Hyperpigmentation refers to a skin condition characterized by dark or white skin patches all over the body, particularly in the hands and face. In most cases, the onset of hyperpigmentation is caused by sun damage, injury, skin inflammation, or hormonal fluctuations.
While it can happen to us humans, it can also occur in our furry pals as well. Unfortunately, most dog owners who notice that their dog’s tummy has become black associate the condition as just a sudden change in skin color. However, it could be due to hyperpigmentation which has developed over time.
- Hyperpigmentation in Dogs
- Essential Oils for Treating Hyperpigmentation in Dogs
- How to Safely Apply Essential Oils on Your Dog
- 5 of the Best Essential Oils for Hyperpigmentation in Dogs
- Final Thoughts
Hyperpigmentation in Dogs
Cases of hyperpigmentation among dogs tend to occur in dogs who have light fur and skin. Most of the time, it’s often deemed as secondary to other underlying conditions such as infection or allergy.
Keep in mind that hyperpigmentation in dogs doesn’t happen suddenly. It’s an overtime process which involves a certain degree of continual trauma for it to occur. In most cases, hyperpigmentation among dogs, which is referred to as pruritus-induced hyperpigmentation, can be a result of chronic itching.
While you might think of it as a simple change in color, treating the condition is important to maintain your dog’s health and comfort. Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be that hard nor expensive, and this is possible with the help of essential oils.
Essential Oils for Treating Hyperpigmentation in Dogs
You might have heard about essential oils are widely used for their healing and therapeutic properties. However, can they also offer the same effects on dogs?
With the rising popularity of essential oils, there were a lot of pet owners who are curious and want to try using essential oils for dealing with hyperpigmentation and other skin conditions on their dogs. However, most of them aren’t even sure if it’s a good idea or not.
Well, essential oils can indeed help deal with hyperpigmentation on dogs. However, you have to take extra precautions when applying it. This is because some essential oils contain substances that can be toxic if applied to your dog. As much as possible, you want to avoid the following essential oils for your dog:
- Ylang ylang
- Tea tree
On the other hand, here are some of the most widely accepted essential oils which can be safe and effective in dealing with certain issues on your dog:
- Frankincense – the frankincense essential oil is widely popular for dealing not just with hyperpigmentation but an array of skin issues as well. It can also deal with scars as well as dermal dullness. Aside from that, it helps enhance your dog’s skin glow. If these are not enough, it’s also known to promote cellular health and boost your furry friend’s immunity.
- Lavender – considered the universal oil, lavender is effective in dealing with burns, allergies, redness, inflammation, and more. It doesn’t just focus on the skin though as it’s also known to deal with anxiety which your dog might experience from time to time.
- Geranium – this oil features a sweet smell and is known for its balancing effect on the body. When applied to your dog, it can help deal with scars, wounds, and hyperpigmentation. That aside, it’s also proven effective in reducing inflammation and can even control skin redness.
- Sandalwood – the sandalwood essential oil is probably the most expensive oil out there, and it’s for a reason. The sandalwood tree, which the oil is extracted from, needs to be at least 40 to 80 years before the oil can be extracted. Despite the price, its therapeutic and healing benefits can more than makeup for it. It’s known for providing various benefits such as softening the skin, getting rid of irritation, soothing itchy skin, and more. It can also heal skin damage and reduce inflammation which is very essential for dogs suffering from hyperpigmentation.
- Carrot seed – the essential oil from carrot seed is considered one of the best oils for hyperpigmentation, thanks to its beta carotene content. Accordingly, beta carotene is said to reduce the formation of pigments on the skin by blocking the production of inhibiting tyrosinase, an enzyme which is responsible for producing melanin.
How to Safely Apply Essential Oils on Your Dog
If your dog currently suffers from hyperpigmentation, here are some tips you want to follow to make sure you can apply essential oils on him without any risks:
- ALWAYS make sure that your essential oils are diluted. Since dogs have a higher level of sensitivity to essential oils compared to us humans, using undiluted oils can only lead to a slew of other problems. Hence, make sure that your essential oils are always diluted even when just inhaling.
- Most issues that your dog might experience can be dealt with by simply diffusing diluted essential oils. However, there are a few issues that can be dealt with via topical application, and hyperpigmentation is one of them. As usual, you have to dilute the oils before applying
- Don’t use essential oils for preventing a health issue as they’re not designed for that. You can instead use them for addressing a certain concern
- NEVER add essential oils into your dog’s food or drink. They should only be applied either through inhaling or topical application, not internally
- Don’t use essential oils on puppies who are below 10 weeks old.
- To be on the safe side, make sure to consult your veterinarian first.
How can essential oils help my dog?
Though it might not sound obvious, dogs also suffer from several skin conditions that often go unattended. Unfortunately, they are not capable of taking care of themselves which is why it’s your job as the owner to check his health from time to time and make sure he maintains his overall wellbeing.
Essential oils help with your dog’s hyperpigmentation problem due to the healing and anti-inflammatory properties they contain. Aside from that, they also contain certain ingredients that can help lighten the skin and get rid of those dark patches.
