Other health problems

Common Skin Conditions of Shar Pei Dogs

Josie F. Turner
By Josie F. Turner, Journalist specialized in Animal Welfare. February 5, 2017
Common Skin Conditions of Shar Pei Dogs
Shar pei

Animal file: Shar pei

Shar Pei dogs are known for their beautiful, wrinkly and sandy skin. However, they can suffer from different skin conditions and problems throughout their life, including fungi, irritations and allergies. All in all, Shar Pei are particularly sensitive dogs.

This AnimalWised article will review the various problems that usually affect their skin and help you prevent them from occurring through different methods. Keep reading and discover the common skin conditions of Shar Pei dogs as well as how to spot and prevent them.

You may also be interested in: Skin Diseases in Dogs


  1. Before starting...
  2. Skin irritation in Shar Pei dogs
  3. Fungi in Shar Pei dogs
  4. Allergies in Shar Pei dogs
  5. Folliculitis in Shar Pei dogs
  6. Skin tumors in Shar Pei dogs
  7. Is your Shar Pei suffering from a skin condition?

Before starting...

Remember that the Shar Pei is one of the wrinkliest dog breeds in the world and also a dog with very sensitive skin, and it is likely to develop various skin-related problems.

Before medicating your dog or following any kind of treatment, it is imperative that you check with your veterinarian to make sure that your diagnosis is correct. This article is just a guide to help you identify some of the common skin conditions of Shar Pei dogs and prevent them.

Common Skin Conditions of Shar Pei Dogs - Before starting...

Skin irritation in Shar Pei dogs

Skin irritation is a very common skin condition in Shar Pei dogs that may be caused by a dirty coat, substances that make them react, shampoos that can irritate the skin and even the presence of foreign bodies. Their skin is highly sensitive, so you must be careful.

In order to prevent your Shar Pei from getting irritated skin, and therefore avoid any related diseases, you must pay attention to these tips:

  • Make sure you dry your Shar Pei after you bathe it.
  • On particularly rainy or humid days you will need to dry it thoroughly with a towel.
  • Regularly check specific areas such as the armpits and the skin wrinkles or folds.
  • Use dermoprotective products, never generic products, as they are stronger.
  • Do not use perfumes if they are not natural and safe.
  • Visit your veterinarian whenever you detect any abnormality.
  • Prevent any licking or scratching, as this generates moisture in the area.
  • Provide products with omega-3 and omega-6 - such as salmon - which have anti-inflammatory effects.
Common Skin Conditions of Shar Pei Dogs - Skin irritation in Shar Pei dogs

Fungi in Shar Pei dogs

Fungi may appear for various reasons. The folds and wrinkles of the Shar Pei's skin continuously rub together, being one of the elements that facilitate their appearance. This is aggravated through contact with water and the age of the dog in question.

Fungi usually appear in the same folds and specific areas such as the groin or armpits, depending on each case. The area becomes red, starts to lose hair and a white substance secretes accompanied by a sour smell. You must prevent your dog from licking the area at all costs and start treatment as soon as possible, because the heat and humidity will cause it to spread.

The treatment for fungi is very simple and easy to perform. You will probably be prescribed a specific shampoo for treating fungi. You should wash the dog and let the product take effect. Follow the time indicated for this process.

Although a fungal infection is a relatively easy problem to treat, the truth is that it is advisable to go to a professional since a Shar Pei with fungi also tends to get ear infections. Keeping your dog clean and dry is definitely the best way to prevent fungi. When you return from a walk, pay attention to drying your dog's paws.

Common Skin Conditions of Shar Pei Dogs - Fungi in Shar Pei dogs

Allergies in Shar Pei dogs

The Shar Pei certainly is a dog that is sensitive dog to developing allergies, either due to its diet or due to the elements in the environment such as plants or even because of a flea infestation. Only the veterinarian can determine what causes are making your Shar Pei suffer from an allergy and therefore administer an appropriate and specific treatment for the case.

You can easily solve a food allergy by offering hypoallergenic food, although other causes should be treated with medication (antihistamines and cortisone) or specific shampoos.

Common Skin Conditions of Shar Pei Dogs - Allergies in Shar Pei dogs

Folliculitis in Shar Pei dogs

Folliculitis affects dogs with a short and hairy coat like the Shar Pei. You can easily detect it as hair begins to fall out in the affected area and small pustules appear. The dog with folliculitis will constantly scratch the pustules, and may even try to bite the area, creating small wounds that can become infected.

