Shedding in Chameleon

Shedding is a standard process for all reptiles. Young Chameleons shed once every 3 to 4 weeks, and adult chameleons shed every two months. This process helps them to be clean, and it also tells that your chameleon is growing.

Reason for shedding

Your chameleon can shed their skin due to some health reasons like to remain clean, remove the dead skin cells, adapt their growth, and unhealthy reasons like stress and illness.

Healthy reasons


When the chameleons are young, they shed their skin to adapt to their growth. The adult chameleons often shed to adjust their body structure and weight. They have to maintain their skin-tight by their body structure.

To remain clean

Whether the chameleon is wild or not, they are constantly exposed to dust, bacteria, and rarely chemicals. This causes their skin to be dull. To avoid this, they shed their skin.

To remove dead skin cells

Anyway, after a particular period, the chameleon’s skin becomes dry and dull. To overcome that, they shed their skin. By this process, they also maintain cell growth.

Unhealthy reasons


One of the common reasons when the chameleon sheds unusually is because of the stress.

When the chameleon is handled too much or change to another cage, and when the cage environment is not maintained, they become stressed and shed their skin.


When the chameleon is sick or when they are infected, they will shed their skin. Closely monitor when your chameleon sheds their skin. It may be because of some serious health issues too.

How to identify that chameleons are about to start the shedding process?

When your chameleon’s skin looks whitish or dull, this is an indicator that your pet has started the shedding process.

They won’t eat much during this process and don’t force-feed them. Sometimes they become restless and wanders in the cage. They even start to rub against the branches to peel their skin.

How can you help them while shedding?

It is better if you leave them alone, especially during the shedding process. When you try to peel their skin, it may harm your pet’s new skin. When you handle them during the shedding, they become stressed, and the shedding process can take more than three days.

When can you help your pet during the shedding process?

When your chameleon completes the shedding process look for the unshed skin. When you notice any unshed skin at that time, you can help them to remove the skin.

Gently remove the unshed skin with a cotton cloth dipped in either warm or hot water. While doing this, if your chameleon becomes stressed, then don’t proceed further. Continue after some time.

Why should you help them during the shedding process?

You should help them only when they have completed their primary shedding process. The unshed skin may block the blood flow to the unshed area, which may cause the death of that specific organ and may even cause the rotting of that particular organ.

How long the shedding process takes?

Young chameleons shed their skin within half an hour. In contrast, adult chameleons take almost a day to shed their skin. It may even last up to 2 or 3 days. But if it lasts longer than that, it may be your chameleon is suffering from illness, and it is better to take them to the vet.

How you should maintain the terrarium during the shedding process?

It is essential to monitor the cage temperature and humidity levels, especially during the shedding process. Monitor the cage environment twice or thrice per day. The humidity level in the cage should be higher when compared to the other days. Mist or shower the cage twice per day during the shedding process.

When you notice dry skin, then your chameleon is dehydrated and requires frequent misting and showering. Dry skin irritates them, and the shedding will take more than three days.

What to do when it is taking more time for shedding?

Improper humid levels will cause dry skin for the chameleons, and thereby it takes more than two days for shedding. Proper humidity level helps your chameleon to shed their skin quickly. If it takes more than a week, take them to the vet.

Chameleon is eating its shed skin

Chameleons to remove their shed skin do multiple things. One of the things they do to get rid of the shed skin is using its sticky tongue. No need to worry if your chameleon eats its shed skin.

What type of food should you give during the shedding?

There is no special food that should be given to chameleons during the shedding process. Chameleons don’t eat much or lose their appetite during the shedding. Leave them alone and don’t force-feed them.

The appetite will be back once the shedding is done if not then you have to take him to the vet.

What is the reason for unusual shedding?

The reasons for unusual shedding are

  • Stress
  • Dehydration
  • Infection due to parasites
  • Vitamin or calcium deficiency

It is not simple to take care of chameleons. You have to provide a proper environment and vitamin supplements. If not, it may cause some severe problems to your pet.