Crested Gecko Shedding: Everything You Need To Know

Crested Geckos are among the better reptiles when it comes to shedding, they usually have the process finished before you’ve noticed it’s happening.

However, there are still some things you need to know about it. In this article, I am going to tell you everything you need to know about the Crested Gecko shedding process.

Why Do Crested Geckos Shed?

The shedding process occurs for all reptiles. They have inelastic skin, which cannot grow as they age.

Even when your Crested Gecko is at a mature age and has stopped growing, they’ll still shed. Because the skin is organic matter it deteriorates over time, regular shedding is a sign of good health in Crested Geckos.

What Age Do Crested Geckos Shed?

Crested Geckos can start shedding 2-4 days after hatching.

It’s important to know your Crested Gecko won’t eat the food you offer them until after their first shed. During this process, they’ll eat the nutrients and energy supplied by their yolk sack.

If your Crested Gecko hasn’t started shedding within 2-4 days, I recommend raising the humidity to help start the process.

How Often Should Crested Geckos Shed?

The rate of your Crested Geckos shedding depends on their age, gender, habitat, and overall health.

  • Hatchling Crested Gecko – Shed weekly
  • Juvenile Crested Gecko – Shed every 2-3 weeks
  • Adult Crested Gecko – Shed every 3-4 weeks

Gender: Male and female Crested Geckos have different growth rates. Males grow larger and faster than females do, making them shed more often.

Habitat: The shedding process is influenced by their environmental conditions. If the enclosure they’re in isn’t at the right humidity and temperature levels, this can impact their shedding and lead to health concerns.

Overall Health: If your Crested Gecko is unwell they’ll unlikely have the energy to shed. Ensuring your crestie is eating a balanced diet and living hygienically will help combat sickness.

How Long Does It Take For Crested Geckos To Shed?

Crested Geckos can finish shedding in as short as 15 minutes, however, the shedding process can last up to 3 days. It all depends on the health of your crestie, the healthier they are, the faster they’ll shed.

Signs Your Crested Gecko Is Going To Shed

It’s important to know the signs your Crested Gecko displays when they’re about to shed. This is so you can take the appropriate action to help them through the process.

Below are the 7 most common signs of Crested Geckos shedding.

Dry Skin

Their skin will become dry and saggy, almost like it looks like it’s too big for them. White patches appear across the body, this is because calcium deposits have built up to then be shed.

Reduced Color

Crested Gecko morphs come in many colors, but they’ll all experience reduced coloring when they’re about to shed. 

Your crestie will appear to be dull and gray instead of their usual coloration. This is because as the skin breaks away from the body it is now transparent.

Swollen Skin

The opposite look of dry skin is when it becomes swollen. It looks bloated and tight because their body is now too big for the current skin. There is no reason to panic, it just means they’re going to shed soon.

Rubbing Against Objects

The shedding process is itchy, and Crested Geckos are unable to scratch it themselves. Because of this, they’ll rub against coarse objects like rocks and branches.

Loss Of Appetite

Your crestie will likely start to lose interest in the meals you offer them, this is because shedding takes a lot of energy and they don’t want to waste it hunting meals.

When they’re finished, they’ll eat the shed skin providing them with plenty of nutrients.

Lethargic

They’ll become tired from shedding, spending a lot of their time in the hide spots in their enclosure. Because of this, I recommend placing sphagnum moss in their hides to increase the humidity.

Dulled Eyes

The color of their eyes will become grey and cloudy looking as the skin loosens around it. They’ll also be sunken into their head compared to their usual bulge.

The Shedding Process For Crested Geckos

Crested Gecko shedding is scientifically called ecdysis. This is the process of growth of skin cells, Your Crested Gecko’s skin is made up of the dermis and epidermis.

The epidermis is the top layer of their skin, responsible for filling cells with keratin. A protein known for water retention. Once your Crested Geckos cells are fully grown, they’ll need to shed it to make room for new cells.

This is when the old skin will begin to loosen and peel away from their bodies. Usually, their skin will shed all in one go and not in patches.

When the new skin emerges it will be vibrant and soft, over the following days the skin will begin to harden and darken.

What To Do When Your Crested Gecko Is Shedding

There are ways you can help your Crested Gecko through the shedding process, to do this I recommend following the tips below.

  • Maintain proper humidity levels between 60%-80%. If your crestie is struggling to shed, increasing the humidity to 90% is recommended.
  • Reduce handling your Crested Gecko unless it is necessary. They’re uncomfortable enough without being held.
  • Provide moist sphagnum hide boxes.
  • Use substrates capable of water retention, this will help maintain the humidity.
  • Offer food as you normally would, even if they’re not eating it. Replace regularly to reduce mold buildup.

Crested Geckos Shedding Problems

Even if your Crested Gecko is healthy they may still experience problems with their shed. A common one is called a stuck shed (dysecdysis). This is when the skin hasn’t shed in one go and some remains attached to your crestie.

Stuck shed will lead to necrosis if left untreated due to the restricted blood flow. If this occurs, the affected limbs of your crestie will need amputation. 

Stuck shed usually occurs on the tail and fingers of Crested Geckos.

What Causes Shedding Problems?

Some of the most common causes of shedding problems in Crested Geckos are:

  • Low humidity – Dries the skin making it harder to shed.
  • Dehydration – Dries the skin, making it harder to shed in one go, causing stuck shed.
  • Unhygienic environment – A dirty environment will lead to sickness and problems when shedding.

How To Treat Shedding Problems?

It’s recommended to reduce the handling of your Crested Gecko during the shedding process. But sometimes it is necessary to intervene if they’re experiencing problems. Here are the three best ways to help your Crested Gecko shed.

Misting

Misting the enclosure daily will assist with the shedding process by raising the humidity levels and avoiding having to handle them.

Bathing

A warm bath can help soften the skin making it easier for your crestie to shed. I recommend having the temperature of the water sit between 75%-80%. This makes the temperature comfortable for them to soak for around 10-15 minutes.

Oils

I recommend the use of oils if misting or bathing hasn’t helped the shedding process. You’re able to purchase chemical-free oils safe for Crested Geckos to gently massage into their skin.

Important: Never attempt to pull off shedding skin from your Crested Gecko. If it’s still attached, it’s supposed to be. 

If you have concerns about your pet’s welfare, always contact your veterinarian specialist for guidance.

FAQs

Why Do I Never See My Crested Gecko Shed?

Crested Geckos are nocturnal/crepuscular and so are more active at night, dusk, and dawn. So it is likely they’re shedding at night. And because they’re efficient shedders, a healthy crestie will have completed shedding within an hour.

Are Crested Geckos Hungry After Shedding?

No, Crested Geckos aren’t hungry after shedding because they eat their shed skin once it is removed from their body. The process of this is called dermatophagia and they’ll do this as they benefit from the nutrients in the skin.

Can I Hold My Crested Gecko When They’re Shedding?

It’s recommended not to handle your crestie whilst they’re shedding but sometimes it is needed if they’re experiencing difficulties. For example, you can handle your pet if you’re giving them a bath to help combat stuck shed.

Summary

If you want to help your Crested Gecko through the shedding process, remember to provide plenty of rough surfaces, raise the humidity, and utilize misting, and bathing.

  • Hatchling Crested Gecko – Shed weekly
  • Juvenile Crested Gecko – Shed every 2-3 weeks
  • Adult Crested Gecko – Shed every 3-4 weeks