How Often Do Leopard Geckos Shed? Should You Help Them? | Kidadl


How Often Do Leopard Geckos Shed? Should You Help Them?

Arts & Crafts
Learn more
Reading & Writing
Learn more
Math & Logic
Learn more
Sports & Active
Learn more
Music & Dance
Learn more
Social & Community
Learn more
Mindful & Reflective
Learn more
Outdoor & Nature
Learn more
Read these Tokyo facts to learn all about the Japanese capital.

If you look out for the signs closely, you will notice that leopard geckos shed their skin their whole lives.

Unlike mammals that shed skin continuously, reptiles are known to shed their skin all at once. Leopard geckos are reptiles that live on the ground and as they are fairly easy to tame, keeping a leopard gecko as a pet will require minimal care and is a pretty interesting reptile to keep.

This small lizard, called the leopard gecko, is constantly growing and will shed its skin when it outgrows its current skin. After the old skin is shed, the leopard gecko replaces it with a better-fitting skin. It is quite normal for the lizard to shed the skin without any stress, however, it can be quite difficult if the leopard gecko's body has underlying or previously known illnesses. A leopard gecko's skin shedding time depends on the age and condition of the reptile. While young leopard geckos are known for shedding their dead skin every week or two, as they grow up the shedding time of a leopard gecko normalizes to every four to eight weeks.

Young geckos grow at a faster rate and this is the reason their shedding process also takes less time. The whole shredding process takes around 24-48 hours to complete. Sometimes a leopard gecko shedding skin will even eat the skin themselves. While the leopard gecko shedding is going on, do not keep live food in the enclosure as it can irritate the gecko's skin. Usually, leopard geckos eat every two to four days. So it is very common that the reptiles might eat less or not eat at all during the shedding period. It is important to take out or hide any leftover food that happens to be in their enclosure so as not to stress out the reptiles. While the leopard gecko shedding process is being carried out, the lizard might get grumpy and irritable as the new skin becomes very sensitive.

You might happen to unintentionally hurt the leopard geckos and if this is to happen, some aggressiveness might be seen. You might want to leave your leopard gecko alone while it is shedding as the skin will be itchy. Shedding problems are common and you should give the lizard some space for a few days right after the shedding process. Things will normalize after two to three days. If the setup is not favorable for the leopard geckos, shedding problems might arise where the dead skin gets stuck underneath an area while shedding. These problems can be related to lack of moisture and humidity. However, just like with other lizards, leopard gecko shedding is regular if the diet and environment are right for the leopard gecko.

If you enjoyed this article, why not also read the answer to the questions how often do snakes shed and how often do leopard geckos eat here on Kidadl?

Should you help them shed?

Although not directly, it is important to help your pet leopard gecko shed its old skin in a natural way. It is very important to monitor the condition and behavior of the leopard gecko while it is shedding.

Setting up the perfect enclosure to help with your leopard gecko shedding is the best thing an owner can do. Sometimes shedding problems can cause injury and limb loss. If the shed is stuck near the toes and tail, your leopard gecko can even lose its fingers. Shed stops or restricts blood flow which is important for the body to function. However, you should not try taking the layer of the shed out yourself as it is a natural process for the lizards. The best thing you can do is to construct a tank with a proper habitat with the right moisture, humidity, and temperature, along with the right food for the pets. On paper, you should not pull out the skin yourself, however, you can mist or bathe the body while shedding. Keeping the pets moist while the geckos are shedding is the right way to go. Leopard geckos prefer dry habitats, but to shed their skin properly they need a high humidity area.

A humidity of 40 % is good for the dead skin shedding of a leopard gecko. A lower value can dry out the skin and the old skin might get stuck if not moist enough. A hide with coconut fiber that remains moist and damp is a good idea as the leopard gecko sheds. The hide needs to be moist enough. It should be free from water dripping but moist enough to form condensation on the sides of the tank. The hide for the shedding of old skin provides a perfect humid environment. Also, the tank needs to have a rough decor for the leopard geckos to rub and shed their old skin gently and in a healthy manner. A smoother surface can restrict the growth and get the skin stuck on the toes and tail area. If you are a first-time owner of a leopard gecko, take notice to not create a surface too rough that the geckos rub and cut themselves.

