How Do I Clean My English Bulldog’s Face?

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How Do I Clean My English Bulldog's FaceFor many people, face wrinkles may not be attractive but the same can’t be said for French bulldogs — in fact, this is what people find so charming and irresistible. Similarly, the English bulldog has the same endearing wrinkles that make them a favorite among dog lovers. But did you know that you need to give special attention to your dog’s skin folds to keep it in good health? 

Here, we answer the question, “How do I clean my English bulldog’s face”, and explain why this is a necessary part of your pup’s daily routine. 

Why Do I Need to Clean My Bulldog’s Face?   

While your English bulldog’s wrinkles may be cute at first, they can become uncomfortable and itchy when they’re not cleaned properly. When left in a moist environment, the wrinkles on their face can serve as the ideal breeding ground for yeast and bacteria that can result in skin infections. Nobody wants this, so you’ll need to follow the guide below to help you create a skincare routine to prevent further irritation. 

Causes of Skin Irritation in English Bulldogs   

You may not notice it, but the English bulldog breed is infamous for being messy eaters and will often end up trapping food particles and moisture in their facial wrinkles whenever they eat or drink. Moreover, dirt and dust will often become stuck in their wrinkles when they go outside for walks and activities. If they aren’t given regular wrinkle skincare, this can result in the growth of bacteria.      

This problem can become worse during summer when it gets hotter, which may lead to bad odors from the moist skin folds and may even ooze from the infected area. Loose hairs that become trapped inside the folds along with dead skin cells can also lead to signs of an infection around the skin folds.  

Types of Facial Wrinkle Infections 

There are 3 kinds of wrinkle infections in bulldogs that you need to know which are discussed below.

Skinfold Dermatitis

This infection occurs between two folds of skin and is a common condition in brachycephalic breeds including the English bulldog. Some symptoms of this issue include red and smelly skinfolds, as well as hair loss. You can treat skinfold dermatitis by giving regular cleaning around the area and by applying topical antimicrobial ointment to keep it from progressing.   

Skin Fold Pyodermas

This bacterial skin condition can develop facial folds around the lips, groin, armpit, and other areas. The symptoms of Pyoderma include bumps, pustules, redness, and oozing discharge, accompanied by a bad smell. While mild cases can be treated with miconazole or salicylic acid, more severe cases will need treatment using cephalexin, amoxicillin, and steroids which can be given through an injection or orally.   

Skinfold Yeast Dermatitis

Malassezia yeast is a huge contributor to yeast infections which can lead to inflammation, discomfort, itchiness, and redness around your dog’s skin folds. It’s true that bacteria and yeast naturally exist on your bulldog’s skin, but they may end up getting mixed within these folds. Your vet might be able to tell the difference between a yeast or bacterial infection using a test known as skin cytology.   

How to Wash Your English Bulldog’s Face

How you clean bulldog wrinkles will depend on your dog’s skin condition, but this should be done more than once per week. Be sure to take a wet washcloth or some MalAcetic wipes to clean saliva, food, tear stains, and other kinds of buildup from your dog’s face. Alternatively, you can also use unscented baby wipes to clean — pay attention to the deep wrinkles around the nose fold and avoid your bulldog’s eyes. 

Try not to put too much pressure while cleaning your dog’s face to avoid further damaging it, and to prevent the spread of infections when you rub more debris further inside. You might also think about using a gentle shampoo or antibacterial soap as advised by your veterinarian that you can gently rub on their wrinkles. After applying these, be sure to rinse out their folds thoroughly to eliminate all traces of residue.       

Next, it’s time to dry your bulldog’s skin using a soft cloth, or a dry towel; you may also try to dry out your dog using a blow dryer kept in a cool setting. Keep the folds open and take the dryer over the whole body — you can also stop moisture from spreading using baby powder or a grooming powder for their facial wrinkles. But if you suspect that your bulldog has dry skin, or that its wrinkles look red from too much washing, try giving it some moisturizer. 

To protect your pup’s skin, you can try applying Vaseline or a mild ointment, which should also help with dryness. Be sure to only use small amounts at a time, since you don’t want them to become sticky and end up with more debris on their bodies. Finally, remember to give your bulldog a nice treat and some praise after you finish cleaning them.

Treating your English Bulldog

If your best friend happens to get a sign of infection, there are a few things you can do to ensure it gets treated, which include the following: 

  • Once an infection sets in, don’t use baby wipes to clean their facial folds — instead, use cleansing wipes that are medicated. While baby wipes can clean folds superficially, medicated wipes can sanitize their wrinkles and mitigate the discomfort that comes with it. 
  • If your English bulldog’s wrinkles have become infected, then be sure to clean their face and folds twice every day. 
  • Whether your pup has experienced a skinfold infection before or this is their first time, be sure to use a topical antimicrobial ointment after you’ve cleaned their wrinkles. 
  • If your bulldog has an infection, be sure to replace your wet washcloth with an acne pad. Once you’ve wiped their folds with wipes, don’t use dry paper towels which may further irritate the skin. Acne pads come with salicylic acid which can stop bacteria from spreading further. 
  • The English bulldog’s wrinkles are located at both ends of the eyes and will contain most of your dog’s excess tears, so be sure to keep their eyes free from mucus. If your pooch has debris around its eyes, then be sure to wipe them away or comb them out using a flea comb. Try not to comb heavy-handedly since this area is often hard due to accumulated debris. 

If your dog’s infection persists or becomes worse, make sure to head to your veterinarian to get assistance. Other kinds of infections that bulldogs will commonly experience include ear infections and yeast infections that you may need to know.   

Preventing Infections 

While the facial wrinkles of these dogs are indeed endearing, they will need much more care compared to other kinds of canines and will require extra attention and care to keep them clean and dry. You may use unscented wipes since these are hypoallergenic to clean their facial folds, then dry them after using cotton balls. You’ll need to pat your pup’s skin dry to ensure that no moisture is left — this can cause the buildup of bacteria and result in irritation. 

Should your pup’s skin become too dry, this can lead to itchiness, infections, and rashes — sprinkle a bit of cornstarch on your dog’s facial folds once you dry them. Don’t dust your pooch with too much corn starch or it might do more harm than good. To get the job done, use sections of a few paper towels between the wrinkles to get rid of moisture, then follow up by using a dry towel.  


Wrinkle care is an important part of caring for your English Bulldog, and should never be neglected if you want it to stay happy and healthy. These allergy-prone dogs with their pushed-in faces may start to develop an unpleasant odor when they aren’t cleaned on a regular basis. The good news is that the cleaning process highlighted above can help you care for the affected area while giving preventative care will ensure that they aren’t exposed to infections.