Crested Gecko Shedding FAQ’s: 5 Tips and Tricks to Help Prevent and Treat Stuck Shed

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Like other reptiles, Crested Geckos will occasionally shed their skin. As babies, they will shed more frequently as they grow and it will eventually slow down when they get older. Since Crested Gecko’s are nocturnal, you may not even realize they are shedding because they actually EAT their shed! When geckos shed, they are literally producing new skin and this process consumes a lot of their vitamins and calcium levels. So to make up for that loss, they eat it! Gross, right? (I actually think it’s pretty cool but I’m weird like that =P).

1. How can I tell if my Crested Gecko is shedding?

You can tell when your Crested Gecko is going to shed by paying attention to the color and texture of its skin. Their skin will look paler and almost ashy or dry. You may even notice they are having a harder time climbing the walls of their enclosure and sticking to stuff.

2. How can I help prevent my Crested Gecko from getting stuck shed?

Once you notice they are going to shed: you can keep your fogger on a little longer at night, spray their cage a little more than usual and/or add a shedding box with damp moss or paper towels to help your little gecko shed its skin completely. If the humidity is too low, it could cause your gecko to have a stuck shed, which if left untreated; can restrict blood flow and result in loss of limbs, toes or tail.

However, it is very important to continue to let their tank dry out naturally to about 50% humidity during the day as too much humidity can actually cause stuck shed and even skin rot/fungal infections. For more information about how to keep proper humidity for your Crested Gecko, see my Crested Gecko Enclosure Guide.

Always check your gecko the morning after you notice it is going to shed and make sure there isn’t any left, especially around its hands and the tail. Also, make sure their enclosure has some rough surfaces such as branches, hides, cork pieces, etc. Your gecko will rub up against these rough surfaces to help them in the shedding process.

3. What can I do if my Crested Gecko has stuck shed?

If your Crested Gecko has stuck shed, first and foremost: NEVER pull it off. Instead, you can help by giving your gecko a “sauna.” This is done by placing a couple of layers of soaked paper towels with room temperature water in a Tupperware dish and letting your gecko stand in it for about 10-15 minutes. Don’t use too much water, just enough to really soak the paper towels and always supervise your reptiles when giving them a bath or they can potentially drown. Keep in mind that Crested Gecko’s are cold-blooded, so the temperature of the water may feel cold to you but should not exceed 85 Degrees. This is important because cresties are very susceptible to heat strokes. You can check the temperature of the water by using a temperature gun (the one we use is the Etekcity Lasergrip 774 Non-contact Digital Laser Infrared Thermometer Temperature Gun.* It is very accurate and easy to use.

Let your gecko soak for 10-20 minutes and use a soft-bristled toothbrush or something similar like a Q-tip and gently brush the stuck shed. It doesn’t have to come off during the bath but with the moisture, in addition to gentle massaging, it will help loosen it up and allow the gecko to shed on its own. You can repeat this every other day for a few days until the shed is completely gone.

4. What if my Crested Gecko won’t let me give it a sauna?

I totally understand. Ganon doesn’t like to be held that much and definitely will not let me give him a sauna without freaking out. If this is the case, I recommend holding a damp washcloth and let your gecko “walk” through it on your hands.

You can also use a reptile shedding aid to help prevent or treat stuck shed. I like this one by Zoo Med* because it comes in a spray bottle and is easy to use if your gecko won’t sit still long enough for a bath. Just give the stuck shed a few squirts and gently massage it into the skin. It is even safe for their eyes so it works great if your reptile has retained eye caps!

5. What should I do if my Crested Gecko continues to have shedding problems?

You should speak with your Exotic Vet if your gecko continues to have problems shedding after using the tips above.

If you feel that your Crested Gecko has been shedding more frequently than usual, you should contact your Exotic Vet and bring your gecko in for a check-up. Although shedding is a natural part of the growth process for reptiles, chronic shedding can indicate that your gecko might be sick or have parasites and can be trying to rid itself of the illness by shedding its skin.

It may be hard to do since Crested Gecko’s are nocturnal, but I always recommend to keep a shedding log for all of your reptiles. Keeping a log will allow you to see the frequency of your reptiles shedding patterns and help ensure your gecko’s health and well-being.

Getting pet insurance for Crested Geckos may also provide additional peace of mind, though exotic pet policies are notoriously hard to come by. Money.com has a great article that breaks down many different policies (including Nationwide’s exotic pet insurance) to help you decide when (and if) pet insurance may be right for you. Check it out here: https://money.com/best-pet-insurance/.


*This site contains affiliate links to products. We may receive a commission for purchases made through these links at no additional cost to you. We do not recommend any products that we have not or would not use personally.

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