All dogs have causing bacteria called Staphylococcus intermedius in their skin, although not all develop this skin problem. Generally it appears because of low defenses or other problems within the dog's body that cause it to manifest. It can also happen because of the same causes as other diseases in the dog's skin, such as moisture and lack of hygiene.

Antibacterial treatment is usually either via oral administration through creams or through specific shampoos. The veterinarian will recommend the treatment to follow and how long treatment should last, as most products dedicated to folliculitis can severely dry out the fur.

Common Skin Conditions of Shar Pei Dogs - Folliculitis in Shar Pei dogs

Skin tumors in Shar Pei dogs

Any dog, regardless of age or breed, may develop skin tumors. Still, certain factors such as old age, use or proximity of toxic products or even a lack of care towards your Shar Pei can cause tumors to appear.

There are many different types of tumor, benign or not, and you can only determine what it is and how to start treatment through a biopsy of sample of the tumor tissue. If you think your dog has a skin tumor, go to a specialist as soon as possible so that they can carry out a test and determine what it is.

Common Skin Conditions of Shar Pei Dogs - Skin tumors in Shar Pei dogs

Is your Shar Pei suffering from a skin condition?

Let us know and help other members of the AnimalWised community answer their questions about Shar Pei skin problems. Remember that you can write and attach pictures. Thanks for your help!

Common Skin Conditions of Shar Pei Dogs - Is your Shar Pei suffering from a skin condition?

This article is purely informative. AnimalWised does not have the authority to prescribe any veterinary treatment or create a diagnosis. We invite you to take your pet to the veterinarian if they are suffering from any condition or pain.

If you want to read similar articles to Common Skin Conditions of Shar Pei Dogs, we recommend you visit our Other health problems category.

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Ruth Tobias
Hi I have a 4 month old sharpie and he really really stinks and he scratches a lot and I’m my opinion I think he mait have a fungus I want to know what shampoo I can use to get rid off it please I can handle the smell and can the fungus be transfer to humans ??
Jacob B Goldfarb
Thank you for writing this article. I just noticed a little patch of fur missing and found a white spot. Any idea if this is folliculitis, fungus, or potentially a skin tumor?
Administrador AnimalWised
Hi Jacob,

We couldn't possibly say. You will need to achieve the correct diagnosis with a qualified veterinarian.
Did you find out what it was? My dog is the same
My dog is a 9yr old "Bullie" the pitbulls that are low and buff. Since he was a baby he has had severe skin issues. He has been to many different doctors and specialists.. we spend tens of thousands of dollars on meds and tests.. we have tryed different diets as well including raw diet.. n.o help... the past 4years he's been on Atopica 100mg(oral)..ketolconazole 200mg... daily.. and every 3 months a shot that blocks a signal to keep him from scratching.. he has to get a bath once aweek with special shampoo as well..
ALL OF THAT..has cleared up the condition everywhere except his chest and neck..and some on his ear... he stinks after his showers even.. the hair will fall out in chunks.. yeasty crusty stuff.. i notice he sweats.. and leaves sweat marks on the wood floor lol... ANY IDEA WHAT IT IS? ANY WAY TO HELP? THANK YOU!!
Administrador AnimalWised
Hello Martika,

This sounds like such a frustrating situation and we are sorry to hear your poor dog is going through such trouble. We have an article which can suggest what it possibly may be:


However, if you have seen specialist veterinarians, this is your best bet to find a resolution to these problems. We cannot diagnose the issue as it will take various diagnostic tests which the veterinarian should be carrying out.
Hello their. I too have a sharpei Pitt named puka.. I had similar problems with him and I too spent 1000s on trying g to find an answer so I could cure him….. nothing worked…. They were going to make me put him to sleep if I couldn’t find out how to fix him….. so one night I received phone call from a stranger who told me she had read about my situation on Facebook and wanted to try to help. She told me it didn’t work on all dogs but only a select few but to go to the store and to buy aloe vera, olive oil, coco butter…. And coco butter lotion. Take all four ingredients and mix it into a balm…. Put puka into a dry bath tub and completely cover him in the mix I made… wait 15 minutes and then rinse him with warm water ONLY! No SOAP….. and after dry him thoroughly… and then to repeat that same thing three times a week or as often as I could afford or stand too….. I thought it was a joke but I was willing to try anything at that point….. and to my surprise it cured him! For the first time since he was a puppy I had fixed him and in turn had saved his life! Not sure if this will help but it worked on him so I figured I’d try
Dana Bailey
How can I add more than one photo
Dana Bailey
My friend has a Shar-Pei mix, and since he was a puppy she's had real problems with foul oily odor all the time and his skin condition as he ages gets worse and worse or something new comes up I'm attaching a couple of pictures. He is very well-groomed and taken care of and blow-dried after his bath he's a very pampered dog, and spends 90% of his time indoors so I don't believe hygiene is an issue. Maybe someone could look at these pictures and point us in the right direction as to how to help this poor baby. His foot at the moment is real concern to me....that white spot is not part of his fur, its dry, almost chalky,it almost looks like it's rotting, for lack of better words. For years, they've gone back and forth back and forth to the vet and no real solutions. Anyway, any help would be very much appreciated. Thank you.
Administrador AnimalWised
Hi Dana,