How do I use essential oils on my dog?
According to research, the less oil you apply to your pet, the better. To be safe, you should always go for therapeutic-grade essential oils.
To apply, mix around 3-6 drops of your chosen essential oil with 1 oz. of carrier oil. Also, if you have a small dog, you might want to use a smaller amount of diluted oil – even smaller on puppies and older dogs.
Always make sure you don’t apply the oils around your dog’s ears, eyes, nose, or genitals as it can cause irritations and other possible issues. Also, don’t use it on pregnant or nursing dogs.
5 of the Best Essential Oils for Hyperpigmentation in Dogs
1. Plant Therapy Lavender Organic Essential Oil
Lavender is one of the most well-known essential oils due to its skin-soothing properties. It’s particularly known for its ability to calm any skin irritations as well as rashes. Apart from that, it also comes with anti-inflammatory properties.
This organic essential oil from Plant Therapy exactly does that. The product is manufactured by Plant Therapy which is considered one of the few companies which manufacture USDA Certified Organic products.
As a high-quality essential oil product, you can expect this lavender oil to be quite effective in dealing with your dog’s skin problems including hyperpigmentation and more. Aside from that, it can also deal with redness and inflammation brought on by UV damage.
Lastly, it produces a calming and enticing effect which can be soothing not just for your dog but for you as well.
- Can induce a soothing and calming effect
- Has an amazing consistency
- Available at a very affordable price
- The effects might not last long
- Comes with a heavy scent
2. Prime Natural Frankincense Essential Oil
Known for its antibacterial and healing properties as well as being effective for wound care, frankincense is one of the best essential oils you can use for your dog, particularly when it comes to dealing with hyperpigmentation. Aside from hyperpigmentation, it’s also known to be effective in enhancing the skin’s natural glow, thereby making it ideal for maintaining your dog’s healthy skin.
This Prime Natural frankincense essential oil is yet another USDA Organic Certified product that is made of 100% pure frankincense extract. It’s proven to be effective in healing scars, burns, wounds, and other skin conditions.
Due to such amazing properties, frankincense essential oils are known to be expensive. However, this one is available for a very affordable price, making it one of the best options when it comes to both effectiveness and affordability.
- Features a relaxing scent
- Available in several sizes
- Doesn’t contain any synthetic chemicals
- There might be issues with its consistency
3. Aviano Botanicals Roman Chamomile Essential Oil
Chamomile essential oils are known for their anti-inflammatory properties. This makes them ideal for inflammatory hyperpigmentation on your furry friend. Simply combine 5 drops of this essential oil with 5 drops of lavender essential oil and shea butter on affected areas on your dog.
This Roman chamomile from Aviano Botanicals is the perfect product for reducing any type of inflammation on your dog. Aside from that, it’s known to be light and can be absorbed quickly into the joints. As a result, your dog can almost immediately feel the therapeutic properties it possesses.
Compared to other chamomile products on the market, this one is quite fast-acting which is part of the reason why it’s widely accepted by a lot of dog owners.
- Known for being fast and effective
- Works perfectly well with other blends
- Made of pure and organic ingredients
- Its smell might be a bit too strong for some dogs
4. NOW Peppermint Essential Oil
Peppermint essential oil is one of the best and safest essential oils you can give your dog, especially if he’s suffering from certain conditions like hip dysplasia and arthritis. Additionally, peppermint is known for its anti-inflammatory properties, making it perfect for dogs who are suffering from inflammation due to hyperpigmentation.
It’s a natural pain reliever and offers a relaxing, cooling effect. This peppermint essential oil product from NOW Foods is no doubt one of the best peppermint essential oils out there, especially for your dog.
It’s available in 4-ounce and 16-ounce variants for you to choose from. Aside from that, it’s also certified and is safe for topical application as well as diffusion.
- Comes with a fresh, strong mint scent
- Made of 100% peppermint oil
- Induces a revitalizing and invigorating effect
- It might take a while for your dog to get used to its cooling effect
5. Pure Gold Thyme Essential Oil
If your dog is experiencing arthritis and rheumatism, thyme essential oils could be your best option. Of course, it also works perfectly for hyperpigmentation as well as other skin issues that dogs tend to experience.
This thyme essential oil from Pure Gold is perfect for older dogs who are having difficulties with their joints as it has anti-inflammatory properties. This property is also effective in dealing with the inflammation which is associated with hyperpigmentation. Though it doesn’t necessarily cure those joint pains, it can instead offer pain relief.
Just like the other products on this list, this one is made of 100% pure thyme oil. It also comes in three different sizes you can choose from.
- Ideal for older dogs with joint pains and arthritis
- Comes with anti-inflammatory properties
- Feature a sweet aroma
- Some dogs might not like its smell
While there have already been several dog owners who were able to successfully deal with their dog’s hyperpigmentation issues, you should always make sure to consult your veterinarian first.
Also, while aromatherapy can be effective in dealing with not just skin problems but other issues as well, you should always refer to the list of essential oils which you should avoid for your dogs.