Felis ISSN 2398-2950

Skin: keratinization disorders

Synonym(s): Seborrhea; Disorders of cornification

Contributor(s): Rosanna Marsella, David Scarff, David Godfrey

Introduction

  • Disorders of keratinization or cornification alter the surface appearance of the skin by affecting the structure and function of the epidermis. Proliferation, differentiation and desquamation of the stratum corneum or epidermal lipid formation are abnormal. Hyperkeratosis with parakeratotic or orthokeratotic changes is usual and shows as skin that is visibly thickened as well as being thickened on histopathology. Occasionally hypokeratosis is present - usually visible only on histopathology.
  • Keratinization defects also affect transepidermal water loss rates.
  • Cats often have seborrhea sicca (dry skin) but seborrhea oleosa (greasy fur and skin) is seen Primary seborrhea.
  • Cause: congenital or acquired.
  • Signs: may be localizd or generalized.

Pathogenesis

Etiology

  • Secondary keratinization disorders:
  • Generalized primary conditions:
    • Primary is rare in cats. 
    • Ichthyosis is very rare.
  • Localized primary conditions:
  • Secondary complications:
    • Malassezia spp Malassezia pachydermatis (less often Candida spp Candida albicans). Yeasts grow well in inflamed and oily skin. Their presence induces keratinocyte proliferation and so there is a vicious circle.

Treatment

Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

  • Recent references from VetMed Resource and PubMed.
  • Bond R (1993) Canine and feline acne. Vet Ann 33, 230.
  • Shanley K J (1990) The seborrheic disease complex. An approach to underlying causes and therapies. Vet Clin North Am Small Anim Pract 20(6), 1557-1577.
  • Scott D W (1980) Feline dermatology 1900-1978: a monograph. JAAHA 16, 331.

Other sources of information

  • Miller W H, Griffin C E & Campbell K L (2013) Topical formulation. In: Muller & Kirk’s Small Animal Dermatology 7th Edition. Elsevier Mosby, St Louis pp 117.
  • Miller W H, Griffin  CE & Campbell K L (2013) Synthetic retinoids. In: Muller & Kirk’s Small Animal Dermatology 7th Edition. Elsevier Mosby, St Louis pp 139.
  • Miller W H, Griffin C E & Campbell K L (2013) Keratinization defects. In: Muller & Kirk’s Small Animal Dermatology 7th Edition. Elsevier Mosby, St Louis pp 630.


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