Reptiles with Abnormal Skin Shedding

Let's talk about reptiles with abnormal skin shedding.

If you've ever had a pet reptile you know that they shed, but sometimes they abnormally shed their skin and it becomes a health issue.

The name for skin shedding abnormalities is called disecdysis. Different reptiles, shed differently. For some the old skin shed in one whole piece, for other the skin comes off in patches. The result of shedding in a fresh layer of skin.

An incomplete shed is when pieces of the old skin will remain, usually around the toes, tails, and eyes. If unshed skins doesn't come off, infections can develop. If this occurs you will notice red irritated looking spots of skin that have pus. Sometimes unshed skin is tight almost like a tourniquet which can be dangerous. This can either cause tissue death or it the unshed skin is on the toes, it could mean the loss of the toe.

What causes a reptile to shed abnormally? The most common reason is low humidity. A poor diet or lack of things to rub on are other common reasons. If a reptile has an inadequate diet their skin tends to not shed properly. When reptiles shed, they sometimes rub on things to help the process, if they have nothing in their tank for them to rub on, some skin may not shed. Other causes include parasites and poor health, but these are usually less common.

If your reptile is experiencing abnormal shedding, there are some things you can do. First, you can spray your pet with warm water or let them soak in a warm bath. Then, gently and carefully peel the shedding skin off. If the abnormal shedding is happening at your reptile's eyes, you can apply an eye ointment and then help rub away the skin. If you notice redness, puss, or anything unusual, take your pet reptile to the veterinarian.

The information provided on this site is for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for advice from your veterinarian or other health care professional. You should not use the information on this site for diagnosis or treatment of any health problem or for prescription of any medication or other treatment.