Bearded Dragon shedding process

Bearded Dragon Shedding Process : What to Expect

Bearded Dragon Shedding Process

~ What to Expect ~

You may be wondering what’s happening if you see your Bearded Dragon one day looking a dull grayish/white. He may be cranky, listless, or not eating. Don’t worry, it’s the bearded dragon shedding process taking place.  It’s also known as ‘moulting’ and all reptiles go through it.

Bearded Dragon shedding process

We might be cranky too, if our skin was sloughing off.  It’s not a vanity thing, but I imagine it might be itchy? I don’t know. My dragon, Shirley, won’t share her experience with me in so many words, but she does seem to go through something less-than-pleasant during her shedding days.

Shirley tries to rub her loose skin off by scratching, rubbing against the log or rock in her tank, or on furniture or carpet.

Bearded Dragon shedding process
Chloe Bray, Flickr

How often does the bearded dragon shedding process occur?

Young lizards shed more often than older ones because they have a faster growing rate, so where a juvenile might shed every 3-4 weeks, up until they’re a year old, an adult might only shed once, maybe twice aBearded Dragon Head Shed year.

Dragons usually don’t shed their skin all at once either, not like a snake would. Shirley’s last bout was just her head and thighs. At the moment, she’s shedding under her chin and belly.  The bearded dragon shedding process can happen over several days, to several weeks, stretching the whole darn thing over a few months.

Once your dragon has finished shedding, you’ll notice the skin has brighter and more vibrant colors.  My Shirley comes out of a shed with the most beautiful orange/pink skin. It’s an unusual color, I think.  This is new skin, as she has outgrown the old.

Aside from shedding representing growth spurts, especially in older dragons, it may also be brought on by certain conditions of diet and nutrition, habitat, health, breeding, brumation, stress, seasonal, temperature & humidity.  Click here if you’re interesting in checking out a great “Raising Bearded Dragons” course.  (This, is an affiliate link, just so ya know.)

 Dragon shedding process

What can I do to help?

Well, I always want to help her out and speed up this miserable process by peeling off her old skin for her. You know, like people do with sunburned skin that’s sloughing off.  Resist the temptation, though. You can damage the new skin if it’s peeled off too early. If the dragon is not ready to shed, and you peel off loose skin, the skin underneath will be damp. That’s not a good thing. This leaves it open to bacteria and mites, if there are any around.

The biggest concern with peeling off the skin before it’s ready to come off naturally is damaging the skin underneath, which can lead to infection and problems with shedding the next time.

Let dragon nature take its own course.

Is your BeaBearded Dragon shedding process

You could, however, help by misting your dragon every couple of days with a spray bottle of water. High humidity can easily cause respiratory infections in dragons, so use the misting method with caution.

The safest way is to give it a real good soaking in a tub of warm water (no soap, please) — maybe 10-15 minutes or so– not too hot!  Make the water deep enough that they can swim in it, but shallow enough that they can stand in it.

Raising Bearded Dragons

Monitor your dragon at all times. Don’t leave it there by itself! Dry him off completely before putting him back in his cage. We don’t want bacteria growth due to moisture.

Some dragons love the water and can’t wait to get in.  Shirley, on the other hand, doesn’t like her baths at all and tries to get out right away. To each their own!  While I have her in there, though, I use an old tooth brush to ‘comb’ her. She seems to like that — maybe it feels like a massage or that I’m petting her. What it does is it helps to soften the old, loose skin and help the speed up the process.

Bearded Dragon shedding process
Sabrina S., Flickr

What if old skin hasn’t shed?  (aka Improper Shedding)

Sometimes it can happen that old skin isn’t shedding, especially on the tail, toes, nails and spikes. This happens more often in juveniles. That old skin can restrict blood flow to the extremities as it shrinks and dries, making them susceptible to necrosis of the tissue. This can potentially cause tail rot, ending up in the loss of a toe or end of a tail.

First, check to make sure the temperature and humidity in your tank are correct.  Is there a good UVB source?  Is your dragon getting the proper nutrition?

If your dragon loves the water, provide a shallow dish of water they can soak in at their own discretion. (They’ll probably poop in it too, so chance the water every day or whenever necessary.) Water is the best way to help in the shedding process.

Video Source:


Raising Bearded Dragons Video Course***

You might also enjoy reading,

Bearded Dragon Brumation Symptoms: What Should I Do?




Do you have reptiles in your care?
Tell me about it in the comments below.



*** Leave a comment below and remember to share. ***

It’s just sexy!

As always, thank you for taking the time to visit my blog!

Jeannie Melanson, Animal Bliss Blog

Jeanne Melanson


Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestShare on Google+Share on TumblrShare on StumbleUponShare on RedditShare on LinkedInBuffer this page
Follow Me:

Jeanne Melanson

Owner at Animal Bliss
Born in Nova Scotia, I moved to the United States 20+ years ago.I am a dedicated lover of animals and fight for their rights and protection.I love people too, of course, and enjoy meeting folks from all walks of life.I enjoy philosophical discussion, laughing, and really odd ball stuff.I hope you enjoy my site.Leave me a comment to let me know you were here!Peace out.
Follow Me:

12 thoughts on “Bearded Dragon Shedding Process : What to Expect

  1. Hi I have a juvenile dragon I think it is a girl was supposed to be a boy I noticed that she is sheading it seems to be coming off by itself she is so loving and love’s to snuggle which leads to her name sunggles. I am new to this I got her for Christmas.i feed her mostly greens and some fruit. Crickets and super worms every now and then. Her coler is a lot better and seems to be healthier since I started to do this. How can I tell when she becomes a adult by her size?

    • Rodney, congratulations on your new Bearded Dragon. Her shedding skin should come off by itself. Do not try to pull it off. It might not be ready and you can damage her scales or allow bacteria to set in. I’m glad to hear you are feeding her lots of greens and some fruit, however, the majority of her meal should be protein, as in crickets and worms, so feed her the crickets more often. Once dragons are about a year a and a half, or 2 years old, they are considered to be adults. Thanks for visiting Animal Bliss! 🙂

  2. Hey I just got my new baby bearded dragon December 28 and I just started to notice that at the tip of his mouth is turning a blackish grey is that normal because it’s my first time owning a bearded dragon

    • Congratulations on getting your first bearded dragon. That’s fun. I would have to see a photo to really have an opinion about this. I’m assuming the rest of his body looks okay? Keep a close eye on that and see a Vet if it looks like it’s getting worse. It may be some sort of fungus. Thanks for visiting Animal Bliss.

  3. Thank you so much for the information, I’m new to bearded dragons and just got one she is six months old and in the shedding process she just seems listless doesn’t want to eat and I was just wondering if that was normal?

    • Hello Kay. Congratulation on getting a bearded dragon. Yes, it’s normal for a dragon to hold back on food a bit when shedding. They’re pretty miserable, as you can imagine if your skin was getting ready to flake 🙂 And, if she’s pretty new to your household, that could be why too. Just as long as she looks healthy. Keep giving her water to keep her well-hydrated. What did you name her? Cheers!

Leave a Comment

CommentLuv badge

Simple Share Buttons
Simple Share Buttons