Dry Skin Treatments

Jun 13, 2013 by

Dry Skin Treatments

Treatment Overview

  • The first step in treatment is to look at a clean, completely dry hedgehog. Our Bathing Articles describe an oatmeal bath, how to bathe your hedgehog, dead skin removal, and simple skin care tips.
  • Various owners and breeders treat simple dry skin with various over-the-counter remedies and other items usually found around the house.
  • Very rarely will a veterinarian prescribe a prescription treatment for dry skin only, since many other more cost-effective means are successful.
  • In many cases an oatmeal bath will clean and soothe the skin, and no other treatment is necessary.
  • Healing should happen fairly quickly, and if not, a trip to the veterinarian is necessary because dry skin that is not accurately treated will become worse over time.
  • Mite infestations can be the root of the dry skin problem and will continue to cause more skin and quill damage if not properly treated.
  • Most veterinarians recommend a treatment of Revolution as a precautionary against mites because it is more reliable than looking for mites, it is inexpensive and very safe.
  • Another reason to see a veterinarian is the he/she may need to prescribe oral antibiotics such as  Trimeth-Sulfa Susp and Conofite spray for fungal problems.  Oral antibiotics such as Itraconazole may be necessary as well.

 Harrison’s Avix Soother Topical Spray

NIKS Skin Care Oil – Naturally Nourishing

  • Niks Skin Care Oil was formulated especially for Millermeade Farms as a natural and safe dry skin treatment for both humans and hedgehogs on the farm.
  • This oil ingredients are:Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil,100% Pure Fractionated Coconut Oil, Organic Cold Pressed Aloe Vera Gel, Organic Virgin Apricot Kernel Oil, Organic Borage Oil, Organic Chia Seed Oil, Organic Calendula Oil, Organic Grosso, Lavandin Oil, 100% Pure Rosemary Oil
  • Each ingredient individually has properties that are naturally healing to the skin.
  • Rosemary and Lavender have the added bonus of being favored scents of hedgehogs and they are natural mite (and lice) deterrents.
  • The skin and quills should not appear greasy or oily.
  • Discontinue use if redness or irritation occurs.


  • Many hedgehog owners have noticed improvement in their hedgehog’s skin using this product.
  • From the manufacture’s description of the benefits of Rain®
    • May reduce superficial itching and provide soothing topical relief for skin inflammation and irritation
    • Promotes healing of sensitive skin and superficial lesions often noted in early self-mutilation cases
    • May provide topical relief and healing for small cuts, bruises and minor injuries
    • Soothes irritated skin
    • Employs transdermal technology for efficacy of topical application

Sunshine Factor

  • Hedgehog owner Louisa Krause has noticed a difference in her hedgehogs skin using Sunshine Factor on her hedgehogs food.  She only needs to give her hedgie, Koda, a bath when he is really dirty or every couple of weeks instead of weekly.  She gives Koda a bath to get rid of the dry skin flakes and apply new oil.  Koda is veterinarian checked to be mite free; he just has dry skin due to quilling.

Olive Oil

  • Olive oil is a simple home remedy for dry skin associated with bedding dryness and quilling.
  • Four to five drops of olive oil can be applied directly on the hedgehog’s skin between the quills to help soothe some of the dryness.
  • Either an eyedropper or a syringe (without the needle) works well to drop the oil directly on the skin.
  • Olive oil treatment can be repeated every 2-3 days as necessary.
  • It is important not to add so much oil that the skin appears oily.
  • Please be cautious  when using topical oils and added heat as the heat and oil can cause a minor burn and further irritation.  Olive oil is not very absorbent so it coats the skin (which is good for healing) but can be dangerous if your hedgehog is under direct heat.
  • In addition to being a natural, hypoallergenic way to moisturize skin, extra virgin olive oil has the added advantage of providing strong antioxidants.  http://www.oliveoilsource.com/page/beauty-and-olive-oil#Skin

Flax Seed Oil

  • Flax seed oil is not harmful but it can have an orange color when applied topically.
  • It can go rancid if left unrefrigerated.
  • Flax seed oil caplets can be purchased from a local health food store and some drug stores.
  • The convenient capsules can be punctured on one end and a few drops can be squeezed onto your hedgehog’s back.
  • Doing this after a bath will allow the oil to more readily cover the hedgehog’s entire back.
  • Remember not to use too much or you will have a slippery hedgehog!

Vitamin E

  • Human Vitamin E Gel caplets can be found in most supermarkets, drug stores or health food stores.
  • The capsule can be punctured on one end making it easy to apply the Vitamin E oil on their hedgehogs back.
  • It is recommended to put on the hedgehogs back, 1 drop behind each ear after a bath to allow the oil to spread across their backs.
  • Vitamin E can be applied without a bath for maintenance as bathing too frequently can increase the dry skin.
  • One must be careful not to give too much vitamin E.  It is a fat-soluble vitamin and excess is absorbed into the body instead of excreted.


  •  Do not use a Tea Tree Oil based shampoo or oil as this is EXTREMELY toxic to hedgehogs. (Hedgehog Wiki 5/14/09).  This recommendation has been highly circulated in the hedgehog community.  Upon further investigation we have found that tea tree oil is often used in treatment of ectoparasites and other skin problems in Europe.  Tea tree oil varies in purity and species variety.  Use caution when dealing with unknown products.
  •  Do not use Vitamin E beauty products as these could contain other poisonous chemicals such as tea tree oil or grape seed oil. It is not known if grape seed oil is toxic to hedgehogs, but grapes are poisonous to hedgehogs.  (Hedgehog Wiki 5/14/09)
  • ☠ Because of hedgehogs’ propensity to frequently groom, it is best to avoid grape seed oil altogether, since there is a high risk of your hedgehog ingesting topically applied grape seed oil.

Please also see our article Food Additives for Dry Skin.

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