We can bring you the different possible skin conditions which affect Shar Pei dogs, but we cannot diagnose anything in the comments here. It would be irresponsible to do so. You have done the right thing by taking them to the veterinarian. They are the ones who have the experience and tools to properly diagnose a problem. Unfortunately, they are not infallible and you may need to press them or get a second opinion. They should also be able to provide some information on management. Did they give a diagnosis or treatment plan?
Nancy Cragg
My eight year old , Becky, has a very oily coat except for her rump area which is very dry and she chews hair off. The vet just treats dry area, any suggestions?
Administrador AnimalWised
Hi Nancy,

If the area of dry skin is localized, then it is understandable they will treat the affected area. They would only need to do otherwise if there was a wider problem such as a parasitical infestation. Unfortunately, Shar Peis are notorious for having skin problems (as his article highlights).

Here is an article about keeping your dog's skin moisturized which might help prevent dry patches:


Just be careful about following your vet's advice. They are the best qualified to diagnose a problem and you don't wan to act in a way which would exacerbate it. If you don't think your vet is giving an adequate level of care, we recommend looking for a second opinion. Good luck!
Mushu (Shar Pei 6yrs old) started getting hives again. Its blooming season and we knew he was allergic to lavender but something else is going on now. He started with this almost blister like hives (tiny bubble under the skin, that easily burst a clear sticky fluid) Originally i though one might have been a tick, but obviously discovered it was not. It started at his Arm Pits and moved up to his neck. (bunch of little bumps all the way up) He is very itchy. Picture just under his chin.
Amanda Fletcher
What is best treatment for dry skin in and around the ears
Administrador AnimalWised

The best thing to do is to go to the vet to determine if the dry skin is due to any sort of infection, infestation or any other type of health problem (ear mites are a common issue for many dogs). If these have been ruled out, the vet may prescribe some topical creams to help.

For some general guidelines on how to moisturize your dog's skin, check out the following article:

pat post
my male sharpei 1.5 has blisters between his toes they just appeared popped them blood comes out? used vetricyn on them any help please
Administrador AnimalWised

You will need to take them to the vet as it could be a number of health conditions. They will need to confirm diagnosis and prescribe the right treatment options.
I am looking for a good ear cleaner for my shar peis please.
Administrador AnimalWised
Hi Tracey,

There are many common ear cleaners at pet stores and veterinary clinics. If you ask someone responsible, they will be able to recommend something viable. We cannot do so as it depends on where you are located.

You can also make a homemade solution of equal parts white vinegar and rubbing alcohol. Mix at room temperature and swap onto a cotton ball. Use this to clean around the ear canal. Never put it into the ear canal and check for infection. If the dog has an infected ear with wounds or sores and you rub this solution on, it can sting. Wipe with another cotton ball dipped in clean water to remove any leftover solution.

We hope this has been useful!
I have a sharpie every year his skin seems to get blisters and scratches all the time this year he's fur is falling out and he is making himself bleed I've tried bathing him using t tree spray anything yous can recommend please I hate to see him like this x
Administrador AnimalWised
Sorry to hear it Leigh, sounds like your Shar Pei is having a rough time of it. Unfortunately, the treatment will depend on the diagnosis. Have you been able to take your pet to the vet. It could be a number of the causes listen in the article. Here is some more info in case it is useful:

Can anyone help we have a 7 month old girl and she keeps on licking raised skin in between her paws is there anything we can buy or make to help?
Administrador AnimalWised
Hi Gary
We have attached a link as to why your dog might be excessively licking her paws. There are some tricks to try and ensure your puppy doesn’t lick including making sure she is clean and dry, so that she does not feel she has to do this herself by licking. If this behavior carries on we suggest seeing a veterinarian and making sure your dog is healthy and that this is not a sign for help. Regards, AnimalWised.

Constant scratching and bites himself till he bleeds, tried allsorts running out of options now
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Common Skin Conditions of Shar Pei Dogs