If you are a new owner of a crested gecko you may be wondering if they shed and how often it happens. Well in this article we are going to tell you everything you need to know about crested geckos shedding their skin.
Do crested geckos shed?
Let’s jump straight in as I am sure many of you just want to know the answer to this question. After this I will tell you why it happens, problems that may occur and how you can help your crested gecko though the shedding process.
So do crested geckos shed? Yes crested geckos shed their skin and this happens quite often dependant on their age. Think of shedding the same as you having to go out and buy new clothes as you out grow your old ones. Shedding is the equivalent of this for crested geckos.
With that all being said we should probably have a look at the exact reasons why crested geckos shed their skin.
Why do crested geckos shed?
Crested geckos shed their skin as they get bigger, us humans do exactly the same thing except we do it gradually. We lose our skin constantly but it is just tiny little flakes of dead skin. Crested geckos differ because they actually shed their skin all at one time.
If you actually manage to watch your crested gecko shedding you will notice that it comes away in big pieces. However sometimes it can be tough to get off in certain spots but more of that further along in the article.
How often do crested geckos shed?
How often crested geckos shed their skin depends on what age they are. Younger cresties will shed their skin a lot more regularly than adult crested geckos as they grow fast. Below is a little table showing how often a crested gecko will shed its skin.
|Crested gecko age||How often do they shed their skin|
|Baby||Once a week|
|Juvenile||Once every two weeks|
|Adult||Once every two to four weeks|
Crested gecko shedding problems.
Sometimes crested geckos can have trouble shedding their skin. This can happen in small patches or one big area of its skin.
Disecdysis is the technical name for skin shedding issues in reptiles. This can be caused by a number of different reasons, some more serious than others.
The reasons why a crested gecko may have trouble shedding its skin.
There are a few different reasons why a crested gecko may not be shedding its skin as it should. I will list them below:
- Correct humidity- This is the main reason why crested geckos have issues when shedding.
- Infectious diseases.
- Poor diet such as vitamin A deficiency. Read this article if you would like to see our ultimate guide to crested gecko diet and feeding.
Some of the above may sound scary and it is. However rest assured, generally speaking most shedding problems occur due to humidity issues.
If the crested geckos environment is not high enough in humidity this can stop the skin from shedding correctly.
How to help a crested gecko shed.
If you have a crested gecko that is having a problem shedding its skin there are a few ways that you can help.
Raising the humidity.
First of all you can try to increase the humidity in the geckos tank. Humidity issues are more than likely the reason for a difficult or incomplete skin shed and so this should be the first thing to check.
The tank should have a humidity of around 70% and this can be achieved by regular misting.
Crested gecko bath.
Another way to loosen up stubborn skin on your crested gecko is to give it a bath.
To give a crested gecko a bath you will need the following:
- A small container such as a Tupperware tub or deep sided dish.
- Paper towels or kitchen paper.
- A Q-tip and a small pair of tweezers.
Take your container and pour some warm water into it. Make sure that the water is not to hot, it literally only needs to feel warm to the touch.
The idea of the water bath is to provide some instant humidity to your crested gecko not to fully bathe the gecko. So with that in mind we only need a small amount of water in there. Make sure that it is not too deep or your crestie may drown.
Place your crested gecko in the tub and keep an eye on it for around 15-20 minutes. If your gecko seems stressed by it take it straight out. If it seems fine you should be able to go for the full 20 minutes.
Once your crestie is out you can use your q-tip to gently remove any stuck shed. If it is not budging allow the skin to dry out a little as when it is wet it can become quite elastic and stretchy.
For any really stubborn skin you can gently and carefully use your tweezers to pull the little bits off. However you need to exercise extreme caution when doing this as it is always a last resort.
If you do decide to go down this route be careful as it could cause your gecko to become stressed which may lead to a bite.
How to tell if a crested gecko is going to shed.
It can really help in crested gecko ownership to know when your crestie is going to start shedding. There are signs and symptoms that will tell you when the process is going to begin.
I will list the main signs below:
- A reduced level off activity.
- Dulling of the skin in patches.
- Squinting of the eyes especially if your gecko is starting to shed the skin on its face.
The dulling of the skin is generally the first sign and one of the more noticeable. This is especially more so in crested geckos compared to other pet lizards.
Along with the dulling of the skin it will also feel a lot drier to the touch.
Do crested geckos lose their appetite when shedding?
Yes sometimes crested geckos can lose their appetite when they are coming up to the point of shedding. This can worry owners that do not know this but do not worry if this happens with your crestie as it is completely normal.
Crested geckos are an awesome pet lizard to own and it can really help to know the signs that your gecko is about to shed. This guide should have given you all of the information that you need to know to help your crestie if it is struggling to shed its skin.
Most of the time the shedding process goes completely problem free but it is always best to know what to do should the worst happen.
For more helpful guides to help you look after your crested gecko have a look at this link which will take you to all the ones I have written.