Chameleons, like all reptiles, regularly slough their skin. They do this more frequently when they are young and growing quickly, but adults also shed occasionally to accommodate changes in weight and renew old scales.

The key to a healthy shed is correct humidity, followed by good nutrition.

When a chameleon is preparing to shed, their color will become dull and they may lose their appetite. It will start rubbing against the cage décor in an effort to loosen the skin. They may also puff out their eyes, which looks alarming, but is no cause for concern unless it lasts for more than a day.

This is when you need to be extra diligent with keeping your chameleon hydrated. Misting more frequently, or turning on your fogger more often, can help. With correct humidity, your chameleon should be able to shed their skin without help.

If you notice white, flaky pieces of stuck shed, soften the skin by misting or showering. Then wipe at the pieces with a moistened cotton swab. If they still don’t come off, resist the urge to pull at it with your fingers — this can injure your chameleon and is quite painful! Instead, continue humidity treatments until the shed has completely finished.

If your chameleon regularly experiences shedding problems despite extra moisture, they may have a dietary deficiency. Arcadia offers a supplement called Shed Support that can be dusted on feeder insects for a dose of vitamins and minerals targeted at skin health.

Jackson's Chameleon Shedding Issues

Contributed by Petr Necas (T. j. xantholophus)

Other chameleon health topics: