Maribeth Dunlap Dressage

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Skin Conditions & Home Made Anti-Itch/Fungus Cream

Posted on January 17, 2018 at 6:55 AM

Skin Conditions & Home Made Anti-Itch/Fungus Cream

January 17, 2018

By Maribeth Dunlap

I have lived and kept my horses on my farm in Pennsyvania for most of my life.  We had to endure a mud season in spring where "scratches" were common around the pasterns and fetlocks of our horses. The opportunity to train in Florida during the winter gave me a another experience in fungus prevention. Fungus prevention in Florida is never-ending and part of the daily maintenance and management of horses in that environment.  And now moving and settling on the southern coast of North Carolina has given me yet another experience.  

Here are some things I've learned:  Horse's skin is up to four times more sensitive than a human's. Their skin is not only more sensitive to touch, but with their thick coats and outdoor lives they are very susceptible to skin conditions. 

Monitoring your horse's coat on a regular basis is important. There are many causes of skin conditions including allergies, bacteria, fungus and insect bites. Excess moisture in the environment is a huge factor. Regular grooming, managing turn-out and pasture time during rainy seasons, proper nutrition and veterinary care will all help reduce instances of equine skin conditions. When equine skin conditions do show up, you need to be able to recognize them and address the cause, while also treating the condition so that it does not progress. 

Skin conditions in horses often present themselves with scabby lesions, crusty spots, red areas, bumps and hives.  Hair may be falling out in an area. Sometimes there are areas of raised hair with lesions, flaky skin or scabs underneath.  Your horse may obsessively rub or scratch a specific area. These are all signs of some kind of skin issue.  When I groom my horse I run my hands over the coat with emphasis down the legs, around the fetlocks, pasterns and heels. I feel for bumps, scabs and crusty areas.  If I feel any of these then I know I have to address this immediately.  The sooner you can address these things the better.  Delaying treatment could result in major issues and summer sores that could require veterinarian care.

Things that I've adopted over the years to care for my horses skin is to groom regularly.  During warm weather, I will occasionally bathe them using a good antifungus/antibacteria shampoo.  I dry towel their legs after bathing to help keep the skin on the legs dry.  I also towel off around their head with empasis behind their ears and down their cheeks.  If I suspect anything is brewing then I tackle it immediately with anti-fungus/bacteria creams and shampoos.  If the condition continues to get worse, then I contact my veterinarian.  I don't mess around with skin issues as they can blow up into a nasty mess.

Here is my favoritie home-made anti-itch/fungus cream.  It helps to calm down the affected area, heal, soothe and helps with the itching.

Home-Made Anti-Itch/Fungus Cream


2 oz of Hydrocortizone Cream,

2 oz of Zinc Oxide Cream,

2 oz of Triple-Antibiotic Cream.

Mix these ingredients all together and store in a sealed plastic container.  Apply liberally to affected areas.  You can also make a double batch to last longer.  

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