A proper diet can help the reptile easily shed its skin along with helping with other health issues too. We know leopard geckos are insectivores and the right amount of insects should be provided for eating to keep the reptiles healthy and happy. The wrong diet can cause a Vitamin A deficiency which can hurt the growth and shedding process. Insects on a healthy diet can also be spread between vitamin supplements. UVB lights help the leopard gecko in converting calcium to Vitamin D. Leave your gecko alone under the light and as a reptile, they will do the rest.

How often do they shed normally?

Like most reptiles, a leopard gecko sheds its skin, and the frequency of how much and how often it sheds depends on the age and healthy lifestyle.

The growth of the reptile is the right thing to see if you want to know if your geckos happen to shed or not. According to the age, younger ones shed so quickly that you won't even know when it has happened. Young leopard geckos are known to shed every two weeks. This schedule of every two weeks goes on until the geckos turn one. Adults are known for shedding their old skin every four to eight weeks. The reason for a younger pet to shed so frequently is that their bones are constantly growing and the skin is unable to keep up with it. As a result, new skin is needed every two weeks. Adult geckos are already fully grown and can take their free time to shed in about eight weeks. A shedding cycle of a leopard gecko is based on these signs; growth rate, injury to the body, illness, stress, and reproduction status.

Leopard Gecko in wood.

What happens when leopard geckos shed?

It takes around two days for the whole skin to complete shedding. After, it is best to leave the pet alone for the next few days (two to three days) in the hide. The geckos will become better-mannered themselves once done with the process.

The skin of the gecko will turn gray or pale. If this color is seen, you as owners will know the gecko is getting ready to shed. There might be a film near the eye that is easily noticeable. Geckos won't be too fond of eating anything when they shed. They will stay irritated and will lose interest in anything else other than shedding their skin. They need a proper humid environment in the tank to eliminate all possible chances of injury. Less humid conditions can cause their old skin to become stuck near the toes and tail. After all the dead skin is shed, inspect the reptile and look for any dead skin stuck under the body. This is very important as you need to spray the gecko first and rub the body against something like a wet paper towel. Do not pull the stuck skin yourself as it might hurt the leopard gecko.

With these types of situations, you can also put the gecko in a tub of warm water for some time to soak and moisten the dead skin and then try to remove the free skin gently with a substrate that is not too rough. After all these steps, your leopard gecko will be as good as new in a few day's time. However, in two months, it will be ready to shed again. It is fascinating to see, although needs a lot of care from your side.

Baby Leopard Geckos First Shed

Let us learn more about baby leopard geckos. We know they shed quickly and they shed often until they come of age.

Baby leopard geckos first shed five to seven days after being taken out of the egg. Once a month old, they can be kept in a larger case where they can feed and shed every two weeks. Between one to three months of age, the geckos will grow quickly and as a result, shed quickly. As the bones develop more quickly in young ones, the skin is unable to keep up with the speed and hence, changes quickly. Before the first shed, the babies will turn gray in color and the nutrients from the old skin get absorbed into the body to form a newer one. The old skin will become pale and papery as the new skin grows. The old layer is then dried out and the gecko will pull the shed skin with its mouth or use a rough surface to remove the skin. The new skin will be bright and colorful.

How often do adult leopard geckos shed?

There is not a simple answer to this. It is a cycle, with babies shedding quite quickly and adults taking a few months between each shed.

After six months of being born, juveniles start shedding in a cycle of about three weeks. However, by the time they become adults, they shed every four to eight weeks. Sometimes, adults might stop shedding too and sometimes the period can be a constant cycle of three to four weeks between sheds. It all depends on the age and lifestyle of the gecko.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for how often do leopard geckos shed then why not take a look at why do turtles live so long or are black diamonds real.

Written By
Ritwik Bhuyan

<p>A skilled content writer, Ritwik holds a Bachelor's degree in English from Delhi University. He has refined his writing abilities through his past experience at PenVelope and his current role at Kidadl. In addition to his proficiency in writing, Ritwik has pursued his passion for flying by achieving CPL training and becoming a licensed commercial pilot. This diverse skill set highlights his commitment to exploring multiple fields. Ritwik's experience in the aviation industry has provided him with a unique perspective and attention to detail, which he brings to his writing.</p>

Read The Disclaimer

Was this article helpful?