Why Are My Bulldog's Wrinkles Red and Stinky?

Why Are My Bulldog's Wrinkles Red and Stinky?

Bulldogs captivate us with their endearing wrinkles, but these charming folds require special and constant care. One common challenge for Bulldogs is the occurrence of inflammation and unpleasant odors in their wrinkles. In this blog, we will dive deeper into the causes behind these issues, and share a few tips to help you keep your Bully's wrinkles clean and healthy.

Causes of Inflammation and Odor in Your Bulldog's Wrinkles:

  • Moisture and Heat
    Heat and moisture are one of the most common causes for wrinkle issues for Bulldogs. The folds and creases in an English Bulldog's skin create an ideal environment for moisture accumulation. This trapped moisture, coupled with the naturally warm and humid conditions within the wrinkles, creates a breeding ground for bacteria and yeast. The excessive moisture creates a perfect environment for these microorganisms to multiply, leading to bacterial or fungal infections. These infections cause inflammation, redness, and discomfort in the wrinkles. Additionally, the combination of heat and moisture can contribute to the breakdown of the skin's natural barrier, making it more susceptible to irritants and allergens. This can further aggravate the skin, leading to itchiness, redness, and a foul odor.
  • Poor Hygiene and Cleaning Practices
    Bulldogs have numerous deep skin folds that require regular attention and maintenance. When proper cleaning routines are neglected, dirt, debris, and food particles can accumulate within the wrinkles. This buildup provides an ideal breeding ground for bacteria, leading to infections and inflammation. The bacterial overgrowth can cause redness, swelling, and discomfort in the wrinkles, along with a foul odor. Insufficient cleaning allows the bacteria to multiply and thrive, exacerbating the problem. Additionally, neglecting to dry the wrinkles thoroughly after cleaning can create a damp environment that further encourages bacterial growth.
  • Allergies:
    Allergies can significantly contribute to wrinkle issues in Bulldogs, exacerbating inflammation and odor. Bulldogs can be prone to allergies, which can manifest as skin sensitivities. When an allergic reaction occurs, the skin in and around the wrinkles becomes more susceptible to irritation and inflammation. Common allergens include pollen, dust mites, certain foods, or environmental irritants. These allergens trigger an immune response, leading to redness, itching, and discomfort in the wrinkles. The constant scratching and rubbing can damage the delicate skin, creating an ideal environment for bacteria and yeast to flourish, further worsening the inflammation and odor.
  • Dermatitis and Skin Infections
    Dermatitis can result from allergic reactions, irritants, or the constant rubbing and friction between the skin folds. This inflammation can cause redness, swelling, and the formation of sores or crusts within the wrinkles. Additionally, the compromised skin barrier in these areas becomes more susceptible to bacterial or fungal infections. Bacteria and yeast thrive in the warm, moist environment of the wrinkles, leading to secondary infections that further exacerbate the inflammation and emit foul odors. These infections may produce discharge, pus, or a distinct smell.
  • Skin Folds Rubbing Against Each Other
    When the skin folds of Bulldogs constantly rub against each other, it can lead to a range of issues related to their wrinkles. The friction between the folds, especially in areas where they overlap, creates irritation and inflammation. This constant rubbing can disrupt the natural balance of the skin, causing redness, discomfort, and even abrasions. The damaged skin becomes more susceptible to secondary infections, such as bacterial or fungal growth. These infections contribute to the unpleasant smell emitted by the wrinkles. Moreover, the trapped moisture between the folds provides a favorable environment for bacteria to thrive. To mitigate these problems, it is important to regularly clean and dry the wrinkles, ensuring that they are kept free from excessive moisture and irritation.

Prevention & Management:

  • Regular and Proper Cleaning
    Establishing a consistent cleaning regimen can effectively remove the build-up of bacteria, dirt, debris, and food particles, reducing the risk of infections and associated unpleasant smells. It is recommended to use a mild cleanser or specialized wipes specifically designed for cleaning wrinkles. Gently and meticulously cleanse the folds, ensuring that you reach all the nooks and crannies. Thoroughly drying the wrinkles after cleaning is crucial, as any residual moisture can contribute to the growth of bacteria. Additionally, regular cleaning allows you to closely monitor the condition of the skin, enabling you to promptly identify any signs of infection, inflammation, or other issues that may require veterinary attention. Moreover, proper cleaning practices promote the overall hygiene and well-being of your Bulldog, creating a clean, healthy, and odor-free environment for your cherished companion.
  • Maintaining Optimal Moisture Levels
    Striking the right balance between moisture and dryness is crucial. Excessive dryness can cause the skin to crack and become more susceptible to infections, while excessive moisture promotes bacterial growth. Find a suitable moisturizers or wrinkle creams to maintain skin hydration without promoting infection.  We use OCO Pharmaceutical Grade Coconut Oil for both treatment and preventative measures.  OCO is 100% pure and is specifically made for skin, coat, and topical use (but, is also safe to ingest). OCO is also chemical/fragrance-free, contains no water, and therefore is naturally anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, and anti-fungal.
  • Diet and Allergy Management
    A well-balanced and high-quality diet is essential to support optimal skin health and reduce the risk of allergies. Working closely with your veterinarian, you can identify potential food allergens and choose an appropriate diet that avoids these triggers. Food allergies can lead to skin inflammation, itching, and increased vulnerability to bacterial or fungal infections in the wrinkles. By providing your Bulldog with a hypoallergenic or limited ingredient diet, you can help manage and prevent these issues. Additionally, managing environmental allergens such as pollen or dust mites can also contribute to reducing allergic reactions and subsequent irritation in the wrinkles. Regularly cleaning your Bulldog's living environment, using hypoallergenic bedding, and minimizing exposure to potential allergens can greatly alleviate the impact of environmental allergies.
  • Minimize Their Skin Folds From Rubbing Against Each Other
    To minimize this issue, it's important to keep the wrinkles clean and dry. Regular cleaning helps remove debris and moisture that can contribute to friction. Additionally, using a specialized, breathable wrinkle cream or powder recommended by your veterinarian can help reduce friction by creating a barrier between the folds. It's also beneficial to ensure that your Bulldog maintains a healthy weight, as excess fat can exacerbate skin fold rubbing. Regular exercise and a balanced diet can help your Bulldog maintain an appropriate weight, reducing the pressure and friction between the skin folds. Lastly, providing your Bulldog with soft bedding and avoiding rough surfaces can further alleviate friction and minimize the potential for irritation.
  • Veterinary Care and Regular Check-ups
    Regular visits to the veterinarian allow for early detection of any potential problems. A professional examination can identify signs of inflammation, infection, or allergies in the wrinkles, ensuring prompt and appropriate treatment. Additionally, veterinarians can provide guidance on proper cleaning techniques, recommend suitable products for wrinkle care, and offer advice on managing allergies or skin conditions. Regular check-ups also allow for monitoring the overall health and well-being of the Bulldog, as certain systemic issues can manifest through changes in the skin. By staying proactive and maintaining a strong relationship with a trusted veterinarian, you can ensure that your Bulldog's wrinkles receive the necessary care, preventing and addressing any potential issues before they become more severe.


Caring for your Bulldog's wrinkles requires vigilance and a proactive approach. By understanding the causes of inflammation and odor in their wrinkles and implementing regular cleaning routines, moisture management, allergy control, and veterinary care, you can ensure your Bulldog's wrinkles remain clean, healthy, and free from unpleasant odors.


We hope you picked up some new and useful information about your Bulldog, today!
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