When you were a kid, your parents most probably had to buy you new clothes every 6 months to a year. You just grew so fast that they just did not fit anymore. That can be compared to the leopard gecko shedding process. They have to get rid of the old skin, because it just doesn´t fit anymore.
Why is that so? How often do leopard geckos shed? What can you do to help you leopard gecko to shed? What kind of problems can occur? You will have an answer to all of these questions in around 3 minutes. Simply continue reading.
Don´t Be Shocked!
I know from experience that seeing your reptile for the first time shedding can be shocking. I remember being very concerned about my reptile´s pale skin even though I knew that reptiles shed. When I saw my chameleon Fipsi Carlos with all the dead skin on it I was like “What the hell is going on here?”.
How Often Do Leopard Geckos Shed?
As all reptiles leopard geckos shed quite often when they are young. You should expect your baby leopard gecko to shed every week to every two weeks. Adult leopard geckos shed around every two weeks.
Why Do Leopard Geckos Shed?
You know I like to explain things easy to understand without any technical terms. The shedding process of a leopard gecko can be compared to us, since we also “shed” a lot. The difference is that we lose very small amounts of dead skin which ends up being called house dust. Leopard geckos lose it in one go. So humans and leopard geckos lose dead skin since the skin is replaced continuously.
Besides that, reptiles grow their whole life. That´s another reason why they have to shed over and over again.
Leopard Gecko Shedding Problems
Normally the shedding should run smoothly. Unfortunately a lot of leopard geckos in captivity have problems to shed completely very often. Sometimes the dead skin does not fall off completely. That can cause serious problems if the dead skin sticks around the tail or a toe as it can disturb the blood flow. If the gecko doesn´t get any help, it will lose the toe/tail.
This can happen because of bad husbandry. The wrong tank setup, the wrong diet, wrong humidity and so on and so forth. Leopard geckos are praised as beginner pets or pets that are optimal for kids by pet shop sellers, because these animals are so hardy.
It is true that they are hardy, but that does not mean that you just can throw a leopard gecko into a tank with a food bowl and a coconut hide and that´s it. Let me show you what you can do right now, to help your gecko.
Help Your Leopard Gecko To Shed!
You can help your leopard gecko to shed with offering a wet hide. High humidity will help your reptile to shed and all you have to do is creating that wet hide and place it in your tank. If you don´t know how to create a moist hide, that´s no problem at all. I wrote an entire guide on that which you can read here: Create A Moist Hide For Your Leopard Gecko!
The next thing you should do is getting some rough stones or branches, logs and similar rough decorations that contribute to a natural leopard gecko habitat. Leopard geckos rub their bodies on those rough stones to get rid of the dead skin. If you don´t know what to buy, here are a couple of suggestions.
Virgin Cork Bark
Giant Half Log
Get This Awesome Substrate!
Further I recommend to have a look at the substrate in this article. It helps you to create a more natural habitat for your gecko easily at an affordable price. You can build caves and tunnels for your leopard gecko with a lot of rough areas your leopard gecko can use to get rid of the old skin.
What To Do If Your Gecko Still Needs Help?
If the gecko just can´t get off the dead skin by itself you should help a little bit. I recommend to apply a little bit of cooking oil or this Vaseline (click) on the affected spot and rub the skin off gently. You can also try to remove the skin with tweezers.
If you have any questions, simply leave a message in the comment section below and I will get back to you as soon as I can.
I hope this article helped you and I really hope that this will convince you to upgrade your leo tank if you don´t have a lot of stuff in your cage. Have fun with your gecko and keep it healthy