Treat Skin Infections With Medicated Shampoo

Follicular Flushing Action.


Follicular flushing action (FFA) is what we need when our patients have infection in the pores and hair follicles of the skin. The condition is called folliculitis when only the hair follicles are involved, but most commonly we see a more widespread form of infection called pyoderma. Broken down, the prefix pyo- is Latin for “pus,” and the suffix derma is Latin for skin. Therefore pyoderma refers to an area of the skin where the body has formed pus. Pus is a mixture of fluid and white blood cells.

Pet shampoos with FFA are medicated shampoos and therefore are available only through licensed veterinarians. The main active ingredient is benzoyl peroxide, usually at a 10% concentration. Don’t confuse benzoyl peroxide with hydrogen peroxide, as the two ingredients do very different things, and pouring hydrogen peroxide on pyoderma isn’t going to give you follicular flushing action and it isn’t going to help with the infection.

Benzoyl peroxide shampoos, however, can kill bacteria and are usually used in conjunction with oral antibiotics. By using the medicated shampoo we can reduce the volume of infection the body and the systemic antibiotic have to deal with, thus speeding both comfort and healing.

There are a number of benzoyl peroxide shampoos available to your pet’s doctor. The one we like best is made by Virbac Animal Health and is called Pyoben.

To use it properly follow the instructions in this post and use it on the schedule your veterinarian specifies.

See you tomorrow, Dr. Randolph.


  1. My puppy developed these red spots all over her belly and on hind legs last night. The area is hot to the touch. She is going to bathroom without issues, as well as eating good. I have rescued her Tuesday night and Saturday is when I noticed these. At first thought it was a rash but not sure why it it hot. Could you please advise.

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