Rain Rot

Dermatophilosis known commonly as Rain Rot, or Rain Scald, presents as matted, tuffs of hair with tight scabs, that come off in clumps, quite easily when tugged. The skin underneath can appear raw, inflamed and tender to touch. Although it is often mistaken for a fungal disease, it occurs from a bacterium that is normally dormant on your horse’s skin. 

Rain Rot is the most common skin disease in horses and is caused by a bacterium called Dermatophilus Congolensis, which lies dormant in the horse’s skin. The moisture and warmth on the horse’s coat, create and environment where the bacterium can thrive! When the horse’s skin becomes compromised by humidity, high temperatures, wetness or biting insects, the bacterium produce hyphae that penetrate the skin and spread in all directions. This results in an acute inflammatory skin response. 

Rain rot is most prevalent in areas of high humidity, warm temperatures and heavy rainfall, and horse owners tend to see this more in spring and summer seasons. However, it can develop in the winter under a warm winter blankets. 


Day 1 – Apply Equiderma Skin Lotion to all affected areas. Rub in gently, and resist the urge to pick these scabs as they can be painful. Allowing the Skin Lotion to sit on the skin will aid in the debridement of the scabs on Day 2.

Day 2. Gently shampoo with Equiderms Neem Shampoo. Lather gently into the skin, allowing scabs to fall off without picking or rigorous scrubbing. Rinse well. Reapply Equiderma Skin Lotion once horse’s coat is damp or dry. Do not apply when soaking wet as it can run and not remain on the affected areas. 

Day 3 – Reapply Skin Lotion to affected areas and leave on. For most cases which are caught early, this will be the extent of your rain rot treatment. For more advanced cases, you will need to repeat the 3 day treatment a few more times before your horse is healed. 

Hair growth can often be seen as early as Day 3, but can take up to 3-4 weeks if your case was severe. 

Some horses are more prone to Rain Rot than others. For those that are more susceptible to Rain Rot, you can work on preventing Rain Rot in the warm, wet summer months, when it is too warm to sheet your horse in the rain, by washing with Equiderma Shampoo after heavy rainfall, and every 2 weeks for maintenance in warm months with less precipitation.

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