Managing Equine Skin Conditions in the Springtime

Springtime is a beautiful season for horses and their owners. The weather is getting warmer, the days are getting longer, and horses are eager to spend more time outside. However, springtime can also bring a variety of skin conditions that can be uncomfortable and even painful for equines. Read on to explore some tips for preventing and managing equine skin conditions in the springtime.

Common Equine Skin Conditions in the Spring

Rain Rot

Rain rot, also known as rain scald or dermatophilosis, is a bacterial skin infection that is common in horses during the springtime. It is caused by the bacteria Dermatophilus congolensis, which thrives in warm, wet conditions. Rain rot appears as crusty scabs or lesions on the horse's skin, often around the neck, back, and rump.

Sweet Itch


summer eczema oral supplement
summer eczema, is a hypersensitivity reaction to the saliva of biting insects known as midges. It is a common skin condition in horses during the spring and summer months and can cause intense itching, hair loss, and skin damage. Sweet itch is most commonly seen around the mane, tail, and face. Consider trying Equine Medical and Surgical Associates’ Summer Eczema Oral Supplement if your horse shows signs of sweet itch. It is a top-rated herbal blend that provides natural support for your horse’s immune system to stop the itch. The natural herbs in our Summer Eczema Oral Supplement are safe for all breeds of horses!



Scratches, also known as mud fever, is a bacterial infection of the skin that commonly occurs in horses during wet and muddy conditions. It is caused by the bacteria Dermatophilus congolensis, the same bacteria that causes rain rot. Scratches appear as scabby, crusty lesions around the horse's pastern and fetlock.

Preventing Equine Skin Conditions in the Spring

Grooming and Cleaning

Regular grooming and cleaning are essential for preventing equine skin conditions in the spring. This includes brushing and currying the horse's coat to remove dirt and debris, as well as bathing the horse with a gentle shampoo to remove sweat and grime. Check out our Map Skin Shampoo for a gentle shampoo option that helps to remove crusts and bacterial debris. You can use it three days in a row and then two times a week until the skin is healed! Plus, you will only need one bottle to treat a horse. Additionally, it is essential to dry your horse thoroughly after bathing, as damp skin can be more susceptible to bacterial infections. 

Turnout and Environment

white horse with dapples


Proper nutrition is also essential! Feeding a balanced diet with plenty of vitamins and minerals can help support the horse's immune system and promote healthy skin. Additionally, providing a supplement such as omega-3 fatty acids can help reduce inflammation and support skin health.

Managing Equine Skin Conditions in the Spring

Topical Treatments

Topical treatments are often used to manage equine skin conditions in the spring. These may include medicated shampoos, ointments, or sprays that contain antifungal or antibacterial agents. It is important to follow the manufacturer's instructions when using these products and to avoid using them on open wounds or sensitive areas. You can also consult with your trusted veterinarian. 

Fly Control

Fly control is essential for managing sweet itch in horses. This may include using fly sprays, fly masks, or fly sheets to protect the horse from biting insects. Additionally, keeping the horse's environment clean and dry can help reduce the number of biting insects in the area.

Systemic Medications

In some cases, systemic medications may be necessary to manage equine skin conditions in the spring. This may include antibiotics or anti-inflammatory medications to help reduce inflammation and promote healing.

At Equine Medical & Surgical Associates, our job is to help get your horse back to health so you can enjoy your special time together. Dr. Reilly has been a veterinarian with 32 years of experience and is dedicated to helping educate the owner and helping your horse improve. Visit our website to learn more about your equine’s conditions and browse products that could enhance your beloved horse’s quality of life!