cutaneous larva migrans isn’t usually lethal for humans. You might get it if you come into direct contact with your infected pet’s feces.

Rashes and Flakes (Cheyletiellosis)

One of the most dangerous beauty problems caused by pets, cheyletiellosis is caused by mites similar to those that cause mange. Also known as “walking dandruff”, this infection manifests through a red rash with bumps, and the mites are visible walking “flakes”.

Scabies (Sarcoptic Mange)

Sarcoptic mange is one of the longer lasting beauty problems caused by pets. If mites from an infected animal get on your skin, they’ll cause an pimply rash that’s very itchy and can persist for weeks.

Beauty Benefits of Having a Pet

While the beauty problems caused by pets may scare you, it’s important to keep in mind that pets also offer a huge benefit in helping you relieve stress. A high number of skin issues, including eczema and dermatitis, can be triggered by stress, and playing with a furry little friend does wonders in helping you calm down.